St. Pantaleon, Cologne: Westwork Ceiling

Posted by MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 5 December 2009 in Art & Design and Portfolio.

This is the ceiling of St Pantaleon's western part from the ottonian age. Since Pantaleon's original ceilings were completely destroyed, a complete rebuild was necessary, giving the chance of gaining a much more Romanesque impression than there was before the war. Like many other churches, Pantaleon was heavily modified during the centuries, resulting in a Gothic choir and vaults, and Baroque décor. After their demolition, these vaults were not reconstructed, but flat slabs were ceiled, resulting in a much more authentic appearance. This is especially true for the nave's ceiling we have seen two days ago.
The ceiling in the westwork is a reconstruction, too: it was done by artist Gerhard Kadow in 1966, depicting the heavenly Jerusalem.

Unfortunately not much information is available on Kadow in English, so let me make some brief comments: born in 1909, he studied at Bauhaus in the 1920s, being a scholar of Kandinsky and Klee. After his period of apprenticeship he finally became a textile designer. 1939-50 he held classes in textile design at textile engineer school in Krefeld, 1967-74 art professor in Cologne. He died in 1981; his oevre includes paintings, drawings, murals, porcelaine designs, art of weaving, and glass painting.

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Wow! Love the detail! Brilliant frame!

5 Dec 2009 8:16am

@Ana Lúcia: That's a rather small part of the church, but it has the most interesting architecture.

akarui from Kagoshima, Japan

I like this view too in the same church.

5 Dec 2009 8:27am

@akarui: Rather seldom to have two interesting ceilings in the same church.

António Pires from Lisbon, Portugal

The geometric motive of this ceiling reflects probably the work on textile of his author.

5 Dec 2009 12:35pm

@António Pires: A good thought, yes, that's definitely possible.

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

wow .. I really wonder where and when you get time for visiting all these churches .. Is that your job ? ha ha

5 Dec 2009 9:03pm

@MARIANA: So when do you get the time for taking shots? :o)
If I would be able, I would like to do this for a living, why not?

Philip from Cowbridge, United Kingdom

The ceiling colours are interesting and very sympathetic. The framing works really well.

5 Dec 2009 9:11pm

@Philip: Yes, there is great harmony in the whole room.

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

What was the reconstruction based on?

6 Dec 2009 10:59pm

@Twelvebit: I don't know - before the paintings were applied, a coffered ceiling was already there, and flat slabs were common in Romanesque buildings. The iconography (tree of Jesse; saints) is common, too, so at least we can say that the reconstruction is authentic. What the original ceiling looked like is beyond our knowledge, as it was replaced by vaults many centuries ago.

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

excellent frame -- i LOVE that design work in the center there -- faaabulous!

7 Dec 2009 5:06pm

@dj.tigersprout: I also think this would make for a great poster!


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