06 April, 2019

Portrait of Archbishop Polding

Archbishop John Bede Polding OSB
Image : The Saint Bede Studio
This portrait of Archbishop Polding, depicting him in his 70s, is the frontispiece to a rather rare historical volume, A History of the Commencement and Progress of Catholicity in Australia up until the year 1840, written by Father John Kenny, a priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

When the volume was published in 1886, certain rare engravings and photographs of pioneering clergy were reproduced in it as a photographic plates.  It would seem that the portrait of Archbishop Polding was based on a photograph taken in the later 1860s, but enhanced with some artistic detailing for the purposes of publication in 1886.

In this photograph, we can see the Episcopal stole which the Archbishop wore for several photographic sittings.  It was a very long stole, terminating in tassles and untypical of the style of the period.  Almost certainly the stole was made in Europe.  It is embroidered with medallions depicting the saints, the two visible in this portrait being Saints Peter and Paul.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.


The image has been digitally coloured and enhanced from the very faded sepia original.


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