Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Photos of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - mosaic face of Jesus

Jesus most meek, make my heart like unto Thine.

HERE ARE PHOTOS of the new Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.

Click on any photo for a larger version.

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

A recent article by Drew of the Shrine of the Holy Whapping applauds this new shrine, consecrated in Saint Louis on June 17th, 2007, which was designed by the University of Notre Dame architecture professor Duncan Stroik.

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - west transept

This shrine to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is in the west, or left, transept of the Cathedral, under colonnades and a mosaic of the fire of Pentecost.

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

According to Prof. Stroik's website:
The Shrine to the Sacred Heart was conceived by Archbishop Raymond Burke to deepen the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. After considering a number of locations, it was decided that the left transept (or arm) had an area suitable for the sacred image and would balance with the baptismal font located in the right transept. Research shows that George Barnett, the original architect for the cathedral, had the intention of placing equestrian statues of St. Louis and St. George in the transepts surrounded by bronze statues of the twelve apostles on marble pedestals. Our aim was much more modest, though no less important, to build a shrine for the image of the Sacred Heart in the mother church of the Archdiocese.

Working with His Excellency, Archbishop Burke, the rector of the Cathedral Monsignor Pins and with the able assistance of Monsignor Breier and Fr. Keller we examined the great variety of shrines and side chapels within the Cathedral. In studying this great work of architecture we were in awe of the great variety of marbles, mosaics, symbols, and architectural elements that find their place within. The focus of the new shrine of the Sacred Heart is a mosaic produced by the esteemed Mosaic Studio located at the Vatican. The mosaic is based upon an original oil painting, presumably by a Spanish artist in the Nineteenth century, owned by the Archdiocese.

The design of the shrine is free standing with a pediment to give it verticality and prominence within the colonnaded apse. A series of architectural elements act as frames that set apart and visually enlarge the three by four foot image. An arch of white carrara marble surrounds the mosaic with an image above of the crown of thorns, three nails, and cloth to allude to Christ’s suffering for humanity. The columns are like sentinels and are constructed out of diaspro marble from Sicily, a fragile and rare marble beloved by artists such as Bernini. The column capitals are composite and are inspired by the capitals at the Cathedral high altar with a cross, fleur de lis and lamb of God as part of their design.

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - pediment

Continuing,
Under the richly carved pediment, which stands twelve and a half feet above the floor, there are three circles or tondi made out of volcano red and Pakistan dark onyx with gold mosaic bands. Above the pediment are two urns (inspired by the ceiling mosaics) with flames of marble symbolizing the burning love of Christ for his children. At the apex of the shrine is a bronze and azul image of the monogram of the Holy Name or IHS surrounded by gold rays. The marble walls of the shrine are rosa portogallo with a slightly darker variant under the altar. The altar has panels of verde isorie and nuovo brocatello surrounded by bands of red mosaic and bianco carrara frames. The aisle side of the shrine has a simplified marble banding with an inlaid coat of arms of Archbishop Burke as the patron of the shrine.

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - sunburst

Matthew Alderman, who also writes for the Shrine of the Holy Whapping, commented:
Ooo! I've been trying to get good pictures of this for months.
Here you go, Matt. I hope these are good! He continues:
I actually worked a little on this project one summer when I was interning for Duncan Stroik. I remember the day we did the watercolor renderings--a bunch of guys all painting away at the same large piece of paper at the same time. Lots of fun. The vast majority of the credit, of course, goes to Duncan for his concept sketches (and Brian, a fellow intern who refined them and drafted them), but I designed the sunburst on top of the altarpiece (the IHS device within it is from somewhere else however,) while the inlaid crown of thorns and nails device on top of the image is also my work, save for the colors that got chosen and the final size, which is a little smaller than what I'd originally drawn.

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - urn

These photographs are processed to look best in Microsoft Windows. For most of the roughly 11% of Rome of the West's visitors who use a Mac (which includes the author), these photos will look pale. Technically, if your monitor is set to a gamma of 2.2, it should look fine as intended.

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - tondi in pediment

Incandescent bulbs illumine the shrine, putting a yellow hue on it: whereas the eye partially corrects for this yellow light, the camera does not. These photos are color-corrected to simulate daylight viewing conditions, which gives the colors a neutral appearance. This color correction falters when there is a mixture of kinds of light sources and is generally more accurate for close-ups.

These photos are processed to enhance subtle hue and brightness changes, particularly in the veining of the marble and carved detail. This approximates what the eye would see up close under bright white lighting.

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - column capital

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Crown of Thorns and the Nails of the Cross

The Crown of Thorns and the Nails of the Cross.

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - mosaic of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ

I adore Thee, O most Sacred Heart of Jesus, inflame my heart with the divine love with which Thine Own is all on fire.

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - column base

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - base

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - floor

Prof. Stroik's website continues:
The botticino classico floor matches other shrine pavements in the Cathedral and has a geometric pattern that frames the altar using statuario, portoro, rouge du roi, and giallo siena marbles. The central circle is a Star of David, remembering the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for which Christ is the completion and referring to Our Lady who is the synagogue, because she bore the Word within her. The curved altarrail of arabescato violetto creates a threshold to the shrine and provides a place to kneel and pray. The bronze doors feature bas-reliefs of a pelican feeding her young with blood from her breast, symbolic of Christ’s Eucharistic sacrifice. They complement the peacocks, symbols of immortality, at the Cathedral sanctuary.

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - bronze doors

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA -

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - arches over shrine

Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - back

The architect's description concludes:
In total, approximately thirty different marbles and onyxes, pieces that weigh up to six hundred pounds, were employed in the design to reflect the rich variety of marbles found in the Cathedral. The scagliola columns, black marble bases and warm natural colors of the transept walls, Stations of the Cross and confessionals surround the Sacred Heart Shrine. The marble fabrication and carving and the bronze casting was supervised by Roberto Pagliari in Carrara and Pietrasanta Italy. The marble, which has a concrete substructure, was erected by Chad Meyer of Stone Renaissance in St. Louis.

6 comments:

  1. fantastic pictures. gerald of *closed cafeteria* was planning on coming to STL to photograph the cathedral, but anne steffens won't return his calls or emails. he's on the verge of cancelling his plane reservation. any advice how he can get a last-minute entree?

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  2. The Cathedral is open daily until 5:00 p.m., so there should be no problem photographing it. Innumerable tourists do the same.

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  3. He has been trying to get an appointment w/Archbishop Burke for an interview. Sorry, I don't think I mentioned that. Anne Steffens won't return his calls/emails.

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  4. Beautiful indeed. But why is it without an altar? The Catholic sensibilty about shrines has always been to incorporate an altar into their design, so that the highest of all prayers, the Mass, may be celebrated before the principal relic or, as here, image.

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  5. Anonymous,

    I am not an expert on such matters, but you can find commentary from those who are over at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping blog, especially these two posts:

    Clarification, of sorts, on Side Altars

    Stroik Strikes Again

    Apparently there is a post-Conciliar restriction on altars with images over them.

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