Anglican Cathedral, Zanzibar

Anglican Cathedral, Zanzibar

Acrylic on canvas,

28 x 20 inches

2020

 

The Anglican Cathedral known as Christ Church in Zanzibar is a truly important historical building.  It is a fine example of early Christian architecture in East Africa.  It was built between 1873-1879 out of coral stone which is found abundantly in the area. 

 

The painting shows the side of the cathedral where a concrete roof shaped in an unusual barrel vault incorporates perpendicular Gothic as well as Islamic details.  This mixture of styles and shapes interested me. 

 

The main designer was Edward Steere, the third Anglican Bishop of Zanzibar.  The church is in the center of the old town, known as Mikunazini Road, and is located where the biggest slave market of Zanzibar used to be.  In fact, the cathedral celebrates the end of slavery, and the altar inside the cathedral is said to be in the exact place where the whipping post used to be.  It is indeed an extremely important place to visit.

 

I loved the side stairs that wind up close to the lower level pointed arches.  There is so much geometry into this architecture that I had to analyze it, draw it and paint it.  I plan to paint it again from a different angle, because I am fascinated by its structure.  Once again, the colors are not faithful: they are purely my interpretation.

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