Sermon on the Mount

“Sermon on the Mount”

Enamel paints on wall

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Type: Mural artwork for St. James Church

Project location: Old Delhi

Completion Year:  2014

Size :  540 square feet

Mural Artwork: Rita John

Photo Credits: Suryan//Dang

Sermon on the Mount is a mural hand-painted on the altar, side walls and ceiling of an entire chapel of St.James Church- Delhi’s oldest church built in 1826 by Colonel James Skinner – a mercenary in the colonial English Army in India. As a theme for the new artwork layer, the very people oppressed during India’s problematic and violent colonial history where shown in detail – the common Indian people. The ‘sermon on the mount scene’ was chosen for this as it also fit in with other historical biblical artwork in the rest of the church.

The process combined modern digital layering of photographs with age-old manual oil painting techniques. The representation style is photo-realistic and, inspired by many European precedents, the illusion of a “room without a roof” has been employed. The coffers in the ceiling and arches have been accentuated in contrast in this illusion, rather than hidden, and create dynamic visual experiences as the viewer moves around the chapel. The altar arch allows the painting done within it to be viewed as if through a window with the scene of the Sermont on the Mount painted as if it is at a distance. The landscape behind the scene continues upwards and around onto the rest of the room as a dramatic sky with clouds, doves and tree branches.

 

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