The Decorations and Paintings
THE ARCHITECTURE OF HOLY CROSS
Taken from Holy Cross's Solemn Consecration and History published 1886
THE DECORATIONS AND PAINTINGS
To produce an harmonious whole the wall decoration has been carefully studied - to preserve the simplicity of the church and to enrich the sanctuary without producing strong effects of color which would shorten the apparent length of the building. To attain this end the scheme of color has been kept low, an a treatment of mosaic effect has been used, with the happy result that a rich, dignified chancel is produced, with proper subordination of the nave and transepts, keeping the subdued tone throughout, with abundant light and warmth. To this the dome decoration contributes, and adds to the apparent dept and height of the church, and removes into the distance with a misty effect.
The semi-dome over the altar is treated with a mosaic of nearly Celtic character of ornament on a gold ground, the reveals of the lunettes treated in color with stenciled ornament similar to that in the nave, but enriched with a gold band outlining each pattern. The same stenciled patter occurs in the ceiling of nave and transepts, so graduated in color and closeness of detail that it is lost in the center, where the flood of light encounters and absorbs the whole.
The pendentives of the dome are decorated with symbolical representations of the Evangelists like to those in St. Mark's at Venice, and treated in mosaic, which again is used in the sanctuary to finish the plain side spaces, where colossal figures of St. Peter and St. Paul are placed, bold and vigorous in drawing, with elaborate backgrounds in gold and color, beneath which again are niches containing the figures of St. Patrick and St. Bridget on one side and St. Joseph and St. Barbara on the other, supported on ornamental brackets.
Beneath the whole a dado of rich stenciled ornament in color and gold extends to the base, which, throughout the sanctuary and chapels, is of French and Italian colored marbles.