070506.Windsor, The Bits and Pieces of Spring Cleaning

May 6, 2007 at 3:53 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Castles, Cathedrals and churches, Chisel Marks, Conservation, Preservation, Restoration, Sculpture | 3 Comments

BDP to the moon!

Funny as it sounds, as the Queen’s home complex at Windsor is undergoing some TLC at the same moment the President’s home at the White House has to be spiffied up for her royal visit.070504.163.BE.Windsor.StGeo.W.8L
The repair of the West Front of St George’s Chapel at Windsor is being carried out by Martin Ashley Associates. Mr. Ashley very graciously showed us around the place. Here’s a few directions for a small part on that facade.
*Repair shoulders
*Shelter coat orange stonework
*[Deal with] Numerous cracks
*Replace head coade stone
*Replace toe
*Poultice clean
*Paint Analysis
*Remove from niche (carry out all work off site, often the best option)
It’s a Victorian statue, probably from Sir George Gilbert Scott’s restoration of the place. There are no original medieval statues remaining. The head does look a bit odd, but the toe! I should add that this statue is very very far up.
One more tidbit: according to archival photos, the head originally faced Mary but somehow turned around. (Miracle or need for an exorcism?)

St George Chapel West Front
I just realized that this Madonna with Child is really a mother with daughter! I had to negotiate the angle of the photo to include the head, toe and shoulder but this is a view that no one else would be able to see, which perhaps influenced the sculptor’s modesty. Context is everything since other than the conservationists’ up close visits every hundred years the statue is only seen from over a hundred feet down below. Again, context, why place a realistic mother and child so far up? Mary’s dangling the infant like the King of Pop.

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  1. Given the diagram you have provided, where exactly were you standing when you took this picture?

    And regarding the realism of the sculpture and the conservationists’ needs to replace the toe… if you’re gonna do something, do it right.

  2. […] 070505.Windsor, It’s Not Bath But It Has A Lot Of Bath Stone May 5, 2007 at 6:26 am | In Towers, Tabernacles, roofs, Cathedrals and churches, Castles, Sculpture, Mansion, Architecture | This was yesterday. See tomorrow’s post. […]

  3. This is really funny!! I think the problem is that the one that Madonna holds is not a “baby” but a “kid”. In my experience, if you hold a kid, he/she would try to look out so he/she would turn his/her body toward outside from the one who is holding him/her, just like the kid that Maddonna holds does. This gesture is resonable. However, I think it should not be a “kid” that Madonna holds. It should be a “baby”, shouldn’t it?
    (Eh…I don’t have any babies, but I lived in a big family so had many chances to take care of my cusins.)


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