M10675 | Sculpture

 
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Sculpture
Anonyme - Anonymous
1773-1820, 18th century or 19th century
Wood
81 x 44 cm
Gift of Messrs. Papineau
M10675
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  sculpture (112) , Sculpture (113)
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Description

Seraphim adorn many Roman Catholic churches throughout Quebec. These two carved and gilded wood seraphim are said to have come from the interior of the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours in Old Montreal. The original chapel burned in 1754 and was rebuilt between 1771 and 1773. Between 1886 and 1892 the chapel was renovated, at which point the statues were removed. Seraphim, the angelic order representing Divine Love, are often depicted with six wings and painted red or gold, as seen in these examples.

Keys to History

Seraphim adorn many Roman Catholic churches throughout Quebec. These two carved and gilded wood seraphim (M10673 and M10675) are said to have come from the interior of the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de Bons-Secours in Old Montreal. The original chapel dated from 1670; it burned in 1754 and was rebuilt between 1771 and 1773. The chapel underwent major renovations between 1886 and 1894, and the seraphim were probably removed at that time.

Seraphim are the supernatural guardians of the threshold of Yahweh's sanctuary. These angels, which represent Divine Love, are often depicted as large, six-winged creatures. They are also usually painted red or gold.

  • What

    These sculptures are carved from wood and gilded.

  • Where

    As the highest order of angels, which are in constant attendance of the God Head, these seraphim would probably have been placed on either side of the Tabernacle that housed the consecrated bread.

  • When

    These sculptures may have been carved and installed as early as 1773, when the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de Bons-Secours was built, or created for some later modification.

  • Who

    The two sculptures were donated to the museum in 1929 by the Messrs. Papineau, whose home was on Bonsecours Street, just north of the chapel. They probably received them in 1886 when the renovation began.