Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen

Posted on 05/04/2013


Photo taken on June 20, 2012



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street art
Henry John Heinz
Heinz Memorial Chapel
Gothic church
Oakland neighborhood
Forbes Avenue
University of Pittsburgh
Pitt
Pittsburgh
Oakland
Gothic
United States
Pennsylvania
USA
tree of life
church
tympanum


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Tympanum – Heinz Memorial Chapel, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tympanum – Heinz Memorial Chapel, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The tympanum, or recessed arch over the main portal, reflects both the medieval craft of pictorial instruction and the interest of Henry Heinz in the spiritual teachings of his church through his own Sunday school experiences, thus setting the theme for the entire Chapel.

The main figure is that of the boy Jesus, relating His youthful revelation to the doctors in the Temple (Luke 2:46-57) . He holds a book inscribed with the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, Alpha and Omega, between which all human thought is contained.

To the left of the figure of Jesus is the small figure of Moses with the Tables of Law. Beneath Moses, entwined within the branches of a Tree of Life design, are medallions with portraits of the Prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, the Patriarchs Abraham and Jacob, the Priests Aaron and Melchezedech, and King David .

On the right of the figure of Jesus is the small figure of St. Luke, beneath which are again medallions within a Tree of Life. These represent St. Luke’s and Jesus’ spiritual progeny: in charity, St. Francis of Assisi; in imagination, Leonardo da Vinci ; in understanding, Newton; in healing, Pasteur; in eloquence, Wordsworth; in leadership, Lincoln; in thought, Emerson.

Outside, the insignia of Europe’s twelve oldest universities are carved on shields on the gables. Below that on the balustrade parapets are college and universities founded in the United States before 1820. The spandrels beneath show seals of those founded after 1820 and the seals of women’s colleges are on the buttresses.

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