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Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

St. Louis, MO

Frieze along base of arches and domes

Leaf pattern, 1958

Commissioned by: George John MaguoloMedium: majolica (glazed and gilded terra cotta)Fabricated by: Pühl & WagnerInstalled by: Ravenna Mosaics

Hildreth Meière designed nine commissions in the main sanctuary of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis between 1945 and 1961. By the time she had designed the dome of the Twelve Apostles, its eastern arch soffit and two pendentives, and the north wall with Two Drinking Deer and a Meandering Grapevine, the cathedral administrators recognized Meière’s ability to treat individual designs in Byzantine-style glass mosaic as part of a larger whole.

North dome (Twelve Apostles) and north wall with Two Drinking Deer and Meandering Grapevine

North dome (Twelve Apostles) and north wall with Two Drinking Deer and Meandering Grapevine

The cathedral administrators asked Meière to create a visual device that would meld all of the mosaic work currently underway by various artists with mosaics in place since the early part of the twentieth century, and that would also anticipate future mosaic designs. To achieve this end, she devised a frieze of leaves in red, gold, and green majolica (glazed and gilded terra cotta) that runs along the base of the arches and domes. This simple visual device unifies the decoration throughout the nave. The design of the frieze is clearly visible below the Drinking Deer on the north wall.

Majolica frieze at base of Drinking Deer on left side of north wall

Majolica frieze at base of Drinking Deer on left side of north wall

Majolica frieze at base of Drinking Deer on right side of north wall

Majolica frieze at base of Drinking Deer on right side of north wall

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Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
4421 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108

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