It feels like the right time of year to start a few literary excursions and when I can think of one to go on I'll be there, but meanwhile I realised that I hadn't shared these beautiful images that regular dovegreyreader commenter Fran H-B took last summer. It was only on looking back at these that I realise how inspiring literary pilgrimages are and how welcome colour is at this time of year too, so having enjoyed butterflies this week, now some wonderful paintings.
Fran very kindly gave me the inspiring little book Bloomsbury in Sussex when she came to visit last year and then Sussex Writers & Artists, in the same series from Snake River Press, the next time we met up in London. All in the call of duty Fran valiantly trotted off to Berwick Church in Sussex and took these pictures for us of the church itself and the beautiful decorations inside painted by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.
The glorious view from behind the church towards Charleston and Firle Beacon...
The Nativity by Vanessa Bell. The barn depicted is a Sussex Barn at Tilton [close to Charleston] and through the opening is a view to Mount Caburn. The infant Christ may be Quentin Bell, or possibly Julian.
Detail from The Nativity, showing a South Down lamb and a Sussex trug holding vegetables. Sussex trugs were first made[and still are] in Herstmonceux, a village quite close to Fran's Sussex home.
Part of the Chancel Arch by Duncan Grant, with the Downs behind the figures. Grant was recording the landscape and people of wartime England.
The only surviving panel by Vanessa Bell from the pulpit. The thought of this makes me want to weep but the three central panels were vandalised in 1962. Duncan Grant repainted them to designs by Angelica Bell.
The Annunciation by Vanessa Bell. Angelica Bell was the model for Mary. The walled garden with its ordered beds is based on that at Charleston but how impressed I am by that graceful figure of Mary...
And finally a detail of the Altar Frontal. Designed by Duncan Grant and embroidered by his mother.