Church Paintings Study Day

A big group of West Cornwall DFAS members spent a delightful day roaming around some local churches this past Thursday.

Dr Joanna Mattingly

Dr Joanna Mattingly

Under the guidance of the very knowledgeable Dr Joanna Mattingly, historian and author of Looking at Cornish Churches, we first met at Breage Church to examine the medieval wall paintings. Dr Mattingly gave us an illustrated lecture, followed by a walk around the church. She explained the paintings to us, providing fascinating background we would otherwise never have known – like the Sunday Christ, pictured surrounded by tools, as an admonishment to those who work on the Sabbath. The Sunday Christ at Breage depicts tools specific to Cornish workers such as mining and fishing equipment.

Medieval wall painting of Henry VI at Breage Church

Medieval wall painting of Henry VI at Breage Church

Following our morning at Breage we had a convivial lunch at Trevena Cross Nursery café, after which we made our way to St Hilary Church.

Here Dr Mattingly gave us another talk, this time about the fabulous paintings by Newlyn artists Anne Walke, Ernest and Dod Proctor, Harold Harvey, Harold Knight and Norman Garstin. Interestingly, nearly all of their paintings of saints feature Cornish landscapes in the background!

We ended our day with a delicious cream tea laid on at the St Hilary Heritage Centre, complete with much-needed hot tea, lovely daffodils and delicious scones.

Click here to see more photos.

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