Diocesan painting at the National Gallery

Three times each year, the team from the Centre for Catholic Formation spend a day together in prayer and study away from the computers and telephones at the CCF. Visits to the Tyburn Nuns, Minster Abbey and Charterhouse – among other places – have provided space for a renewed consideration of our work and mission as the diocesan agency for adult formation. The autumn term 2018 study day took place at the National Gallery where we were treated to a talk on a new acquisition, a painting by Cornelius Engebrechtsz on loan from the Archdiocese of Southwark. It truly is an extraordinarily vibrant painting but no less suited for meditation on the pain felt by the death of Jesus. We’d heartily encourage a trip to see it.

The Engebrechtsz, entitled ‘The Lamentation with Donors and Saints’ is on loan from the Archdiocese of Southwark for a period of 3 years. This painting was acquired by the 15th Duke of Norfolk in 1902 and passed on, by descent, to the 16th Duke of Norfolk, who gifted the painting in 1948 to the collection of the Office of the Archbishop of Southwark. The painting consists of oil on panel and it has been re-framed by the Gallery in a manner which reflects the period in which it was painted (circa 1510-1515).

The Gallery Director, Gabriele Finaldi, said, 'I am delighted we can show Engebrechtsz's beautiful Lamentation to the public in the context of our Netherlandish pictures here at the Gallery. He is a rare artist in British collections and this is a superb example of his work as demonstrated by the delicate execution, the elaborate draperies, the attractive landscape and the exquisitely expressed emotions of the figures surrounding the dead Christ'.

Lamentation with Donors and Saints - Engebrechtsz.jpg
L-R: Sebastian Morello (SW-London Adviser at the CCF), Gabriele Finaldi (Director of the National Gallery), Dr Mark Nash (Director of the CCF), Susan Foister (Deputy Director), Pierpaolo Finaldi (Formation Adviser for SE-London at the CCF) Theo Howard (Evangelization Coordinator) and Graham Wallis (Centre Administrator) meet at a CCF Staff Study Day led by at the National Gallery. The picture in the background is the 'Lamentation with Donors and Saints' by Cornelius Engebrechtsz, currently on loan from the Archdiocese of Southwark

L-R: Sebastian Morello (SW-London Adviser at the CCF), Gabriele Finaldi (Director of the National Gallery), Dr Mark Nash (Director of the CCF), Susan Foister (Deputy Director), Pierpaolo Finaldi (Formation Adviser for SE-London at the CCF) Theo Howard (Evangelization Coordinator) and Graham Wallis (Centre Administrator) meet at a CCF Staff Study Day led by at the National Gallery. The picture in the background is the 'Lamentation with Donors and Saints' by Cornelius Engebrechtsz, currently on loan from the Archdiocese of Southwark

In addition to training for catechists, readers and extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, the staff at the CCF also lay on various talks and courses including a monthly series on art and faith. This later series, which takes place typically on the fourth Thursday of each month is streamed live on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ccfsouthwark). All are welcome to the CCF for the next talk in this well-received series: Pierpaolo Finaldi on Mozart (28 March 2019). The talks already delivered by Fr Lawrence Lew OP on photography (31 January 2019) and Dr Victoria Seed on Literature and the Catholic Imagination (28 February 2019) are available on the CCF YouTube channel.

Elements of this post are taken from an article which appeared on the Archdiocese of Southwark website: www.rcsouthwark.co.uk