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AFRREV IJAH: An International Journal of Arts and Humanities

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Christendom’s Narratives and the Stained Glass Designs of Yusuf Cameron Adebayo Grillo

P. Nelson Graves

Abstract


Stained glass paintings, the most distinctive accessory in the interior repertoire of Christian ecclesiastic spaces, is the subject matter of this study. This paper attempts a recast of Christendom’s narratives in the stained glass designs of Yusuf Cameron Adebayo Grillo as the distinctive overarching mechanism of the evangelisation paradigm of the post Vatican II Church. It, therefore, draws attention to the delimitation of time frames in the history of the art form. Using the Grillo genre as the cipher that under girds the new evangelisation, the study narrates a new sense of time in the story of the development and growth of stained glass in the constellation of Church art. Yusuf Grillo’s images of the post Vatican II Church, albeit Nigerian independence era, with its unique modern representation imageries is the kernel of this study. For in spite of their peculiar imageries, they recite the same Bible and Christos story that the earlier European ones served. Utilising the adage “God lies in the details”, the iconographical details in the new images crafted by Grillo are employed as a distinctive typology that defines the style of the new evangelisation. This study presents a story of the emergence of a new art form. It, however, points to a set of new imageries that reflect the place of Christ as a central magnet that holds the entire Bible and Christos story together. That story-line emphasises the liturgical transmission of a new experience of time. It is a theological history in which the past, present and future make contact in the presence of the living Christ.

Key Words: ecclesiastic, evangelization, cipher; representation, iconographic, central
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