Monday, February 18, 2013

Chapel of the Holy Cross

I recently took a trip to Arizona and visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, which was commissioned by artist Marguerite Staude (1899–1988).  I thought I’d share some of the artwork that can be found at the chapel, especially since there isn’t much information about it online.

St. Francis of Assisi by Bruno Groth

A bronze sculpture of St. Francis of Assisi by Bruno Groth (1905–1992) can be found along the path to the chapel.

Holy Spirit/Dove of Peace Designed by Marguerite Staude

This mosaic, designed by Staude, is located just outside the entrance of the chapel.  Lots of contextual iconography here:

The dove symbolizes both the Holy Spirit, with its flaming tail and wings depicted with red tiles, as well as the Dove of Peace, with the olive branch in its beak.  The receding of the Great Flood is suggested by the colors of the tiles in the negative space:  blue (water) and green (land).  The curved swath of deeper blue tiles bisecting the mosaic suggests water more forcefully, referring to the sacrament of baptism.  The juxtaposition of Great Flood and baptism iconography alludes to the deluge prefiguring the sacrament.  One could also argue that the mosaic more broadly represents the Old and New Testaments.

Madonna and Child by Marguerite Staude

To the right of the entrance is Staude’s Madonna and Child sculpture.

St. Michael the Archangel

To the left of the entrance is a 15th century Mexican sculpture of St. Michael the Archangel.  Notice the heads of the damned under his feet.

Architectural Detail

On my way out of the chapel, I noticed this lovely architectural detail.

All photos © 2013 Susan M. Lohse.  All rights reserved.

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