South dome pendentives Banner ?>

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

St. Louis, MO

South dome pendentives

Saints Who Spread Catholicism in America, 1959

Commissioned by: George John MaguoloMedium: Byzantine-style glass mosaicFabricated by: Pühl & WagnerInstalled by: Ravenna Mosaics

Hildreth Meière’s work in the main sanctuary at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis includes nine commissions in Byzantine-style glass mosaic designed between 1945 and 1961.1

South dome, pendentives, and arches soffits

South dome, pendentives, and arches soffits

Meière’s final commissions were at the south end of the nave, where she designed four pendentives supporting the south dome with Saints who Spread Catholicism in America and the four corresponding arch soffits with the History of the Catholic Church in St. Louis.

Faherty, William Barnaby, The Great Saint Louis Cathedral, 1988.

Faherty, William Barnaby, The Great Saint Louis Cathedral, 1988.

On the four pendentives below the south dome, Meière represented Saints who Spread Catholicism in America. On the southwest pendentive she depicted Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton above the Seal of the Sisters of Charity. On the northwest pendentive she placed Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first American saint, above the Seal of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. On the northeast pendentive, Meière depicted Saint Isaac Jogues, Saint Rene Goupil, and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha above the Seal of the Society of Jesus. On the southeast pendentive, she represented Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne above the Seal of the Religious of the Sacred Heart.2

Saint Elizabeth Seton

Saint Elizabeth Seton

Saint Frances Cabrini

Saint Frances Cabrini

Saint Isaac Jogues

Saint Isaac Jogues

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

Meière placed all of her figure groups on both the pendentives and arch soffits against the gold ground common to early Byzantine-style glass mosaic designs. The richness of the gold contrasts with the blue ground of the south dome.

Meière created designs for the cathedral basilica for almost two decades, starting in 1945. Writing in 1956, Meière acknowledged, “It is perfectly possible that I will not live long enough to see all the areas completed. . . . ”3 Her intuition was correct. Meière did not live to see the beauty of all of her mosaic designs in place throughout the nave.

1

For a full discussion, see Catherine Coleman Brawer and Kathleen Murphy Skolnik, The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière (New York: Andrea Monfried Editions, 2014): 118-31.

2

Maurice B. McNamee, S.J., Mosaics of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, 2nd. ed (St. Louis: Friends of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, 2008): 11-12.

3

Hildreth Meière, letter to Paul Heuduck, July 31, 1956, St. Louis University Archives. DOC REC 50 (Ravenna Mosaic Company Records).

Additional Resources

Commission Location

Emblem

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

Get Directions