Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Thursday 18 April |
Aleteia logo
Art & Culture
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Finding Faith: Is a papal symbol lurking in this WWII-commemorative mosaic?

LONDON NATIONAL GALLERY MOSAIC

Lucien de Guise

Lucien de Guise - published on 02/02/20

Prime Minister Winston Churchill is depicted opposite a demonic figure wearing a very unusual tiara on its head.
A series that looks at the visual arts for signs of the universal Church in sometimes unexpected places.
Among the less-observed treasures of London’s National Gallery is a series of floor mosaics that are trampled on by millions of visitors every year. One of them has special topicality at the moment. As the UK creates a new relationship with Europe, viewers might look to the theme of “Defiance,” as it shows Prime Minister Winston Churchill protecting the white cliffs of Dover from a demonic being shaped vaguely like a swastika. This is not surprising, as the mosaics were created in 1952, soon after World War II. Entirely unexpected is that the satanic presence should be wearing something very much like a papal tiara. This would probably not have been allowed if the great Sir Kenneth Clark had still been the gallery’s director. A lifelong admirer of Catholic culture, he converted to Catholicism at the end of his life.
LONDON NATIONAL GALLERY MOSAIC
Lucien de Guise
Lucien de Guise is on Instagram @crossxcultural. As a Catholic writer, editor, curator and former museum director, his aim is to build bridges through art.

Tags:
Art
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Aleteia-Pilgrimage-300×250-1.png
Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.