Thursday, October 1, 2020

A Passel* of Popes

* Passel: a large group of people or things of indeterminate number; a pack.

You may be happy to know that, with one exception in the next couple of posts, we have finished our review of the armorial stained glass windows in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium. And, look, I understand that not all of these posts from the Cathedral have been all that interesting to you. The several posts that I did on the various depictions of the Geelhand and Ullens coats of arms may not have been as exciting for you as they were for me. But, frankly, I really enjoy seeing all the different ways that heraldry can be depicted, so despite the lower traffic than usual to this blog for those posts, I had fun doing them and learned quite a bit in researching them. I'm sorry if you found them either boring or repetitive, but that's the chance you and I will have to take sometimes.

(Stepping off my soapbox.)

Anyway, having pretty much said all that we're going to be able to say about the stained glass heraldry there, we move on to some of the painted depictions of arms, specifically this time, papal heraldry.

On this wall framing one side of a window, we find the following:

Here we have, placed on a lovely gold tree, two rows containing three coats of arms of Popes.

In the top row, we have (from left to right): Clement VIII (1591-1605), Paul V (1605-1621), and Gregory XV (1621-1623)

In the bottom row (also left to right), we find the arms of: Gregory XVI (1831-1846), Pius IX (1846-1878), Leo XIII (1878-1903) 

The arms of the next three Popes come from some of the painted panels in another part of the cathedral:

To right of center here, we find another copy of the arms of Pope Pius IX (1846-1878), with the arms of an unidentified cardinal.

Here we see the arms of an unidentified cleric and a Pope Urban IV (1261-1264).

And finally, in the right-hand panel, the arms of Pope Julius II (1503-1513) (who bore the same arms as his uncle, Pope Sixtus IV (1471–1484)).

The work that went into painting all of these arms is very impressive to me, but then, I can't draw a straight line without a ruler. Nonetheless, there's a lot of detail in these paintings that don't show up all that well in the pictures here; I recommend clicking on an image to be taken to a larger version with more detail, so you can really see what's been done by the craftsman or craftsmen here.

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