Opaque glass mosaic, designed by William Blake Richmond, executed by Messrs Powell of Whitefriars, completed by 1904
The Resurrection is as part of four mosaics from Passion underneath the central dome of St Paul's, all of which show Christ at the centre of the composition. And like the other mosaics, this too, does not depict a scene that is part of the Biblical narrations. While all four evangelists report the discovery of the empty tomb, the Resurrection itself is not described in the Gospels. As cornerstone of Christian faith, it nonetheless soon became an important subject in religious art. The feathered sun above Christ is a possibly unique addition by Richmond, that so far eludes a definitive interpretation.
Brief description: Christ depicted at the centre of the composition in a light coloured tunic with a golden hooded shroud, stepping through doors of the tomb which are held open by two angels dark wings, his left hand raised above his head and holding the banner of the cross inscribed “COELI REX”, his right raised in blessing; the sleeping guards to either side against a background with a tree and flower hedge, buildings, giving way to the shadow of a mountain range against the dawn sky; above feathers forming a wing spread across the sky towards the disk of the sun; the base a floral border
Related work elsewhere: The Women at the Sepulchre, mosaic, c. 1870, made by Salviati & Co., Venice, west side of St Dunstan’s Chapel in St Paul’s Cathedral, London (mosaic no. 8885; mosaic, 19th century, Rosary Basilica, Lourdes, France; mosaic, 19th century, Kerepesi Cemetery, Budapest, Hungary
Literature and references: Zech 2015, pp. 44-45 ill.