A painting of the Lady Chapel


On St Jude's Day - 28 October - we celebrate the centenary of the dedication of the Lady Chapel.

The church possesses a painting of the chapel by the Belgian artist Karel Verschaeren. Verschaeren was born in Mechelen in 1881. He fled to England at the beginning of the First World War (August 1914), and lived and worked as an artist and picture restorer in the West Hampstead area. He then moved to the United States where he married in May 1916 and, after achieving some success, died in 1928. Our painting can therefore be dated fairly precisely to 1915/early 1916. It shows how the chapel looked before the introduction of Walter Starmer's murals in 1920.

St Jude's also has another painting by Karel (of the high altar), and one of the nave by his brother Barth Verschaeren (1888-1946) who travelled with him to England and America, before returning to Belgium in 1921 to become one of the best known Flemish artists of the inter-war period.

At this time the Lady Chapel was decorated with a collection of framed paintings. The one above the altar appears to be the copy of Murillo's Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (1678) given by the first Vicar, the Reverend Basil Bourchier, in March 1913. The original is in the Prado, Madrid.



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