Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vespers of SS Peter & Paul at the London Oratory

Here are photographs taken this afternoon at Vespers of St Peter and St Paul at the London Oratory. The first two photographs are of statues of St Peter and St Paul by Mazzuoli. Mazzuoli's twelve Apostles formerly stood on the piers of the Nave of Siena Cathedral and were carved between 1679 and 1695. Mazzuoli was a pupil of Bernini and the set of the Twelve Apostles was the single most important commission of his busy career. They were removed from the Romanesque Cathedral in 1890 when the baroque style was at its nadir and purchased by the Oratory from a warehouse in Genoa in 1895, on the strength of photographs alone.

The Oratory's bronze statue of St Peter is a copy of the famous statue in St Peter's in Rome. The papal tiara is an exact copy (slightly larger than life size, just as the statue is) of the papal tiara that Pope Pius XII was crowned with at his coronation on the balcony of St Peter's on March 12th 1939. Today's Solemn Vespers and Benediction were followed by the procession to the statue of St Peter enthroned. (Photos: Charles Cole)