I just stumbled across Pietro Antonio Novelli’s engravings on the Seven Sacraments, completed in 1779. They give a fascinating view of ecclesiastical life in the late 18th century – Novelli would have moved to Rome from Venice about this time, so it’s unclear which part of Italy these were drawn from. Either way, they’re worth a look through. All are taken from Wikimedia Commons.
Baptism. Note the prominent Angel and Devil.
Confirmation. Strong and sound emphasis placed upon the role of the Holy Ghost.
The Eucharist. The arrangement of the Altar and rail suggests that this is a low mass. Very odd that the Priest has no chasuble, but surplice and stole.
Penance. Once again, we see the Angel-Devil dichotomy. Lovely open confessional, too.
Holy Orders. It is entirely unclear to me where the Altar is supposed to be in this image. Nevertheless, the Bishop is wearing a wig, which answers a question of Fr. Hunwicke’s.
Holy Matrimony. A fairly straightforward scene with lovely, somewhat spare Neoclassical church architecture in the background.
Unction. The attendance of two servers is a custom long since out of fashion. One rather wonders when their presence was removed from the rubrics.
The nave of new St. Mary’s, Aiken. Photo by yours truly.
Over at Liturgical Arts Journal, Shawn Tribe has written a wonderful piece on St. Mary, Help of Christians, in Aiken, SC. He was kind enough to use some of my own photography of the parish. The new church is an excellent example of Neo-Baroque architecture in the American South. I am glad that Mr. Tribe has also devoted some attention to the gorgeous Neo-Classical stations by Leonard Porter. Do check it out!
I made this, and I’m Baroque.