40 x 25.5 in.
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York Minster (Britain) was begun in about 1225 and completed in 1472 and is renowned for the largest expanse of medieval glass in the world. While in York, my impression of the cathedral is of an enormous magnet drawing visitors to stand spellbound below its soaring limestone towers, its riot of intricately carved grotesques and statuary, and immense stained glass windows. I had almost finished the painting when Notre Dame burned this April and as parallels were being drawn to York Minster. It was struck by lightning in 1984 and the ensuing fire burned the south transept. The same questions about rebuilding were raised at that time but the Minster was indeed rebuilt in four years which lends confidence in the rebuilding of Notre Dame. The Archbishops of York and Canterbury called for cathedrals and churches around the U.K. to toll their bells in solidarity with Notre Dame. The great west window or "Heart of Yorkshire" from 1338 features a heart shape in its limestone tracery, seen here reflecting the sun. The cast iron fence and lamp post train the eye upwards providing a foreground and reference for perspective and scale. Dark clouds symbolize the Minster's tumultuous 850 year history of war and fire while the warm late afternoon sun suggests hope and defiance, endurance and possibility.