As regular subscribers know, from time to time we show you some of our AnArt4Life blog posts from previous years. When making this review I discovered three posts I had written on art stories from Carmel-by-the- Sea, California which I am going to show you over the next three days.
I was introduced to Carmel (as it is affectionately known) by our subscriber E in London when she sent me, back in 2018, this image (below) of a painting by Cyril Owen of the Carmel Mission. The painting was in E's own collection but she has now passed it onto a friend.
Cyril Owen was a Welshman from Cardiff; a pleasure artist who was an extremely accomplished painter as you can see from his work. We love getting such wonderful personal connections to places and for our subscribers to have known the artist.
I will take the opportunity to pass on a little information about the Carmel Mission that Cyril Owen has so beautifully captured in his painting.
The Basilica of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission (Carmel Mission) was founded by Fr. Junipero Serra in 1770, making it the second of the 21 Californian missions. Though the Mission was founded in Monterey, it was quickly decided that Carmel-by-the-Sea was a more appropriate location for its purpose. The fledgling establishment was moved to the Rio Road site in 1771 and the Carmel Mission was dedicated in 1797. Fr. Serra was buried within its grounds.1
It is considered to be one of the most authentically restored Roman Catholic mission churches in California. The Jo Mora Chapel Gallery has ever-changing art exhibits, but its centerpiece is the Serra Memorial Cenotaph sculpted in 1924 by Jo Mora in travertine marble and bronze.
The cenotaph consists of an empty sarcophagus carved from locally quarried travertine marble with bas-relief panels. A life-size bronze sculpture of Serra lies atop the monument, his bare feet resting on a grizzly bear. Three additional life-size bronze sculptures by Mora adorn it: Fr. Juan Crespí, who predeceased Serra, stands at the head, praying over him, as if to welcome him into Heaven. Kneeling at Serra's feet are Fr. Fermin Lasuen, who succeeded Serra as the president of the missions of Baja and Alta California; and Fr. Julian Lopez, a friar at the Carmel Mission. 2
Within Carmel Mission, as depicted above by Cyril Owen, are beautiful gardens.
For those of you who are interested you can watch the story of the Carmel Mission on this Youtube video.
Tomorrow we are going to learn about the Art Colony that was established in Carmel-by-the-Sea in the early 1900s and meet one of the early artists, Anne Milly Bremer.