Saints in Colour – St Albans Cathedral

03rd March 2023

This week sees the launch of St Albans Cathedral’s ground-breaking Saints in Colour project, bringing colour back to the famous Wallingford Screen.

World first technology used to restore colour to St Albans Cathedral’s 15th century Wallingford Screen – Saints in Colour.

For a limited time, discover how the screen might have looked in the medieval period – with a 21st century twist. St Albans Cathedral has worked in close partnership with Hogarth, a WPP agency, to explore ground-breaking techniques for bringing history to life, using the latest technology from Panasonic and Epic Games.

Cutting edge scanning and projection techniques using Reality Capture software will bring to life the 15th century screen and 19th century statues with a millimetre accurate 3D scan and re-colourisation, based on historic research by Dr James Alexander Cameron.

The colours have been produced by artist Amara Por Dios, and the technology was used to train apprentices in WPP’s Creative Technology Apprenticeship programme, which aims to diversify the emerging technology workforce.

St Albans Cathedral is committed to social justice, so we are excited to bring the statues to life in a racially diverse way, reflecting where each of the saints depicted came from.

Precentor Jonathan Lloyd of St Albans Cathedral said:

“Many people come to St Albans Cathedral and are amazed by our medieval high altar screen, built in the 1480s and carefully restored 400 years later by the Victorian sculptor Harry Hems. Many people also wonder what it would have looked like when it was first made; covered in statues of the saints, decorated in rich, luminous colour, and described by the monks who saw it as “a mirror of the divine kingdom”. 

Saints in Colour - St Albans Cathedral

The Saints in Colour Project does exactly that. Using cutting-edge scanning, the latest software and a generous loan of high-end projectors, we have recreated what medieval monks might have seen via a 3D digital image, projected onto the stone of the high altar screen.

As a Cathedral community we are really excited to share this project with you and we hope many people will come and experience this reimagining of our “mirror of the divine kingdom”, the Saints in Colour.”