The Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola Bapistery
At the left hand side of the church facing the altar is the baptistery (from Wikipedia: "In Christian architecture the baptistry or baptistery is the separate centrally-planned structure surrounding the baptismal font. The baptistry may be incorporated within the body of a church or cathedral and be provided with an altar as a chapel.") composed of a half-drum surmounted by a semi-dome. This was the first part of the church’s interior to be decorated and clearly no expense was spared in the creation of what is undoubtedly the most precious unit in the church according to the Saint Ignatius Loyola website.
“Because the baptistry is also the Chapel of John the Baptist, its ornamentation illustrates the saint’s ministry, his prophecies about Jesus, and Jesus’ pronouncements about John. For example, the three mosaics decorating the walls depict important moments in the Baptist’s earthly life: his sanctification at the time of the Visitation; the culmination of his ministry in baptizing Jesus in the River Jordan; and his martyrdom. These murals were also designed by Heaton, Butler and Bayne. The Venetian glass tesserae (one of the small squares of stone or glass used in making mosaic patterns) were cut and laid out by Salviati & Company of Venise. The expertise of the Gorham Company was called upon again to install this new mosaic program; the company also designed and executed the lectern with its inlaid brass images of the Lion of Juda and the Sacrificial Lamb.”
Caryl Colement of the Ecclesiastical Department of the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company was designed and executed the baptistry’s altar. Like the curved walls surrounding it, is of Pavonazzo marble and is inlaid with mosaics.
Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company created the baptistry’s semi-dome. “Composed of irregularly faceted glass slags referred to as “jewel” glass in the Tiffany lexicon, the dome suffuses this special precinct of the church with brilliant and sparkling light. At the apex of the design is a dove representing the Holy Spirit; rising from the waters of the font under this image symbolizes God’s claiming the newly baptized as his beloved child in the same way that Jesus was publicly claimed by God as His beloved Son on whom His favor rests (Mt. 3:17).”