Jan 5, 2012

French Church Series No. 40: In Memoriam

French Church Series No. 40: In Memoriam


John Taylor Arms

(American, 1887–1953)


Gift of Carole W. and Charles B. Rosenblatt 2011.461

Catalogue raisonné: Fletcher 317

State: II/II



This etching, which commemorates the death of Arms’s mother-in-law, depicts the north portal of Chartres cathedral, “man’s supreme spiritual achievement in stone and mortar, the last word in his effort to embody in a building his own aspirations and emotions. It is the most perfect part of the most perfect church in the world,” according to the artist. The intensity of Arms’s vision is denoted by the technical brilliance and masterful feel for design, detail, and mood. The complex architecture, embellished with sculpture, is described with precision, yet the print also contrasts textures, patterns, and the play of light and shade. The image is infused with an almost otherworldly luminosity and clarity that evokes the expression of the divine that Arms found in Gothic architecture.

See also
PR - Etching
Type of artwork: 

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