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Imagining a new St. Paul's

Gipkyn. View of London. Oil on panel, 1616

Henry Farley was a scrivener who thought that the condition of St. Paul’s Cathedral was a public disgrace. For nearly a decade, Farley waged a one-man campaign for its restoration. In 1616, he commissioned John Gipkyn to paint this remarkable diptych, which may have once hung in John Donne’s study.


Farley later wrote that the images came to him as a dream. The front panel illustrates his vision of a royal visit to the Cathedral. Dignitaries led by the royal family process across the city as in a coronation entry. When open, the left panel shows that group assembled for a sermon at Paul’s Cross. The final panel reveals Farley’s vision of St. Paul’s in its fully restored glory.


Imagining a new St. Paul's

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