Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Friary Court, Crutched Friars EC3

The Crutched Friars did not hobble about on crutches: they were members of the House of the Holy Cross, and the Latin for cross is crux. They held a staff with a cross and wore a cross on their habit.
The site of their London house is now occupied by one of those monster office blocks that reduces the street to a barren, windblown wilderness. The only redeeming feature is this lovely sculpture by Michael Black, created in 1984.
The two figures are based on Narziss and Goldmund, the abbot and artist from Hermann Hesse's novel.
The habits are carved from the same Swedish red granite used to face the building: the faces, hands and feet are grey Bardiglio marble. One holds a staff, the other a scrip, both bronze. Pevsner calls them 'eerily static'.

1 comment:

London Remembers said...

Unusually we actually like this post-modern building. Yes, it's too large, but its design and materials are high quality and this sculpture is a fine feature. We like the sense of the monks going past the bollard and pausing on their way up the steps just before entering the building. Examining it closely we found an (illegible) inscription on the underneath of the scroll held by the monk on the left and a real key hidden under the robes of the monk on the right.