It’s my birthday this week and birthdays mean family days out! So J, C and I visited Tewksbury.
The abbey is quite small – but properly old, dating from the years after the Norman conquest.
The Norman pillars are massive.
I love the way colour is being reintroduced to our ancient churches so that we have more of a sense of the glamour they held in the Middle Ages:
It’s Holy Week this week and, amidst all the splendour of the building, all of the crosses were shrouded in purple, waiting for the miracle of the resurrection on Sunday:
Fascinating little essay about the changing ways that colour in general and blue in particular – has been associated with culture, class and feeling through the ages:
Blue was once little-known in the Western palette. Homer’s sea was “wine dark”; blue would not be used as water’s color until the seventeenth century. It has evolved from its original association with warmth, heat, barbarism, and the creatures of the underworld, to its current association with calm, peace, and reverie. Like the unruly green, the Romans associated blue with the savage Celtae and Germani, who used the woad herb’s rich leaves for their blue pigments. These northern barbarians also painted themselves blue before war and religious rituals. The ancient Germans, according to Ovid, even dyed their whitening hair blue.
The Romans, in contrast, preferred the color red—the Latin word, “coloratus” was synonymous with that for red, ruber. The Romans and Greeks did import lapis lazuli, the exquisite blue rock, from exotic locals such as China, Iran, and Afghanistan. But neither used the barbaric blue for important figures or images, saving it for the backgrounds for white and red figures. Even the Greek words for blue, like the names of colors in the Bible, largely were meant to evoke certain states or feelings as opposed to exact visual colors. Blue, like green, was the color of death and barbarism. The nobler colors—white, red, and black—were preferred.
Now read on www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/the-colors-of-our-dreams/