Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Christ the King

Saint James the Greater Roman Catholic Church, in Saint Louis (Dogtown neighborhood), Missouri, USA - tapestry of Christ the King

Tapestry of Christ the King, located behind the high altar at Saint James the Greater Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri.


  1. Ooh nice! I've been wanting to take a picture of that painting for some time now, but never had the time myself to do so. It could use a restoration - it's quite a bit faded right now :-(

  2. I remember that it appeared to be tapestry, and some online histories of the church say likewise. It came from Ireland, as did the worm-eaten chestnut wood in the rest of the sanctuary. Organic dyes used in old fabric would more likely fade compared to paint.

  3. Photoshop should do wonders for the image. But then it would not be so sabi.

    Mark, do you know the identities of any of the figures around the periphery?

  4. Irene: Actually, all of my photos are Photoshopped. I typically correct the images to remove lens and sensor defects, adjust for the color and intensity of the lighting, and to correct for camera tilt and sloppy camera work. I don't do glamour retouches, so any defect in the object itself is recorded and shown, also I don't use Photoshop special effects. I don't add anything that wasn't in the original image.

    I also do some psychological corrections in Photoshop: a person actually viewing a scene will perceive edges more than the camera will actually record, and the eye sees a wider range of color and intensity than the camera can record. Also, a person will remember seeing color differences that the camera does not. These I correct for. I also attempt to make each photo look good in black and white as the foundation for a good color image.

    But then I also typically process images to appear as if they were brightly lit by neutral lighting, unless I want to preserve a particular aesthetic effect.

    Sabi - Japanese word for rust? There is the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-sabi, which emphasizes transience, imperfection, and nature. Although rooted in syncretic Buddhist religion, there are plenty of parallels in western thought, especially considering the transience of our life and world. Italians would tell us that there is beauty in patina.

    The figures around Christ are no doubt angels. The two other panels of the tapestry, not shown here, include saints and even a shadowy representation of the artist himself.

  5. Hi Mark, would you sell a high-res version of this image for printing (or print it for me)? I would love to frame it in my home.

  6. Nathaniel, you can purchase a copy of the photo here: