Cross of Inspiration

Felix de Weldon
Cross of Inspiration
Limited Edition
Size (inches)
24 3/4" h x 18" w x 3 3/4" d


The Cross of Inspiration is Felix de Weldon's tribute honoring the 2000th year anniversary of the birth of Christ. Mr. de Weldon created this likeness of Christ on the cross from a picture taken of a ceiling fresco of one of the earliest known depictions of Jesus. This image was rediscovered in the world’s oldest church, Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) in Istanbul Turkey.

Felix de Weldon, the most revered monumental sculptor of America’s twentieth century was the Commissioner of Fine Arts for five United States Presidents. He was knighted in Italy and England and was the most prolific monumental sculptor in history, with over two thousand public monuments worldwide. His most famous monument is the Iwo Jima War Memorial in Arlington, VA.




In 1944, Mr. de Weldon was commissioned to create a cross for St. Nicholas Church in Maryland (Official Chapel for the U.S. Naval Academy).
The church was founded by the Jesuits in 1634 after the land was given to them by the King of the Patuxent Indians, Maquacomen.
It took Mr. de Weldon over six months to complete a 3000 pound marble, life size, sculpture which graces the altar of St. Nicholas Church

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia from the Greek meaning "Holy Wisdom"; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia) is a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture.
Known as the “Great Church” or “Magna Ecclesia” in Latin, the first church was built at the same location where there had been a pagan temple before. It was Constantius II who inaugurated Hagia Sophia on 15 February 360. From the chronicles of Socrates of Constantinople, we know that the church was built by the orders of Constantine the Great. This church was largely burned down in 404 during riots since patriarch John Chrysostom was sent into exile by the Emperor Arcadius.

Rebuilt by the orders of Emperor Justinian in 537, for 900 years Hagia Sophia had been the center of Orthodox Christianity until 1453 when the city was concurred by Ottomans. Five hundred years following the conquest of Muslims, it became a jewel for the Muslim world and as the grand mosque of the sultans.

In 1935, Hagia Sophia had been converted into a museum of Turkish Republic by the orders of Ataturk, and became one of the most significant monuments not only in Turkey but on earth with its architecture and its historical richness. Hagia Sophia was chosen a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1985.