I went to the installation of the new work by Bill Viola in the north quire of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is the result of a thirteen-year project to seek the approval of the Dean and Chapter for a piece of video art on permanent display, although owned by the Tate (one of the Deans is said to have thought that it was better for the church to align itself not with the Medicis, but the Borgias). Since I assumed that I wasn’t allowed to photograph the work itself, I found my eye wandering to the extraordinary array of funerary monuments.
Reynolds, completely unrecognisable, in a statue by John Flaxman under the dome (supposedly close enough to the pulpit to hear):-
Johnson, also much more beefy and heroic than he must have been in real life, in a monument by John Bacon paid for by The Club:-
And the nave in the evening sun:-