Saturday, April 10, 2021

Peace Within The Chapel

One of the jewels of the National Gallery is a room. The Rideau Chapel adjoins the garden courtyard. The Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart dated to 1887-88, and was torn down in the 1970s. The chapel was preserved and installed here. Its Tudor style fan vaulted ceiling is unique in North America, and the altar is from the chapel. Religious statues adorn the room, saints and angels. Most of the time when I visit, speakers are set up around the room. The Forty Part Motet is a sound sculpture by Janet Cardiff, with singers performing a reworked version of a 16th century composition by the English composer Thomas Tallis. One can stand near one speaker and hear the voice of a single singer distinctly, or stand in the middle of the room and feel wrapped up in the work as a whole.

Check out here for a video about the Gallery's chapel and the music, and here for a video commentary by Janet Cardiff herself about the work, which has homes in other parts of the world as well as here. The Chapel is very peaceful, and the Motet feels entirely fitting for this space.


  1. I like the beautiful design of the ceiling of the chapel.

  2. What a ceiling! Wonderful chapel.

  3. Hello,
    What a beautiful chapel. The fan vaulted ceiling is gorgeous. Have a happy weekend!

  4. we need some peace out in the world.

  5. @Nancy: it is quite a space.

    @Rosemary: so do I.

    @Karl: that it is.

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @Iris: I think so.

    @Tom: we do.

  6. The ceiling alone is reason enough to visit.

  7. Wow! Awesome chapel and music must be divine to hear there ~ Happy Weekend to you ~ Xo

    Living moment by moment,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  8. So, the choir is back again. Maybe it has been for a long time now.

  9. I love that chapel. It really is beautiful.

  10. Like many churches, and religious music, this space shows a design that is meant to transport one to a place of inspiration. I love seeing it!

  11. Thank goodness they had sense enough to save that rare gem. You have to wonder how grand the rest of the building must have been. Thank you for the photographs of the chapel. Tweeted.

  12. @Marie: it is.

    @Magiceye: indeed.

    @Carol: definitely.

    @Anvilcloud: more often than not when I visit, the Motet is playing.

    @Jennifer: very much so.

    @Jan: I agree.

    @RedPat: it is.

    @Red: quite so.

    @Catarina: definitely.

    @Sharon: I think so too.

    @Barbara: I love visiting.

    @Revrunner: it really was.

    @Bill: very much so.

    @Mari: you're welcome.

  13. I do like the ceiling patterns and architecture, it's almost like a bit of Art Nouveau.

  14. The woodwork in the church is amazing.

  15. That ceiling is something else. WOW.

  16. I'm glad the chapel was saved as it is beautiful, especially the ceiling:)

  17. Peaceful and elegant and the artwork is stunning. I could ponder much here.

  18. Of all the places you have shared in your wonderful city, if I were to pick only one place to visit it would be this chapel in the gallery. It's exquisite.

  19. Wow. Never heard of a motet. Sounds fascinating and inspiring. So interesting to learn about something different. Thanks William.

  20. @Amy: indeed.

    @Happyone: that it is.

    @Janey: I agree.

    @Gemel: definitely.

    @Joanne: I think so.

    @Maywyn: indeed.

  21. @Rosie: it's a treasure.

    @Karen: I have done so.

    @Cloudia: it certainly does.

    @Jeanie: very much so.

    @Jan: that it is.

    @Eve: you're welcome.