Mosaics in St Dunstan's Chapel

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Mosaics in St Dunstan's Chapel

The Morning Prayer Chapel, renamed St Dunstan’s Chapel in 1905, is on the north side of the west end of the cathedral. Monumental mosaics can be found at each end of the Chapel. The iconography, materials, and even the circumstances of the commission of these two works are very different. 

In the Western Apse of the chapel is a glass mosaic depicting the Holy Women at the Sepulchre. Made by Salviati & Co. in Venice, it was installed between 1870 and 1871, shortly after the first mosaics produced by the Italian manufacturer for St Paul's, were placed in the cathedral's dome spandrels. This mosaic was commissioned to commemorate Archdeacon William Hale (1795-1870) an English churchman and author, buried in the cathedral crypt.

In his 1886 report to the Dean and Chapter the cathedral surveyor F. C. Penrose reported that a “mosaic picture has been placed in the Eastern Apse of the North Chapel executed by Powell” (Penrose, Report, 1886). It is the earliest glass mosaic in the Cathedral to be made using materials produced in London. Nonetheless, it depicts a detail from an Italian frescoe, Raphael’s Disputation, painted in the Vatican 1509-1510. The installation of the mosaic was part of a major redecoration of the chapel which saw the introduction of coloured “marbles of the richest and most varied hues” (Annual Report). Two further mosaics, either side of the main picture were part of this refurbishment.

View the mosaics of St Dunstan’s Chapel

The Holy Women at the Sepulchre (inv.8885)

Christ in Majesty with Mary and Saint John (From The Disputation) (inv.7720)

Putto with the Christogram: IHS (inv.8485)

Putto with the Christogram XPC (inv.8664)