“Mater Dolorosa,” Antisdel Memorial
The window, the first of three roundels, depicts the Mater Dolorosa, literally the “Mother of Sorrows,” or Mary, the mother of Christ after his death. This was a common image in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance and is probably based on a painting or sculpture from the period, perhaps from northern Europe. Only the figure’s head is visible, wither her hands folded in prayer before her. She wears a wimple and veil.
Around the central figural medallion is an ornate wreath. The inscription is executed in a wide and around this wreath, in leaded letters. It reads, around the top, “IN MEMORY OF DELPHONE ANTISDEL / 1844 1904 / HIS MOTHER SAITH”; and around the bottom, “UNTO THE SERVANTS / WHATSOEVER HE SAITH UNTO YOU DO IT / JOHN II:5”. This refers to Chapter 2 (not Chapter 11) of the gospel of John, which tells the story of Christ’s first miracle at the marriage of Canaan. Between the upper inscription and the lower are a Tudor rose on each side of the window.
A sketch for the window exists, showing the central medallion in detail, with the inscription only mocked up; apparently the design had no donor at the dime of the sketch.1
© 1995, Julie L. Sloan, used with permission
- It is in a private collection.