Grinling Gibbons

We went to a Christening in St. James’s, Piccadilly.   The font, like the great limewood reredos so much admired by John Evelyn, is by Grinling Gibbons – a wonderful piece of naturalistic carving in marble, looking as it is a piece of art nouveau, rather than done in 1686, the gift of an anonymous donor in the reign of the Catholic King James.   The stem consists of the Tree of Knowledge, flanked on either side by Adam and Eve, and the bowl has delicate relief carvings of Noah’s Ark on the east side and the Baptism of Christ on the north west.   Blake was baptised in the church in 1757 and Angelica Kauffman was married there in 1767:-

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