Thursday, February 21, 2008

The reredos in St Peter's Cathedral

A reredos is an ornamental screen or wall at the back of an altar.

This magnificent work of art behind the altar in Adelaide's St Peters Cathedral dates back to the first decade of the 20th century.

The reredos was designed by Thomas H Lyon, an English architect and was crafted using English oak by Herbert Read Ltd in Devon. Nathanial Hitch of London carved the figures and panels.

The completed project was shipped out to Australia and assembled. Originally the figures were left with their natural timber tones. Whilst everyone agreed the work was beautiful, people complained because they could not really see them. After some negotiation with the makers, it was decided to disassemble the reredos and send it back to England to be painted.

The story goes that a cart carrying the goods broke an axle and they consequently missed the ship. This was indeed quite fortunate as the ship sunk on its voyage to England. The reredos was sent on another ship, the work was done and subsequently it arrived back in Adelaide to be reassembled. It was dedicated in 1910, by Bishop Arthur Thomas.

See previous posts about St Peters Cathedral click here and here.


Sailor Girl said...

How would Mr. Maggoo say reredo??
RE-RE-RE-REREDO??? looooolllll!!!!!
(today my humour is unbearable)

Donna said...

That's So beautiful! Have never seen it!