Thursday, 8 September 2011

St. Modan's Church

There are two Douglas Strachan windows in the South transept. The first you come to is a window dedicated to Mr Lorne Campbell, the factor to the Duke of Argyll, who walked with his family each Sunday the four miles over the moors to the church. His widow presented the window to the church. Princess Louise is said to have had great influence in choosing Strachan as the artist.

The windows relate to the text "and with his hands he healed them" and to the text referring to Christ carrying the cross "For us men and for our salvation"

The Lorne Campbell Window

You can see from this general image that these windows are a big departure from the earlier ones. This window was installed in 1915 and follow the artistic conventions of the time. As in all Strachan's work there is a clear Arts and Crafts influence, but with a distinctive Scottish expression.

Healing, Upper

Healing, Lower

There is a strong composition within the two windows as a set and also within each window. But I find myself drawn to the faces.

Healing, Detail

This, I presume, is a father bringing his son to be healed. The determination shown in the father's partially turned head combined with the uplifted head of the son exhibiting an enduring nature is affecting.

The peaceful appearances of the angels above the whole scene provide assurance all will be well. Still not all of theme are serene. Some seem to be pressing to get a view too.

Here you have two figures looking on critically. Are they the religious leaders making certain all is done within the appropriate bounds? A thin lipped Jesus proceeds to lay his hand on a daughter while raising her up with the other.

The exhausted father looks hopefully toward Jesus while the daughter seems to be wide-eyed with trust.

In the other part of the window Strachan uses the theme of salvation through the crucifixion.

Crucifixion, upper

Crucifixion, Lower

Here Christ takes the weight of the cross, staring at the ground. The soldiers are not impassive, one seems to be full of grim determination to see it through, while the other through the glance to the side seems to have some sympathy.

Is this his mother, full of despair supported by Joseph or one of his brothers?

All of this is watched over by the crowd of angels, again they jostle each other for a view.

Much more information about Douglas Strachan and his works can be found on Wikipedia and Ecclesiart.

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