mosaic by Burne-Jones

The Five Groups that Make up Christendom by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt ARA. St. Paul's within the Walls, Via Napoli, 58, Rome (G. E. Street, 1873). Photography by George P. Landow, November 2004.

According to the description of the mosaic program provided by St. Paul's, "Against the background of the Heavenly City, we find five groups of persons representing the various classes or functions which have historically made up Christendom. One the extreme left are the ascetics, the prophetic element in the Church's life; among these only St. Francis of Assisi receiving the stigmata is clearly recognizable. Next comes a group of matrons, representing the service of God in ordinary life. Among therm can be seen Martha with her keys and Mary Magdalene with the box of ointment."

The major group in the center represents the great ecclesiastical figures of the Church's past, five fathers from the Eastern Church and five of the Western, with St. Paul in the front dressed in a chasuble . . . .

To the right of this group we find the virgin and Saints, among them the martyrs St. Catherine, St. Barbara, St. Cecilia, St. Dorothea, and St. Agnes. Finally, on the right, come the Christian warriors representing the bulwark of peace and stable government." [p. 3]

Related Materials


St. Paul's within the Walls. Anglican Episcopal. Rome, n.d. 4-page descriptive pamphlet.

Last modified 5 June 2020