Holy City - A Pilgrimage of Sight


One panel of nine; a nontych measuring 9ft x 12ft on canvas

at the

Washington National Cathedral


“His work is bold and commanding.”
Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate

Created by Brian Whelan for the Cathedral, Holy City is a series of nine paintings representing the three Abrahamic faiths: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. When displayed together, the panels create a work of art 9 x 12 feet. It is, in his words, “an abstracted, disarming vision of cultural unity [where] hospitality would be offered to all pilgrims.”

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Whelan2Wash350Might these three Abrahamic faiths live in unity someday?  What is the role of art in buttressing our hopes or reflecting the world as it is?

"I think God has His hand on Brian... His art is so original and comes from within, which always makes people think.
Art critic, Sister Wendy Beckett

"...Brian is an artist of great skill, depth, and integrity, informed by both medieval and contemporary sensibilities."
Rev. Dr Peter Doll, Canon Librarian, Norwich Cathedral.

Watch video of Brian talking about Holy City.  Download the press release here.

“The Cathedral has a rich history of featuring artwork that celebrates the glory of God and people of all faiths throughout the nation and we are proud to continue that tradition with the work of Brian Whelan. With his depiction of a world in which Christian churches, Islamic mosques and Jewish synagogues exist in harmony, Brian offers us a vision of true interfaith coexistence that is especially poignant ahead of the anniversary of one of the greatest American tragedies in recent memory.”

The Very Rev. Randy Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral.

Where to go in the Cathedral:

  •  View the large painting Holy City in the North Transept
  • Take the elevator to the seventh-floor tower gallery to view the exhibition of smaller works: From Transept to Tower: The Work of Brian Whelan.
  • Both exhibitions will continue through to January 30th 2017

“It is rare to find a contemporary artist so confident in his portrayal of traditional religious themes.”
Rev. Canon John McLuckie, St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh



''Clear, strong, prayerful work, with joy at its centre.''
Art critic Sister Wendy Beckett

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“wise, witty and affectionate paintings which range from religious iconography to images of his home city of London.”
Ian Collins, writer

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“...celebrated Irish artist...”
Charlie Minter, British and Irish Specialist, Sotheby’s

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