Further reading and research

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Further reading and research

This online catalogue of the mosaics of St Paul’s reflects research as of November 2015. It complements a concise guidebook, published by Scala, which is available from the Cathedral Shop.

Since the Richmond mosaics were revealed in 1896, they and the other mosaics of St Paul’s Cathedral have been the subject of many publications, be it in guidebooks, topical essays or critical appraisals, as well as art historical research. The last aspect, in particular, has to be seen in the context of research on Victorian mosaics in general. Even though, they were often designed by some of the most revered painters of the period, their perceived status as decorative arts has hindered their understanding in the context of the wider oeuvre of the respective artists. Archive material relating to the various mosaics is located in St Paul’s Cathedral itself, the Metropolitan Archive and the Museum of London. In addition, depending on the research focus, other archives in Great Britain (Archive of Art and Design) and Italy (Venice, Pordenone) hold relevant material.

Forrest Browne’s Account of 1896 (a revised version of his 1894 account) remains the best source for understanding the original scope and theological thinking behind Richmond’s scheme. The decoration of St Paul’s caused many a heated debate and a seemingly endless stream of letters and articles in the press, as well as scholarly debates mainly held by RIBA. It was followed by several other guides, including the 1946 guide authored by Richmond’s son.

While Teresa Sladen’s article in the 2006 volume on St Paul’s Cathedral sums up the evolution of decoration projects during the nineteenth-century and serves as key source for related information given here, Simon Reynold’s biography of William Blake Richmond provides an insight into the artist’s struggle to complete the work against the background at times. The last printed survey of the output of Salviati’s company (and its many incarnations) by xx dates from 1986. Since then, American scholar and blogger Rita Kovach has started a very readable and thorough web atlas, The Salviati Architectural Database, based on her thesis on The Anglo-Catholic Revival’s contribution to the Resurgence of the Venetian Enamel Mosaic Industry.

The magazine ANDAMENTO, published annually by the British Association of Modern Mosaicists has become a forum for the discussion of Victorian mosaics, including Salviati and Opus Criminale in recent year. Related areas of art and architectural history are also frequently discussed in the magazine of the Victorian Society. All these add to the accessibility and appreciation of mosaics as an extremely popular art form from the mid nineteenth-century onwards. At the time of writing a scholarly, yet accessible overview of Victorian mosaics against the backdrop of both fine and decorative arts, in contrast is still to be written.

Printed sources


Key texts on St Paul’s



A Victorian Eye. Sir William Blake Richmond and his circle. Exhibition London: The Maas Gallery, 2013.

Atchinson, George, RIBA Proceedings 1884-85. No. 4. 4 December 1884

pp. 38-39.

Barasch, Moshe, The Language of Art. Studies in Interpretation, 2004.

Barbagallo, Salvatore O.F.M., Iconografia liturgica del Pantokrator, Analecta Liturgica, vol. 22 (Studia Anselmiana, vol. 122), Rome 1996.

Barr, Sheldon, Venetian Glass Mosaics 1860-1917, Woodbridge/Suffolk: The Antique Collectors’ Club Ltd, 2008.

Browne, Forrest, An Account of the recent Decoration of St Paul’s (1891-1896).Prepared (by request) by the Bishop of Stepney, Canon and Treasurer of St Paul’s. London: C. J. Clay and Sons, Cambridge University Press Warehouse, Ave Maria Lane. 1896.

Burman, Peter, “Decoration, Furnishings and Art since 1900”, in: Keene, Derek with Arthur Burns and Andrew Saint (eds), St Paul’s. The Cathedral Church of London. 604-2004. New Haven-London: Yale University Press, 2004, pp. 258-268.

Büttner, FrankPeter Cornelius. Fresken und Freskenprojekte, vol. 2, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1999.

Cavendish Bentinck, George, A Letter to the very Rev. The Dean of St. Paul’s, Chairman of the executive committee. London: Harrison and sons, 1874.

Cecchetti-Zanetti-Sanfermo (eds). Monografia della Vetraria veneziana e muranese, Venice, 1874.

Christian, John (ed.), The last Romantics. The Romantic Tradition in British Art. Burne-Jones to Stanley Spencer, London: Lund Humphries in association with Barbican Art Gallery, 1989.

Cormack, Robin, Byzantine Art, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Dittelbach, Thomas, Rex Imago Christi. Der Dom von Monreale. Bildsprachen und Zeremoniell in Mosaikkunst und Architektur, Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2003.

Elsner, Jas, “Double Identity: Orpheus as David. Orpheus as Christ”, in: Biblical Archaeological Review, March/April 2009.

Enthoven, E. J. (ed.), Life and works of Sir Christopher Wren. From the Parentalia or Memoirs by his son Christopher, London: Macmillan, 1903.

Hamlett, Lydia, „The Sacristy of San Marco, Venice: Form and Function illuminated“, in: Art History, vol. 32, no. 3, June 2009, pp. 458-484.

Holiday, Henry, Stained Glass as an Art, London: Macmillan and Co., 1896.

Huskinson, Janet, “Some Pagan Mythological Figures and their Significance in Early Christian Art”, in: Papers of the British School at Rome, vol. 42, 1975, pp. 68-97.

Keene, Derek with Arthur Burns and Edward Saint (eds), St Paul’s. The Cathedral Church of London. 604-2004. New Haven-London: Yale University Press, 2004.

Jackson, Lesley (ed.), Whitefriars Glass. The Art of James Powell & Sons. Exhibition catalogue Manchester City Art Galleries 27 January to 30 June 1996, Museum of London 30 July 1996 to 26 January 1997.

La manifattura Salviati ecc. all’Esposizione di Milano, 1881.

Les Manufactures Salviati & CIE A VENISE ET MURANO, Mosaiques verres soufflés de Murano. Verres colorés pour vitraux par le Dr Antoine Salviati, avocet. Chevalier de l’Ordre des saints Maurice et Lazare, Chevalier de l’Orde de la Légion d’honneur, Membre de la Société ecclésiologique de Londres, de l’Académie olympique de Vicence, etc. Exposition universelle de 1867 Médaille d’or et Décoration de la Légion d’honneu. Paris: Imprimerie Parisienne L. Berger, 1867.

Lowden, John, Early Christian and Byzantine Art, New York: Phaidon Press, 1997.

Maas, Jeremy, Victorian Painters, London: Barry & Jenkins Ltd, 1988, third edition.

Mariacher, Giovanni with Rosa Barovier Mentasti. Antonio Salviati e la rinascita  ottocentesca del vetro artistic veneziano. Exhibition catalogue Museo Civico di Palazzo Chiericati, Vicenza, 25 February to 25 April1982. Vicenza: G. Rumor, 1982.

Morgan, Hilary, and Peter Nahum, Burne-Jones, the Pre-Raphaelites, and Their Century, London: Peter Nahum, 1989.

Pall Mall BudgetThe Decoration of St Paul’s. An Account of Mr. Richmond’s Mosaics for the Choir. 12 May 1892.

Popplewell Pullan, R., The Decoration of the Dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Extracted from the Transactions, 1882-83, of the Royal Institute of British Architects. London, May 1883.

Power Bratton, Susan, Environmental Values in Christian Art, Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007.

Reynolds, Simon, William Blake Richmond. An Artist’s Life. 1842-1921. Wilby (Norwich): Michael Russell Ltd, 1995.

Richmond, William Blake, Assissi. Impressions of half a century, London: Macmillan, 1919.

Richmond, William Blake, “Monumental Painting”, in: Lectures on Art delivered in support of the Society for the protection of ancient buildings. London: Macmillan and Co., 1882, pp. 26-62.

Salviati, Antonio, Über Mosaiken im Allgemeinen etc. London 1865.

Schiller, Gertrud, Iconography of Art, vol. 2., The Passion of Christ. Translated by Janet Seligman, London: Lund Humphries, 1972.

Sladen, Teresa, “Byzantium in the Chancel: Surface Decoration and the Church Interior.” In Churches 1870-1914, the Victorian Society's Journal. Studies in Victorian Architecture & Design. Vol. III. 2011. 81-99.

Sladen, Teresa, “Embellishment and Decoration, 1696-1900”, in: Keene, Derek with Arthur Burns and Edward Saint (eds), St Paul’s. The Cathedral Church of London. 604-2004. New Haven-London: Yale University Press, 2004, pp. 233-257.

Stannus, Hugh, “Paper on cupola decorations”, in: RIBA Proceedings: 1884-85. No. 3, 20 November 1884.

Stirling, Mrs A.M.W., The Richmond Papers, London 1926.

Stokstad, Marilyn, Medieval Art, Boulder: Westview Press, 2004.

The Festival Handbook with Programmes and fifty Illustrations. Festival of English Church Art. Westminster 16 June to 2 July 1930. London: Alexander Moring Limited, 1930.

“Sir William Richmond and St Paul’s. The Progress of the Mosaics”, in: The Westminster Budget, 30 July 1897, p. 5.

West, Edward N., Outward Signs. The Language of Christian Symbolism, New York: Walker and Company, 1989.

Wilson, Christopher, The Gothic Cathedral, London: Thames and Hudson, 1990.

Winfield, David, Byzantine Mosaic Work. Notes on history, technique & colour, Lefkosia, Moufflon Publications, 2005.

Whitefriars Limited (ed.), 300 Years of Glassmaking. Whitefriars Limited: Wealdstone, ca. 1980.

Wren, Christopher, Parentalia or Memoirs of the Family of the Wrens Viz. Of Mathew Bishop of Ely, Christopher Dean of Windsor, &c., but chiefly of Sir Christopher Wren, Late Suveyor-General of the Royal Buildings, President of the Royal Society, &c. &c., London: T. Osborne and R. Dodsley, 1750.

Zech, Heike with Ilona Jesnick, “’A Useful Occupation’: The ‘Opus Criminale’ Work of Women Prisoners in the Mid-Nineteenth Century, in: ANDAMENTO, pp. 34-43.

Zech, Heike, Mosaics of St Paul’s Cathedral, London: Scala, 2015.