Diptych of Old St Paul’s
This diptych was made for a London scrivener or local clerk, Henry Farley, as part of his campaign for the restoration of St Paul’s Cathedral from 1615 until 1622. The diptych should be read from the outside first: one panel has a painting on both sides, and the second panel could be fixed to a wall. The outer painting, which is visible when they diptych is closed, depicts ships sailing up the English Channel and a procession of civic and religious figures, headed by the King and the royal family, moving across London Bridge to the city. When opened, the first panel shows their destination, Paul’s Cross, the preaching place where they assemble to hear a sermon that urges the rebuilding of the Cathedral. The third and final panel offers a vision of the restored church, with a new cupola, with images of the royal family, and angels rejoicing in the wonderful work of restoration.
Unlocking our Collections by Dora Thornton FSA