Saturday Sculpture

Mary Magdalene with the Risen Christ by David Wynne (1967)

This sculpture by David Wynne stands outside the entrance to St. Dunstan’s Chapel in Ely Cathedral and depicts the moment when Mary Magdalene recognizes Christ after he has risen from his tomb. Next to it is a plaque, which reads: “This striking sculpture by David Wynne captures the moment when a distraught Mary recognises Jesus on the morning of his resurrection. The figures are so thin it is as though everything has been stripped from them except the core of their being.

8 thoughts on “Saturday Sculpture

  1. It’s very beautiful, hon! I wouldn’t have instantly recognised the situation and was about to make a facetious remark about him putting a little weight on, so I’m glad I read the explanation. And, of course, it’s very obvious once you know 🙂 🙂

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  2. The figures remind me of fanciful drawings of “aliens”, supposed beings from other planets. Artists have a right to their vision of things but I would log this as “interesting” and leave it at that.

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    1. I was surprised to find this in the cathedral as it looked so out of place there. I believe it caused a few upsets in the parish as well – not surprising. As for what it is supposed to be, Mary Magdalene and the Risen Christ, well, I’d be a long time looking at it before I’d come up with that! Taken out of this context however, I think it is rather lovely.

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  3. I have seen a number of “modern” sculptures in churches so it seems as though they are trying to keep up with the times, as it were. It is probably also the case that at least some of the artwork of ages past, which seem quite “normal” to us, would have caused controversy in their day as being “revolutionary”. Religious art is particularly apt to raise people’s hackles when it contravenes their deeply held personal beliefs.

    Not being religious, I judge all art on the basis of whether I find it aesthetically appealing and whether it says someting worthwhile to me (not necessarily something that can be put into words). All this sculpture says to me it “Hail, I come from the planet Zarg.”

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  4. Like everything in life, art, music, film, books and theatre, has to appeal to me. Critics are necessary to help guide one towards what one might want to see, hear or read, otherwise we could waste a lot of time just looking for something appealing. But the final judgment rests with us.

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  5. I should also add that I was grateful for the explanation as to what the sculpture represented because I would never have guessed!

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