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John R. Herbert RA, St Gregory teaching his Chant

St Gregory teaching his Chant, 1845

John R. Herbert RA (1810 - 1890)

RA Collection: Art

J.R. Herbert converted to Roman Catholicism in 1840 and spent the remainder of his career painting religious subjects and portraits of religious figures. When he exhibited this painting at the Royal Academy in 1845, Herbert also showed a portrait of the Gothic Revival architect and designer A.W.N. Pugin (Palace of Westminster).

In the 1840s Herbert, like William Dyce, who he had worked under in the Kensington Schools of Design, and Pugin, keenly promoted the revival of medieval Church liturgy, ritual, music and chants. It is appropriate therefore that his Diploma work depicts St. Gregory (590-604), who is attributed with the arrangement of the first Roman chant. Herbert’s portrays Gregory teaching the chant to a group of young choristers.

Object details

St Gregory teaching his Chant
John R. Herbert RA (1810 - 1890)
Object type
Oil on canvas

835 mm x 1190 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Diploma Work given by John R. Herbert RA accepted 1846

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