Bill Viola’s Martyrs altarpiece at St Paul’s in London

Martyrs by Bill Viola at St Paul's in London

“Forget the bloody martyrdoms and hot pincers … Viola’s glorious new video installation is a hi-tech Caravaggio that redefines religious art


• Bill Viola’s second coming: watch the eerie video installation Martyrs here

Bill Viola has created a powerful modern altarpiece for St Paul’s Cathedral that perfectly suits the restrained spirituality of this most English of churches.

Coming into Christopher Wren’s great building on a weekday morning when crowded buses surround this London icon, you notice how ascetic its atmosphere is. Greek mosaics and the perfect geometry of a dome that suggests the clockwork universe of Wren’s contemporary Isaac Newton make St Paul’s a place of cool, even philosophical, prayer.

Bloody martyrdoms, harrowing images of saints being crucified upside down or tortured with hot pincers – such gut-wrenching pictures are deliberately sidelined in the temple of reason that is St Paul’s. At least, they were until American visionary Viola unveiled his latest work, a permanent video installation, there on Tuesday.”

Read full article courtesy The Guardian

Saint Paul's cathedral, London

Saint Paul’s cathedral, London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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