Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cornice Chimera

The vault of the nave of St. Jerome's, Collinwood has six wooden arches. Each terminates with a grotesque, twelve cornice chimeras. What are they? Not all architectural decoration is easily decipherable. Without the original description, a later onlooker conjectures, or surrenders.

They are inside, and not stone. Outside, if they spat out water they would be functioning gargoyles. Now, since Jerome is sometimes depicted with a lion, lion characteristics might they be. No, manes do not flow out of one's mouth. The eyes are anthropoid. Chimeras are mythological monsters pastiched together.

The profile has stylized ten petaled flowers. Many flowers follow a Fibonacci number [... 5, 8, 13, 21 ...]. The genus of passiflora [passionflower] has ten petals, and often are vines. Spanish (and others) religious folklore associates the flowers with Christ's Passion.

The flower looks more like an anemone. There are also more than an hundred species. There are poppy anemone, a group of Saint Brigid's. Which have ten petals? Many anemones have five to eight. The anemone [Greek mythology] came up from Adonis' blood. Are these carved blossoms chimera too?

Saint Jerome's was consecrated on the 9th of October 1994. The, then, associate pastor Fr. Anthony Cassese joyfully told people at Mass, the candles of consecration guaranteed that the church would be open, and could not be closed. He told that not all churches were consecrated, but now Saint Jerome's was.

The diocesan document quotes the words of God to Solomon:
"And the Lord said...'I have consecrated this temple which you have built; I confer my name upon it forever, and my eyes and heart shall be there always." I Kings 9:3
But then again, that is old language, under an old régime. Collinwood was spared a proposed, and expected, parish elimination. The only group which was ordered to reduce, and did not. Parishioners had feared that Jerome's had gotten the short straw. They were extremely displeased with the 'clustering process' at the time. Many are still upset.

No comments:

Post a Comment