Wednesday, April 3, 2013

St. Paul's Within the Walls, Rome

Also known as the American Church in Rome, this Episcopal church was built 1872-76 by G.E. Street. The facade (pictured before recent renovations) contains several mosaics designed by George Breck.

However, it was for the interior that Salviati's Compagnia di Venezia-Murano made several mosaics based on the designs of Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones. The first arch before the apse contains a sparse, desert scene of the Annunciation.

The second arch - located above the choir - is the Tree of Forgiveness (or Life), which was painted in 1892 and transferred to mosaics a year later.

The rear wall depicts Christ in Glory with a crowd of angels looking down from the dome, while five groups of historically important individuals related to Christendom look upwards. Preparations on this section of the mosaic was started in July 1881.

The work was managed by a Signor Castellani who represented the mosaic manufacturer.

St. Paul's Within the Walls  History and Art & Architecture
Bell, Malcolm. Sir Edward Burne-Jones.  London: George Bell and Sons, 1901. 41-42.
The British Architect. Vol 50. London: July 28, 1898. 87.
Dreams on Paper
Barr, Sheldon. Venetian Glass Mosaics: 1860-1917. London: Antique Collectors' Club, 2008.
Mathias, Anita. Dreaming Beneath the Spires. On-line Blog: November 25, 2012.
Burne-Jones, Lady Georgiana and Edward. Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones. London: MacMillan, 1906. 114.

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