Monday, April 27, 2009

The Temple and Temple Church

Panorama of Cloisters, Church Court and the Temple Church
24th April 2009 - 1.00pm

11" x 16" in Daler Rowney Sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Last Friday I went to the The Temple with the Drawing London Group. This is a sketch of the Temple Church and Church Court which was made famous around the world after it featured in both the book and the film of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

This particular panorama is from the the edge of the steps up to the Library and has Bill Aldridge, organiser of the Drawing London group, sat on his sketching stool in the bottom left hand corner. The round part of Temple Church can be seen on the right hand side of the sketch. The building with arches on the left behind the tree is Cloisters which is actually part of the Middle Temple.

The Inner Temple is the home of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. The Middle Temple is the home of The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. These two Societies are two of the four historic Inns of Court situated around the Royal Courts of Justice in London which hold the exclusive rights to call candidates to practise law at the Bar of England and Wales. This then entitles them to practise as barristers. The Inner Temple provides training and continued professional development for student and established barristers respectively.

The Temple was originally the home, in the twelfth century, of the Knights Templar. They built the round part of the Temple Church and named it after the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem - which is supposedly the site of Jesus' burial. All round churches built by the Knights templar relate back to this church. It's now the parish church of the Inner Temple and Middle Temple.

The Round Church was consecrated on 10 February 1185 by Heraclius, Patriarch of Jerusalem. You can find out more about the Round Church here.
The oldest part of the church is the Round which was consecrated in 1185. The quire was consecrated in 1240. The church was seriously damaged during the Second World War but when the damage was made good the reredos by Wren which had been removed by the 19th century 'restorers', was replaced.
Inner Temple website - The Buildings
You can:
Interestingly the Temple and the Temple Church enjoy very unusual legal status. The Temple is an independent extra-parochial area, which historically is not governed by the City of London Corporation (although geographically within the boundaries and liberties of the City of London). In effect the Honourable Societies of the Inner and Middle Temple also act as if they are local authorities.
The Temple Church is jointly administered and maintained by the Inner Temple and Middle Temple and enjoys the status of a "Royal Peculiar" (a place of worship that falls directly under the jurisdiction of the British monarch, rather than a diocese). It is independent from the Diocese of London and the Master of the Temple is appointed directly by the Queen.
The Inner Temple website - The Inner Temple today
The buildings always remind me very much of the buildings and courtyards of the older colleges and Oxford and Cambridge - right down to the hand painted list of occupants at the entrance to each set of chambers.

The layout of the Temple is very confusing for anybody unfamiliar with it. Fortunately the Temple Church provides a very handy page of how to find the Church and the layout of the different buildings which make up the Middle and Inner Temple, which can be printed out.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Prague interior - and making notes while sketching

Baroque Angels, Pulpit - St Nicholas Chuch, Prague (1993)
coloured pencils in A5 Daler Rowney black sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I've got an awful lot of sketches from many, many years of sketching. I've decided to start posting these with a little bit of an explanation about where they are and why they are significant - if they are!

I first started sketching with coloured pencils in Prague (Praha) in the Czech republic at the end of September 1993. It's a city with a fascinating history and it's quite remarkable how much of the old city is still intact - it really is like walking back 600-700 years in time.

Prague is a great city for artists and sketchers to visit as it has lots of great subjects to sketch and paint - all of which are central and within relatively easy walking distance - so long as you don't mind hills. However it can get very cold at that time of year. Sketching outside can be finger numbing!

This sketch is one I did of the marble pulpit in St Nicholas Church is in the Old Town Square (Staromestske Namesti)) in Prague (not to be confused with St Nicholas Cathedral!). What I notice most about this sketch is that my tendency to have certicals leaning to the right have been around for a very long time! I now tend to get one straight line down measured by eye from the edge of the page to avoid this happening.

When you're with a group, as I was, you sometimes can't linger as long as you'd like to. In these sort of circumstances I tend to sketch on the right hand page and write notes on the left hand page - which you can see on the right.

I made notes about:
  • what I was looking at - a marble and gilt pulpit in St Nicholas Church
  • the main colours - very pale salmon, very pale green grey and 'old' gilt
  • plus quirky features as an aid to understanding later ie "painted ceiling - arches are illusions where pale")
  • at the bottom of the page there is an arrow to indicate that the brown structure is a wooden confessional.
Now as it happens I don't have photos of this interior - but if I did the sketch, the notes and the photos would together provide me with the material needed to develop it further if that's what I wanted to do.

How do you make notes?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Just time for a cup of tea - and a sketch

Tea at The Wolseley
8" x 11", pencil in Daler Rowney sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Sorry for the long break. It feels quite weird to be out and about sketching again after having to spend so long (nearly 3 weeks) with my leg elevated. However - a new sketchbook was christened on Thursday!

After our visit to the Queens Gallery to see From Bruegel to Rubens - Masters of Flemish Painting we walked across Green Park and up to Piccadilly to visit the bookshops.

"He who must not be bored while I sketch" should know by now that when I say "must have a cup of tea" and drag him into a building that what I actually want is a cup of tea....and a sketch.

He passed on tea at the Ritz saying we wouldn't pass the dress code(!) so I took him next door to The Wolseley at 160 Piccadilly. This is a cafe-restuarant in what's known as the "Grand European tradition" and the building is Grade 2 listed. Each day it serves over 1,000 people between 7am and midnight.

Fortuitously we got a table right next to the entrance which gave me a great vantage point. So I ordered a pot of Earl Grey and armed HWMNBBWIS with a copy of the Financial Times and I sat down to sketch in the time it takes for him to read his paper and for me to drink two cups of tea. The best bit was listening to what the Maitre D had to say to the people who were arriving for tea. The worst bit was I kept losing my view as people lined up to be seated!

To me the room looked like a curious mix of ocean going liner from the 30s (walls, floor and metal work) crossed with Viennese cafe (cakestands) - although apparently I got the architectural influences all wrong. I gather it started off as a prestigious car showroom and then became a bank!
In 1921, Wolseley Motors Limited commissioned the architect, William Curtis Green, to design a prestigious car showroom in London’s West End. He drew on Venetian and Florentine influences and made the interior very atmospheric with its grand pillars, arches and stairways.
I think I'm going to have to go back and have another go at it's definitely an interior I'd like to sketch again.

I finished up by visiting the art section of Hatchards and spent far too much on art books again! New bookshelves need to reach the top of the 'to do' list!