Cathedrals as Monuments (2)
Over the years, St. Paul's Cathedral has variously served as a national, political, and religious symbol for England and the British Empire. This image of the cathedral, which appeared on postcards between 1974 and 1981, focuses our attention on its iconic dome set against a cloudless, blue sky. The image may be referencing one of the most famous pictures of the church taken during World War II after the December 1940 Blitz attack by the Germans. In the photo by Herbert Mason, the cathedral dome surrounded by smoldering ruins emerges intact from the billowing clouds of dark smoke. As a symbol of Britain's indomitability during the war, the cathedral has acquired monumental status on many levels and continues to be used for important national events, such as Queen Elizabeth's eightieth birthday and Diamond Jubilee celebrations.