The Chapel of the Nine Altars (Testimonials)
I think you've caught something of the way these sites still have so much to offer to 21st-century people, so removed in time from the monasteries in their prime and even from their rediscovery as places of contemplation and picturesque appeal in the 18th/19th century. Indeed to more recent artists, for example neo-Romantics such as John Piper and John Craxton. I'm sure you're right that for a few of the artists the Catholic link was significant (or at least the dignity of mediaeval culture), although others doubtless were not engaged with doctrinal niceties of any sort. My favourite quote comes from William Hazlitt's essay 'On Antiquity.'
‘The dark or middle ages, when everything was his in the fog and haze of confusion and ignorance, seems older and farther off and more inaccessible to the imagination, than the brilliant and well-defined periods of Greece and Rome. A Gothic ruin appears buried in a greater depth of obscurity … to have been longer mouldering into neglect and oblivion.. than a Grecian temple.’
So it's up to artists like you to shine the light that illuminates these places again. Keep up the good work!
Professor Sam Smiles, University of Exeter, Art Historian and author of 'The Late Works of JMW Turner'
I love your paintings- they look great. I hope that you continue to enjoy and develop the subject.
Tim Craven, curator of Southampton Art Gallery and founder of the Arborealists