The altar (part 2)
I once saw a gravestone in the old buildings of St Baafs Abbey in Ghent with two male figures carved as basrelief.
This tombstone of Egidius Munte (+1419), pastor of the Gentbrugge church and Willem Ketels (+1403), pastor of the Sint-Jacobskerk in Ghent, shows the clergymen depicted in half elevated relief as gisants. The edge lettering is interrupted on the corners by the symbols of the evangelists and in the middle of the long sides by the coats of arms of the dead.
I always remembered the two figures. The folds of their robes, the expression on their faces, the patina that was probably partly caused by the many touches of people over the centuries. A serenity and harmony that moves and fascinates me.
A third reason to use bas relief, is that the relief sculpture in stone has a history going 20,000 years back in time, in both Eastern and Western culture. With relief, the focus is on contours more than on line, and people make eager use of light and the creation of shadows (this is also called chiaroscuro). The kind of relief that I have in mind is a sunken relief or Intaglio.
I went to England and visit the British Museum to research the ways in which people carved sculptures through the ages and in different cultures, to then make my own modest contribution to this beautiful long tradition.
Work in progress, Thoughts, ideas with no particular shape, exhibition setups and photos of openings, nice visits to interesting colleagues and scientists...