Thursday, 10 June 2010
11 Chelsea Park Gardens, SW3
Above the door of No 11 is this charming bas relief of two early religious recluses, dated 1938. St Anthony feeds the friendly pig who had originally been sent by the devil to persecute him but was won over by the saint's refusal to retaliate with violence. St Gertrude plays with her mice - apparently she was concerned for poor souls in purgatory who were often portrayed as mice (as a result, of course, St Gertrude is today the patron saint of cats).
I have been unable to discover why the stone was placed over the door, or who carved it. Was the house a Catholic retreat or something? All information gratefully received.