Cheshire West and Chester Council’s cabinet member for communities and wellbeing councillor Louise Gittins said: “Marcus Usherwood painted The Millennial Temple in 2015 for a solo exhibition at the Grosvenor Museum.
“It was one of the most remarkable pictures in that show, which received an excellent public response. This extraordinary visionary painting brings an exciting new dimension to the collection and I am very grateful to Marcus for so generously donating it to the museum.”
Marcus Usherwood said: “In the year 573 BC the prophet Ezekiel had a vision of a temple in Israel, which he described in great detail with many precise dimensions (Ezekiel, chapters 40-48). The temple measured about 875 feet square and sat in the middle of a large consecrated area located to the north of Jerusalem. I believe this temple will be built during the Millennium – the thousand year reign of Christ on earth after his second coming.
“In my painting I have followed Ezekiel’s description of this temple, which includes a river issuing from beneath the southern wall, and have set it in the land of Israel as it appears today.
“A pillar of fire rises from the sacrifices offered at the altar in the inner court: this is a memorial of the Old Testament priesthood, whose animal sacrifices were ineffectual for the washing away of sin, which only Christ’s redeeming sacrifice on the cross could achieve.
“Saints from the Old Testament epoch and from the Christian era, and all those raised from the dead at the second coming of Christ, will receive new resurrection bodies - the figures in the foreground are my attempt to visualise such bodies.”
The Grosvenor Museum is open Monday–Saturday 10.30am-5pm and Sunday 1-4pm, admission free, donations welcome.