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It’s 900 years since King Henry I founded the Augustinian Abbey of St Mary in Cirencester. It replaced a pre conquest/Saxon church that also continued in use until the new Abbey was dedicated in 1176. During 2017 look out for Abbey 900 events that are to be staged in Cirencester. I have painted this picture to commemorate the issuing of orders by Henry I to begin the building work. This image is now available as a giclee print for dedicated followers of Abbey 900.  Hard backed, mounted in a cream mount and wrapped – ready to put into a frame. (40mm x 53mm). £50. Contact me for delivery options.

King Henry I orders building work to commence.
King Henry I orders building work to commence.
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I now have a large selection of excellent quality giclee prints available. They vary in size and price. All are mounted, board backed and wrapped ready to put into a frame and sturdy enough to post. If there are any images represented here of interest please email me on alisonjmerry@gmail.com to discuss price and posting/delivery options. If there are any images in the galleries of interest, and if I still have the originals, it might be possible to produce a giclee print to order. Please contact me to discuss options.

Norwich Cathedral shepherdsNorwich Shepherds

The Worth School AnnunciationWorth School Annunciation

1315 main image1315 Dedication

Oh Apple Tree we Wassail Thee!Oh Apple Tree We Wassail Thee

The Legend of St Frideswide, Oxford Christ Church CathedralThe Legend of St Frideswide, Oxford

The Bear Inn, Bisley (with cat)Bisley, Gloucestershire

tewksburyabbeywebTewkesbury Sleighridethededicationlimitededitionprintweb-2Gloucester Cathedral DedicationwestminsterschoolwebWestminster School anniversarydick-whittingtonDick Whittington

shipton ladyThirteenth Century elegance

 

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gloucester-catsGloucester Cats

Centuries before Beatrix Potter’s Simpkin stole away from the Tailor of Gloucester’s sick bed and out into Westgate Street on that frozen Christmas Eve, legend told how on every Christmas Eve all the cats in Gloucester could speak. It was said that they prowled the city’s alleyways and rooftops in the moonlight talking of the old year and of the year to come, until the midnight bells of Gloucester Cathedral broke the spell.

i-saw-three-shipsI Saw Three Ships

Our Saviour Christ and His Lady sail into Bethlehem in a ship resembling the Matthew which carried the explorer John Cabot from Bristol to Newfoundland in 1497. Encircling them is an eight-pointed star inspired in turn by the exotic profile of the north doorway of St. Mary Redcliffe church in Bristol where the city’s seafarers knelt to pray before and after voyaging. This lovely polygonal outline is almost unique in early fourteenth century English architecture and is known elsewhere only in features at Bristol Cathedral and at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire.

Both designs come in packs of 10 cards and envelopes. Please see details in the website shop.

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Lovely word – Zodiac.

A full compliment of images on their way as a first task for 2016.

 

The completed paintings so far:

Libra

 

Scorpio

 

Sagittarius

 

Capricorn

 

Aquarius

 

 

Pisces

 

Aries

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aries

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A commission just completed for Worth School in West Sussex.

The Worth School Annunciation

 

detail

The Worth School Annunciation

The Blessed Virgin Mary is visited by the angel who foretells the birth of her son, Jesus.

The setting of this Annunciation scene is Worth School in West Sussex.  The miniature is set in a decorative border reminiscent of tiles that line the school’s kitchen corridor while the montage of building details, piled high above the Virgin’s head, represents the architectural diversity of the beautiful school campus.  We glimpse the surrounding South Downs through an open archway. Two angels, having escaped from one of the Music Room’s stained glass windows, play for Mary from the rooftops.   Overarching the scene is the curved roof of the Abbey Church which is, in every sense, at the heart of the place and where school and Benedictine community come together.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Luke 1: 28

 

 

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THE BOY BISHOP CEREMONY
HEREFORD CATHEDRAL 1522

It is December 6th (St Nicholas’ Day) 1522 and our scene is set at the outer doorway of the newly constructed Booth Porch of Hereford Cathedral. Infact, the porch is so new that masons are still on the roof putting finishing touches to the parapets as the Boy Bishop procession emerges into the daylight from within the candlelit cathedral. One workman has a dust sheet tied to a shovel which he waves vigorously above the crowd so as to join in with the fun.

The ceremony of The Boy Bishop was an important church festival practiced throughout the later Medieval period across most of Western Europe. Traditionally linked to two dates in December : either December 6th (St Nicholas’ Day) or December 28th (Holy Innocents) the notable revival of the ceremony in Hereford in the Twentieth Century fixed it to take place here on December 6th every Christmastide.

This Saturnalian, role-reversal ceremony was an occasion of high ceremonial and great popular appeal. An elected choir boy, dressed in full episcopal vestments took the authority of the Bishop for the day, led the cathedral services, sat in the Bishop’s throne, sang, gave a sermon, processed with the choir (also finely robed in silk copes) and gave alms and blessings to the people. In so doing this gave literal meaning to the words of the Magnificat (which was sung in some ceremonies as the boys exchanged seats with the adults) : “He hath put down the mighty from their seat and has exalted the humble and weak”.

And so, as it begins to snow heavily again the citizens of Hereford, including Bishop Booth himself, have come to enjoy the festivities and to watch the spectacle unfold under the magnificent new edifice of the Booth porch. Even the cathedral cat has come to see what all the fuss is about. And as if to underline the topsy-turvey, make-believe nature of the moment one little boy rides his hobby horse as another turns upside down in an exuberant cartwheel.

The Hereford Boy Bishop Ceremony

 

Detail
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Following on from a wonderful weekend of celebrations for our Dedication 1315 project there are some new cards available in store. Have a look in the website for final news and updates of all the events and celebrations: http://dedication1315.org.uk/

Postcard now available of this elegant fourteenth century lady from Shipton-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire.

In the service of King Edward I and in the company of his patron, John de Hastings, Walter Maidstone made the journey across the channel on the king's business many times.Postcard now available depicting the indomitable Walter Maidstone, when clerk at the court of Edward I, crossing the English Channel en route to France on the king’s business.

After his defeat at the Battle of Bannockburn (June 1314) King Edward II meets with Bishop Walter Maidstone in York.

 Postcard now available depicting Walter Maidstone, Bishop of Worcester, meeting with King Edward II in York  after the king’s defeat at the Battle of Bannockburn in June 1314.

Fun and games fourteenth century style as the villagers process with musicians, jugglers, hobby horses pretend jousting.

One of two greetings cards now available depicting a fourteenth century procession. Fun and games with hobby horses, musicians and jugglers.

 Fun and games fourteenth century style in Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire.

One of two greetings cards now available depicting a fourteenth century procession. Fun and games with musicians and dancers, beasties and giants.

Also available are limited edition prints from the event.

A4 giglee print of the elegant Shipton Lady  (she is ready mounted in a cream mount on a backing board and cellophane wrapped). Only four remaining in stock. £35 plus P&P.

 

The Dedication 1315 main title painting depicting Bishop Maidstone on his visitations of Frampton on Severn, Harescombe, Fretherne and Whaddon churches.

 There are five remaining A3 giglee prints of the Dedication1315 event title picture. (This is also ready mounted in a cream mount on a backing board and cellophane wrapped) £75 plus P&P

For the Limited Edition Prints please apply directly to the artist:  Alison Merry on alisonjmerry@gmail.com or by post to 3 Rose Hill, far Wells Road, Bisley, Stroud, Glos. GL6 7AQ

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Fourteenth century fashionista

A bit more detailing to do on this lady from Shipton under Wychwood……….painted to accompany their Flower Festival this weekend. Having the final version scanned so watch the shop for a new Illuminations postcard ….coming soon.

 

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