Ely Cathedral by Cecil Aldin


Ely Cathedral


Cecil Aldin

Ref GM663
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 12" x 16" (30 x 40 cm)
Price Add to basket
Cecil Aldin’s charming view of Norwich Cathedral was produced for his beautiful book, Cathedrals and Abbey Churches of Old England, which was first published by Eyre and Spottiswoode in 1924, with 16 tipped-in colour plates and 15 black-and-white illustrations, originally an edition of 375 copies numbered and signed by Aldin himself. Aldin had already established his reputation as a painter of buildings with his sketches and books dedicated to the inns and old manor houses of England. His book on the cathedrals, however, was a much greater challenge, covering as it did more conventional and better-known subject matter, and it was to become one of his boldest ventures of the 1920s. In the book, the history and architecture of each cathedral or church is succinctly described in conjunction with a view of it which Cecil Aldin has chosen to depict. The book was published, to much acclaim, and prints were issued of his sketches and drawings after its publication. Ely Cathedral was founded by St Etheldreda, who died in 679 and was the first Abbess of Ely. At an early age, in around 652, she was married to Tondberht, an ealdorman of the South Gyrwas. On his early death, in around 655, she retired to the Isle of Ely, which had been her dowry. She fled from a second marriage to Egfrith, the young king of Northumbria, and founded a double monastery at Ely in 673. Work on the present cathedral began in the 11th century under the leadership of Abbot Simeon and the monastic church became a cathedral in 1109. Much of the decoration was destroyed during Henry VIII’s reformation of the monasteries, but the cathedral was re-founded in 1541. Cecil Aldin describes the cathedral as “a splendid example of Norman and early English architecture, and much history”.