Originally posted on The Creekside Hermit:

Not the poet but my friend of the same name.

It felt like the first day of spring in Happy Valley as we walked up the hill to the church in the village of Chaldon.  There were snowdrops and tiny Siberian irises growing in the shelter of the stone walls.

I simply was not expecting what we found in the church.  The painting on the wall literally sent shivers down my spine.  Not because of its content (Judgement Day – though perhaps it should) but because of its sheer, shocking brilliance and the immediacy of its impact after almost a thousand years.

First of all you are struck by the the background colour which is a stunning, deep Venetian-red terracotta.   Where did it come from?  Practically in the same instant, the vividness of the drawing hits you.  The itinerant artist, apparently a monk, must surely have seen Greek red-figure…

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