Triumphantly revealed by restoration, the interior (1864-79) of Worcester College Chapel, Oxford, is the jewel-like masterpiece of William Burges, the greatest of the Victorian art-architects. Dr Susan Gillingham unravels the complex codes of Burges' decorative scheme, showing how Jewish and Christian elements, stories and characters from the Old Testament and the New are dazzlingly combined with masonic symbols and further counterpointed with Darwinian references.
Very far from solemn religiosity, Burges' execution is witty and playful, featuring College and Oxford personalities of his time, but in service of a context of celebration of God's Creation and the hope offered by the Resurrection. In nine sermons preached in the Chapel, Dr Gillingham demonstrates how Burges' virtuosity, at once vividly pictorial and spiritually profound, provides the preacher with a treasury of rich themes and imagery appropriate to sermons delivered at key events in the Christian Year.
|Published||1 Dec 2009|
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