Re: Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals – St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Home Forums Ireland reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches Re: Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals – St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh


Drawing of old St. Peter’s Basilica, built in 333 replacement by new St. Peter’s begun by Julius II in 1505 and completed in 1649 (Jacopo Grimaldi, 1619, Brabarini Lat. 2733 fol 104v – 105r)

Below are two images of internal facade of Old St. Peter’s Basilica which was built in 333 and demolished in 1608. The first is taken from G.B. Falda’s (Descrizione fatta della chiesa antica e moderna di San Pietro pubklished in 1673. It shows the internal facade of the Basilica which was covered by a mosaic, What is interesting, from our poit of view, is the seated figure of Christ over the central window on the top range. He is seated, right hand extended in blessing with a book in the left hand. He is flanked by St. Peter and St. Paul and by the tetramorphai -or four beasts- representing the four Evangelists. Underneath, appear to be the figures of the Four Evangelists. Benewth them, in the centre, two figures offering bowls of insense -representing prayer- to Christ. The whole scene is surmounted by the Cross. As with Santa Pudenziana, the theme of the mosaic on the facade of Old St. peter’s was the divinity of Christ and that worship (prayer) was due to him as God.

The second image of the facade is taken from Martino Ferrabroso’s, Il libro dell’architettura di San Pietro, Roma, published in 1620. It gives an idea of the impression this great mosaic would have made on pilgrims entering the Basilica through its cortile.

I have given some attention to this mosaic beacuse it represents the same basic themse as the mosaic in Santa Pudentiana. However, it was far more influential than that of Santa Pidenziana because it was seen by every Christian who made the pilgrimage to Rome. Hence, it can be regarded as one of the reasons for the propagation of this image of Christ throughout Europe in late classical period. Unfortunately, it is no longer extant and drawings of it are difficult to find – but I am hoping to come up with something better than these.

Latest News