Saint Paul’s, the Antwerp Dominican church, a revelation
The weekly chapel
First of all our attention is drawn by the large aluminium cross on a wooden frame behind the altar, that consists of six identical panels of the crucified Jesus. With this composition and with the poem that goes with it the versatile artist Charles Delporte (1977) wants to make clear that Christ’s death on the Cross is a continuously repeated act of love for mankind. So the background of these printed and painted aluminium sheets in red, black and gold is not cosmic without reason.
The first four stained glass windows (Marc De Groot, 1967-1970) honour Our Lady of the Rosary at the occasion of The Victory at Lepanto. To the annual procession of this feast also belong Paul, the Patron Saint and The Hallowing of the Scheldt, with a silhouette of Saint Paul’s church. Even now the brotherhood organizes the annual procession in Antwerp on the first Sunday of October.
The first of the last two stained glass windows (Herman Wauters) depicts The escutcheon of Autbertus van den Eede, bishop of Antwerp (1677-1678) with his motto “Jure Jurando” (to swear under oath), which is an allusion to the name of the donator, Jos Van den Eede [eed(e) = oath]. The descent of the Holy Spirit was made at the occasion of the bicentennial of the parish in 2003.
When the Christian story of the Stations of the Cross wants to be recognized in times of non-figurative art it needs a minimum of lines, as can be seen in these fourteen stations in Indian ink on plexiglass (Charles Delporte, 1979).
The stone statue Mary with Child (J. Williame, 1964) looks very much like a traditional “Throne of Wisdom”, which shows the Child sitting enthroned on Mary.