The Work of Joseph Sibbel
at St. Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh
In 1906, Joseph Sibbel worked to near exhaustion, with assistants in three different workshops, to complete his project at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Here, the artist completed some of the finest pieces of sculpture of his career.
By 1906, Sibbel celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his studio in New York and published a catalog of his artwork including photos of his work in the Pittsburgh cathedral. In the first pages of the catalog he features a photo of his statue of Purgatory designed to rest upon the All Souls altar to the right of the high altar. Also included in the catalog were photos of the statues he created for both the interior and exterior of the church. His set of Stations of the Cross were reported as being one of a kind; bronze scenes surrounded by Numidian marble. At its base, his Baptismal font of Carrara marble featured three supporting angels holding symbols of faith, hope, and love. His four bronze holy water fonts are still considered beautiful works of art.
In 2007, St. Paul Cathedral published a centennial book, A Reflection of Faith: St. Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh, 1906-2006, which features the work of this incredible sculptor. In 2011, Delma Tallerico, one of the writers for the centennial book, published the artist's biography: BEAUTY DREAMER: The Life and Times of Joseph Sibbel; Nineteenth Century, German-American Ecclesiastical Sculptor.
Below is a look at the beauty at St. Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh.