Near and far

Medieval painting of William of York, St Albans Cathedral, Hertfordshire, June 2020

This is one of several medieval paintings whose worn remains can still be seen on the walls of St Albans Cathedral.

They had been long hidden beneath whitewash which was applied liberally after the Dissolution of the Abbey, and they were only rediscovered in 1835. The image shown here dates to around 1308 and depicts William of York. It stands close to the Shrine of St Alban and still has visibly distinct details and vivid colours, with pigments of lapis lazuli, malachite and even hints of gold.


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Copyright Debbie Smyth, 5 July 2020

Posted as part of SquarePerspectives

18 thoughts on “Near and far

    1. Yes, my wide aperture was driven by need for light mainly, as being so close to the painting gave me some shallow depth of field anyway. But the 2 worked well together and it’s one of my favourite recent shots.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of them are very pale and damaged, unfortunately. In the recent redesigning of the cathedral’s facilities they developed a lighting system that lights up some of them to look as they would have done. I haven’t had a chance to see it yet. It’s hard to imagine what the pilgrims must have thought when they finally got to the Abbey – just its size is impressive, but the colourful images, including gold leaf, must have been stunning.

      Liked by 1 person

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