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St. Aposteln, Ceiling: Detail

Posted by
MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 27 January 2009 in Art & Design.

A detail from Sunday's shot. I haven't found much on Hermann Gottfried, the painter of these frescoes. Born 1929 in the Rhineland, studied arts at Kassel art academy, first glass paintings in 1953. 1963 first secco and fresco paintins in churches. Known for his work at Strassburg Cathedral. A Flickr user shows several shots with Gottfried's paintings.

Linerberry from Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand

WOW!!! That is truely incredible!!! Amazing shot ms:-)

27 Jan 2009 5:26am

@Linerberry: I like them too. They are so un-kitchy.

MaryB from Staffordshire, United Kingdom

Amazing MS! the light is superb.

27 Jan 2009 11:12am

@MaryB: Only because of the long exposure - it was already pretty dim inside.

Eleftheria from Athens, Greece


27 Jan 2009 1:53pm

@Eleftheria: Yes, I like it too. A very elegant way of painting.

JoeB from Brampton, Canada

A change in style for a ceiling in a church, can't help but think that this might have been how Picasso would paint a church ceiling.

27 Jan 2009 3:19pm

@JoeB: I think it's too figurative for a Picasso. Imagine the spat that would have come with Picasso paintings instead of this one. Incredible!

Veronelle from Lens, France

nice composition !

27 Jan 2009 3:30pm

@Veronelle: Just a detail from Sunday. :-)

Michael Skorulski from Cigel, Slovakia

A powerful and unusual detail, MS.

27 Jan 2009 4:32pm

@Michael Skorulski: Thanks! One of the moments you see more on a photo than you could see on location. I didn't note all the details when I was there.

Ina from Krugersdorp, South Africa

Amazing, piece of art :)

27 Jan 2009 4:58pm

@Ina: A lot of quarrel was caused by these paintings. Typical example of art that needs at least twenty years until people adapt. :)

Ron from Saint Louis, United States

Absolutely stunning ... the detail and clarity are magnificent ... composed beautifully! Did you use "live view" to compose the shot?

27 Jan 2009 5:12pm

@Ron: Maybe I should do so, but no, I didn't. I'm quite lazy, as you can see in my portfolio I'm trying to capture an overall impression of a church (that's usually a couple of positions where I have to raise the camera). I'm not so good at details, maybe because I see a painting, an altar, a ceiling as entity. Once you know how to cope these standard situations, it's quite easy (except for the mostly bad light), so I don't miss live view (though I know that it would help me focusing better).

Laurent from Lyon, France

beautiful fresco.
Regarding live view, I first thought it would be totally useless for me. But I was wrong. Today I really like using it for "still" picture usually with tripod such as night cityscape. The possibility of zooming in the picture also helps to make the perfect focus especially when light is bad and the AF is not at its best.

27 Jan 2009 9:40pm

@Laurent: Hmmmm, I should try this too, you're making me curious...

jim from sebastopol, United States

i find it interesting how my overall perception of it changes as i get closer. i can appreciate the color harmonies more, but for some reason it seems more difficult to comprehend some of the imagery. i can only imagine the furor that these frescoes must have caused when they were being painted!

27 Jan 2009 9:48pm

@jim: Concerning the interior environment, the parishes are often more courageous than the clergymen; another prominent case was the 'Richter' window in Cologne Cathedral that also was installed against the cardinal Meisner's will.

Observing from West Cheshire, United Kingdom

I wonder would the pope like it....?

27 Jan 2009 11:01pm

@Observing: Who knows, I've never heard of any statements on art. :) As always, it's a matter of personal taste. When the Richter window was installed in Cologne Cathedral, cardinal Meisner didn't like it and his mourning filled the feuilletons. In smaller church buildings there's usually less brawling.

Laurie from New Jersey, United States

Those are quite unusual. Very different from what one might be expecting.

28 Jan 2009 1:45am

@Laurie: Sometimes it's quite refreshing after almost 2000 years of figurative painting in churches. Here it's especially the contrast between old and new that I find so appealing.

PD from Overland Park, Kansas, United States

Very nice shot - great detail. I like your wide angle lens!

28 Jan 2009 2:38am

@PD: One of my best investments ever! :-)

Ronnie 2¢ from London, United Kingdom

'Enlightened' as I might think myself to be, I must admit not being able to understand those paintings at all . . and, as you have said, these images offer much more than just standing there looking up.

28 Jan 2009 7:11pm

@Ronnie 2¢: Unfortunately I'm not so well-versed in the Bible, but I can offer a summary and interpretation from a different point of view. :-)

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

These are paintings which require some study. My feelings are mixed on the subject. While I'm not a big fan of abstract art, I do like some of it --though these are not so abstract as a Pollock or later Picasso and maintain a high degree of the figurative-- and while I can appreciate the craftsmanship of centuries old religious painting, I find much of it quite boring.

1 Feb 2009 10:12pm

@Twelvebit: That's the essence of iconography: showing all the same. While the stories remain the same, the decoration does not. This church had been decorated in 'Byzantine' style in the beginning of the 20th century, something that is really outdated. When they started from scratch and rebuilt their church the chance for something new in the decoration was there.