Luxmore, Myra by Scholes, Robert

Myra Luxmore From a web document on MOTHER AGNES MASON, C.H.F.AND HOLMHURST ST MARY Myra Luxmore in 1912 painted Christ healing the Blind Man. She also painted the Annunciation. Her family were friends of Gerard Manley Hopkins. I found her paintings in my convent, one in a junk room, another in a dusty attic. She had traveled to Palestine as it then was called and studied it intensely. Every detail of the garments comes from observing the exquisite embroidery still carried on there. Every scene is shot through with the knowledge of the topography of the Sea of Galilee, of the architecture of Cana. She had been a friend, too, of my Mother Foundress, Agnes Mason, C.H.F . Mother Agnes’ brother, Canon Arthur Mason, had given her the 1912 painting and for years it had hung in St Mary’s Chapel, built out of a stable, by Mother Agnes, in memory of St Teresa’s similar Foundation. Not only are the paintings filled with detailed knowledge of the modern Holy Land and people as they are there in our time; they also take you into Christ’s presence, granting you sight from blindness, in a shimmer of delicate colour, or into that of Gabriel appearing to Mary one Palestinian morn beneath cypress trees. They are of real flesh and blood people, of our day, touched, as Julian and Dionysius, Pseudo-Dionysius, would say, by the Spirit. They are about ourselves and of our ‘ even-Christians’. Julian, in the Short Text, resents the official ‘paintings of Crucifixes ‘, the oppressive Byzantine officialising of religious art. She penetrates beyond that clutter to Christ as Man. Dante ends his Commedia by saying that Christ appears ‘as if painted in our image’. God and Man, in that image, mirror each other, God is in us.

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