North moasaic 01 - Resurrection Chapel - National Cathedral - DC

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    Closeup of a mosaic in the Resurrection Chapel under the south transept on the crypt level of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The mosaic depicts Mary Magdalene meeting Jesus Christ.

    Resurrection Chapel is in the Norman style. It was completed on June 15, 1925. The chapel began construction under Bishop Alfred Harding, the second Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C. But Harding died in 1923 -- just two years before the chapel was completed. Harding's family contributed a large sum of money to have the chapel completed, and asked that the chapel celebrate life rather than death. Hence, the chapel became known as the Resurrection Chapel. But it remained bare for decades. In 1951, noted Art Deco artist Hildreth Meiere designed and completed the mosaic behind the altar. This massive piece depicts a triumphant Jesus Christ (accompanied by angels and disciples) rising from the empty tomb while Roman soldiers nearby sleep. Models for the soldiers and angel included altar boys and choir boys at the cathedral.

    The six recessed panels along the north and west walls contain mosaics designed by Rowan and Irene LeCompte. (At age 16, Rowan LeCompte became a designed fo stained glass windows at the cathedral, and designed 42 of them! He retired at the age of 81 in 2008.) The first shows a robed Christ emerging from the tomb before Mary Magdalene. (Irene LeCompte, who died in 1970 before this mosaic was completed, was the model for Mary Magdalene.) The second shows Christ appearing to Cleopas on the road to Emmaus, and the Christ appearing to the disciples in the upper room. The fourth mosaic shows "doubting" Thomas' surprise at seeing Christ and being offered the chance to touch his wounds. The fifth shows Jesus appearing to the disciples as they fish in the Sea of Tiberius. The final mosaic depicts the Ascension into heaven. The mosaics were finished in 1972.

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