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Church of the Assumption

Westport, CT

Altarpiece

Assumption of Mary; Angels, 1940

Commissioned by: Oliver ReganMedium: oil and gilt on wood panelExecuted by: Hildreth MeièreAdditional fabricators: Louis Ross, gilding

Assumption of Mary; Angels

Assumption of Mary; Angels

Left angel

Left angel

The Assumption

The Assumption

Right angel

Right angel

Hildreth Meière’s rendering of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on wood panel recalls several earlier works. As she had in her early commission at St. Martin’s Church in Providence, she incorporated the grain of the wood panel into her design.

The design of the Two Angels on the side panels recalls the Two Angels Meière painted on the remembrance shrine for St. Thomas Church in Manhattan. Variations of these angels also appear on the portable triptychs commissioned by the Citizens Commission for the Army and Navy that Meière painted during World War II.

Although the faces of Meière’s Two Angels in Westport are contemporary, the angels’ vestments resemble late medieval liturgical garments, just as their poses recall late medieval tomb sculptures. Meière then reinterpreted the medieval prototypes in a contemporary style. The wings of Meière’s Westport angels are flatter and more expansive than those of her angels for St. Thomas and for Triptychs 63 and 425:

Left angel from St. Thomas remembrance shrine

Left angel from St. Thomas remembrance shrine

Left angel from Triptych 63

Left angel from Triptych 63

Left angel from Triptych 425

Left angel from Triptych 425

Left angel from Church of the Assumption

Left angel from Church of the Assumption

The Church of the Assumption is one of three churches in Connecticut that Oliver Regan commissioned Meière to decorate. She also designed Stations of the Cross for both St. Anthony of Padua in Litchfield and St. Joseph’s Church in Canaan. In all three instances, the gilding was done by Louis Ross.

Additional Resources

Commission Location

Emblem

Church of the Assumption
98 Riverside Avenue
Westport, CT 06880

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