London’s St Paul’s Cathedral is certainly iconic. Many decades, on the images of the great dome standing above the smoke of WWII remain etched in our collective conscious. And that’s likely to remain the case for years to come. Officially the Cathedral Church of Paul the Apostle, the church is at least the 5th St Paul’s to sit on this very site. The first according to Bede was built in 604 AD.
The photo this artwork is based on was taken from the pedestrian bridge that connects Bankside with the City of London. To me it really captured every day life in London. There’s such a conglomeration of people moving alongside each other. The dome of the cathedral lends the scene a location almost like a neon sign. It feels like a silent witness to the people below. It was there long before them and will be there long after.
This St. Paul’s Cathedral was built after the last was destroyed by the great fire in 1666. The fire leveled the city but remarkably took no human life. The fire shaped everything about the city we know today, built in stone to lower the risk of fire consuming it. The dome was a point of much debate. The architect, the renowned Sir Christopher Wren was determined that the new St Paul’s would have a dome like St. Peter’s in Rome. Several iterations of the design were rejected before Wren decided not to show any more models to the public for criticism. When it was completed in 1708, some loved it, some hated it, and others couldn’t care either way. Today it’s hard to imagine the sky line of the old city without it.
Another picture of London’s St Paul’s Cathedral as seen from Bankside (south of the Thames). The view is much changed since WWII. The buildings adjacent to the Thames were destroyed in the war and newer generations of buildings have grown up between the River and the cathedral. And more recently, the millennium bridge was built as a pedestrian walkway to connect the City of London with Bankside on opposite sides of the River Thames. London as a city has never gotten stuck in a particular style. As a growing metropolis, new and exciting architecture is always fighting for space beside the classics. Much as the classics, these are sometimes met with mixed reactions. When the Millennium bridge was completed in 2000, there was a noticeable wobble and the bridge was closed, repaired and reopened in 2002. This led to its nickname The Wobbly Bridge.
I have to share one more piece of my artwork depicting London’s St Paul’s Cathedral and this one focuses on just the beautiful dome of the church. As i said before, truly iconic, don’t you agree?
I hope you’ll pause to share your thoughts about my art or simply gab about this beautiful and historic piece of old London. You can do so in the comments or you can always send a message. Happy to simply chat or answer questions about prints.
To see more of my London prints, please check out my London Art Prints Collection.