Marian painting to adorn St Patrick’s Cathedral

28/10/2014

Catholic Outlook October 2014: Henry Wingate
Henry Wingate has been chosen to create the Marian painting in St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Originally published in Catholic Outlook October 2014

By Kylie Johnson

Award-winning American artist Henry Wingate has been chosen to create the Marian painting in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta.

This feature work be a triptych in the classical style and will hang over the entrance to the main body of the Cathedral.

It is designed to enhance the flow from the traditional style of the Cathedral’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel through to the modern section. Many of our parishioners will recall the old Cathedral was destroyed by a fire in 1996.

While the finer details of the triptych painting are yet to be settled, all three panels will feature the Virgin Mary.

In the left-hand panel, Our Lady is shown with the infant Jesus and St John the Baptist. Australian trees and flowers will be in the background.

The larger centre panel may feature Our Lady in Heaven as Protectress. She will be accompanied by a number of saints, possibly including our diocesan patron, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, St Patrick, St Francis, St Lorenzo Ruiz, St Thomas Aquinas and St Charbel.

The right-hand panel will be sombre in tone, with Our Lady holding the lifeless body of Jesus in her arms.

Catholic Outlook October 2014: Henry Wingate
Artist Henry Wingate: “Working from life is essential to get a realistic, three dimensional, true-to-life look in the painting.”

Mr Wingate has created three prototypes for the painting from his studio in Virginia. A final decision will be made shortly.

He says once the decision has been made, he will start to create the painting in his studio.

He says will use real life models to ensure the painting is perfect.

“Working from life is essential to get a realistic, three dimensional, true-to-life look in the painting … a big part of this will be finding good models to fit the parts,” he said. “I do have an excellent model for Our Lady and Jesus as an adult. I am currently looking for the other models and still working on the costumes.”

Mr Wingate says he is really enjoying researching the project and has spent time considering the habit of St Mary MacKillop and the vestments of St Patrick.

Henry Wingate is a painter in the traditional style of the Old Masters.

He was born in Washington DC and says he’s had a keen interest in art since he was six years old.

Despite this, he followed the dream of many Top Gun fans of the time and trained as a US fighter pilot at the Naval Academy in Pensacola Florida. He flew F14 Tomcat fighter planes at the Oceana Naval Air Station and also on the USS Kennedy.

He eventually left the Navy and trained to become an artist in Florence and back home in the US at the Paul Ingbretson Studio.

At the Studio, he worked with some of the great ‘Boston School’ artists like Joseph DeCamp and William Paxton. The Boston School’s mission is to encourage traditional art training, which its members believe had been abandoned during the rise of ‘modern art’.

Mr Wingate says he is inspired by many artists including Raphael and Titian from the Renaissance period; Velazquez and Van Dyck from the Baroque Period and John Singer Sargent; Joseph DeCamp and Dennis Bunker from the 19th Century.

His interest in Renaissance art helped him gain an Elizabeth Greenshields Grant to further his studies. He studied in Rome and also in the mountains of northern Tuscany.

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