The interesting historic past:
- The Gates of Heaven icon pendant symbolizes Paradise by a cathedral threshold.
- Lift the cross and open the gates to reveal an image of the Virgin Mary as depicted in a c.1428 painting of her in the Ghent Altarpiece.
- Even after the Reformation, miniatures such as this were used for ornament, inspiration and private devotions.
- It can be worn on its ultra-long, vintage rope chain, or removed for use.
- Pendant is 2.5” long x 1.25” wide
- Heavy 14K gold plate, ornamented in enamels and crystal.
- Signed and copyrighted Sweet Romance USA.:
Shelley’s “Gates of Heaven” devotional necklace commemorates the panel of Mary from the alterpiece with Shelley’s interpretation of architectural elements of the Cathedral of St. Bravo.
Since its creation the Ghent altarpiece has been considered one of the masterpieces of European art and a world treasure. Over the centuries the panels have come close to being destroyed during outbreaks of war and ideological controversies. They were moved and damaged by fire, while some were sold, and still others taken during wars. All the panels were finally returned to the Cathedral of Saint Bavo, Ghent, Belgium following World War I. Attributed to the work of Jan van Eyck and completed in 1432, the alterpiece later had enormous influence in the art of Levina Teerlinc, who became a portrait painter for Queen Elizabeth I and the first woman to hold such a high position in the royal court of England.