Painting the Walls in Medieval Churches

St Christopher from Slapton, Northants

We Americans often earlier church interiors to have been bare, unadorned wood or stone. That's part of our Puritain heritage, and also partly fed by the fact that medieval cathedrals today are usually bare stone. But the medieval church would have been brightly colored - polychromed - and the walls were often decorated with elaborate paintings of religious scenes. The Painted Church website (an older site full of useful material) collects, by topic, images of most of the extant wall paintings in medieval England. There aren't that many, and they are often in rough shape, thanks to the Reformation and the ministrations of time.
Recently, one such series of beautiful wall paintings was uncovered in a small parish church in Wales. Because it had been covered with plaster for 500 years, the paintings are remarkably bright and well preserved. You can read about the discovery and watch a video of the recovery process and uncovered paintings, thanks to the BBC.

Tagged: