In the same order as the saints in the altarpiece, St. Peter on the left, St. Martin in the center, and St. James on the right, the kneeler features three shields, one for each saint, in the same order.
Because pilgrims traveled first to Rome to venerate St. Peter, then to Tours for St. Martin, and finally to Santiago de Compostela for St. James, the theme of pilgrimage is strong, hence the shells in the four corners. (The medieval pilgrims would often take a shell home as a remembrance of their pilgrimage, and is also a metaphor—the grooves in the shell lead to a single point – the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela).
The shape of the shields was inspired by the quatrefoil shape visible in the wood carvings of the church. Each shield contain many symbols for each saint. The palette will match the altarpiece — predominantly golds, blues, charcoal gray, and touches of pomegranate red.
Because the kneeler is being created especially for St. Martin’s Church, and he is the patron saint of France, more fleur-de-lys are placed between and outside the shields.
The kneeler will rarely be knelt on, giving the opportunity to use silk fiber. It was my intention that the kneeler look as though it has been a faithful companion to the altarpiece for the last five hundred years.