Spanish :Pictures In London
SYMPATHISERS with the cause of Nationalist Spain will learn with great interest of the art exhibition which is being prepared for London this winter. Many of the treasures of Spanish art, including an El Greco which has never "before left Spain, will be displayed in the Burlington Galleries in December.
The Spanish Director of Fine Arts, Sr. Eugenio d'Ors, has just stated that El Greco's " Cardinal Tavera " was slashed by the Reds in Toledo and that the latter hold too " San Mauricio." The work that has been done by the Nationalists in Spanish artistic treasures is to be made public in a special book. The London Exhibition is in aid of the Spanish Nationalist Relief Fund.
The CATHOLIC HERALD hopes to make arrangements for the display at about the same time of a unique collection of photographs illustrating the Spanish war and the new Spain.
Queen Mary at Stonyhurst
No living person, I suppose, has had greater opportunities of examining the artistic treasures of this country than Queen Mary. She has always taken a particular interest in seeing for herself and enjoying whatever is worth contemplation and study. But despite the fact that the Queen Mother must have been faced in this connection with an embarras de richesses.
I should not be surprised to learn that her visit this week to Stonyhurst caused her particular pleasure and interested her in a special degree, for Stonyhurst is one of the richest living museums in the country. Every one of its treasures. relics, pictures, books, vestments (many of them priceless) have been intimately associated with the romantic history of the school founded by Fr. Robert Parsons, S.J., in Elizabethan times.
The Stuart Pictures
The Queen was particularly interested in the collection of Stuart Pictures, now
gathered together in a special room. They arc not supposed to be particularly good pictures, but taken together they form a unique collection. They were found at the beginning of the last century in the Villa Alberoni, near Rome, when it was purchased from the Cardinal of that name and brought to Stonyhurst in 1834 Jacobites still existed in the North especially at that time, and the collection became something of a Jacobite shrine.
There are portraits of James I and James III, the latter as an infant and twice in later life, of his wife Clementine, of his daughter, the Queen of Sardinia, and of Prince Charlie Edward. In the latter Queen Mary took a special interest.
In a totally different category from the point of view of value and importance is the St. Cuthbert Gospel, a picture of which I reproduce, which the Queen examined with great care. This is an unilluminated Latin version of the gospel of St. John, found in the tomb of St. Cuthbert in 1105, and probably placed there in the seventh century. It was given to Stonyhurst (then at Liege) in 1679 by the Earl of Lichfield whose ancestors obtained it from Durham Cathedral at the dissolution.
Internal evidence proves it to be a manuscript similar to those in general use in the
fifth and sixth centuries. Scarcely less remarkable is i,s binding which is described by an authority as " the most interesting and notable of our early leather bindings."
The Emblem of Faith
TO many Catholic Londoners there was one feature in last Sunday's procession which brought a familiar note. It came early and was soon gone: the crucifix borne
at the head of the long line. For that same crucifix had been carried through London's streets on numerous occasions in the past, at processions organised by the Guild of Our Lady of Ransom. I recall this emblem as coming into sight, year after year, in proof to the waiting crowds at the Marble Arch that the marching pilgrims from Newgate to Tyburn were nearing their goal. The Ransomers' crucifix has headed also very many of the outdoor parochial processions and pilgrimages; had any tale been kept of their number, it would by now reveal a considerable devotional mileage. Since the Catholic men, on Sunday afternoon, were behind the crucifix and not in front of it, the doffed hats as the sacred Figure passed can be taken as a gratifying testimony of respect from the non-Catholic multitude.