Église St-Nicolas, Brussels: Maria Pacis Altar

Posted by MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 3 August 2010 in Art & Design.

Late Baroque, located in the left aisle of St Nicholas; the small statue of Mary in the centre is probably much older.

But who is the marble lady on that globe in the upper storey, who is holding a laurel wreath in her hand?

Linerberry from Christchurch, New Zealand

That is beautiful!!! I love the amazing marble!! I really don't know who that marble lady is!!

3 Aug 2010 6:54am

@Linerberry: Cheers, LB! She almost looks like a Roman goddess, no?

António Pires from Lisbon, Portugal

I really do not appreciate the lack of style unity of this church, with the additions along the centuries, which has been a common practice though.

3 Aug 2010 9:51am

@António Pires: We'll see more 'sound' churches, I think you will like the one or other. St Nicholas with its crooked design has its charm, though.

Phil David Alexander Morris from Saskatoon, Canada

She must be some symbol of peace, freedom or lost lives. All the precious materials here to
create this magnificent altar, great capture. Superb beauty in this church. I appreciate it all!

3 Aug 2010 12:53pm

@Phil David Alexander Morris: This is just a small one. Get ready for a Renaissance / Baroque one, and two Gothic treasure troves, each with fabulous stained glass windows. :-)

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

On your posting of July 31st I said that the word for this altar was sumptuous...from a distance! Now, this closeup puts things in a different perspective....I'm disappointed with the details, even the materials do not look to be that special! The altar looks smothered in that niche as if the narrow space made the artists cut the size of the artwork...Is it only my impression? (Of course it has nothing to do with the quality of the shot, I refer to the altar itself).

3 Aug 2010 1:00pm

@Japanalia: No, no, this is one of the two additional altars in the side aisles. A few days ago we were looking at the high altar. There is even a third one dedicated to Nicholas himself.

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

Wonderful picture. So, taking pictures is alright, but not with a flash . Right ?

3 Aug 2010 1:31pm

@MARIANA: Usually this is so, but often there are big local differences. In some churches (Northern Italy!) it's completely forbidden, in others you must not use a tripod. This has less religious but economical reasons, as you are 'encouraged' to buy postcards or books. In some churches using a tripod is considered 'professional' and you have to pay a steep fee.
In the smaller churches this usually isn't an issue. As long as you don't disturb anybody, taking photos is okay. If there are people lost in prayer, I usually avoid taking photos, though. Flash is a no-no unless you are alone in the church.

Philip from South Wales, United Kingdom

Beautiful marble and wonderful scene.

3 Aug 2010 6:56pm

@Philip: Cheers, Philip!

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

still editing...but with this one you are piling more pressure on!

3 Aug 2010 7:49pm

@Ted: Come on, dare it! :-D

Michael from Chester, United Kingdom

Very stylish and ornate, I think having people in the shot makes it more realistic, and is what one would expect to see.

3 Aug 2010 11:53pm

@Michael: Actually I prefer a populated church. Everything else makes me think of a museum, but in fact these are places of a living faith. At least they should be.

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Great capture showing how beautifully ornate this altar is. The bone white color of the walls make the altar stand out nicely here.

4 Aug 2010 1:53am

@Steven: Though it is only a secondary altar, a lot of small parish churches would be proud to have such a specimen!

Christine Walsh from Astoria, NY, United States

Who could the lady be? No one has given suggestions so I will - Athena, Hera, doesn't resemble Venus or Diana, um... well, I'm out of guesses.

5 Aug 2010 12:14am

@Christine Walsh: I was thinking this, too, but it would be very strange in a church, especially in an altar.

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