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Frieze

Frieze

  • Place of origin:

    Flanders (region) (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1550 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Floris, Cornelis II (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    alabaster carved in high relief

  • Museum number:

    1051-1853

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This frieze in the style of the sculptor Cornelis Floris is said to have come from the Abbey of Tongerloo, near Antwerp, Belgium. Floris was renowned for his delicately carved arabesque ornament. The decorative work of this relief recalls his style.

There are two sorts of alabaster. Calcite alabaster is very hard and was used in ancient times. And gypsum alabaster which is a fine-grained, soft and smooth stone.
Although at first glance it looks a little like marble, which it was intended to imitate, it was much easier to carve due to its softness, and alabaster objects were therefore significantly cheaper to produce.

The southern Netherlands were an important centre for the production of alabaster sculpture during the 15th century, and while not producing the numbers that the English alabaster workshops turned out, they certainly exceeded their English counterparts in quality of craftsmanship. The English alabaster-carvers dominated the lower end of the market, catering for patrons right across Europe who could not afford to spend very much but were eager to furnish their parish churches and homes with religious imagery. The Netherlandish workshops, by contrast, produced fewer but many times more carefully finished alabaster sculptures, which were also considerably more expensive to buy.

Physical description

Carved in high relief with arabesque ornament, the ground picked out in gold

Place of Origin

Flanders (region) (made)

Date

ca. 1550 (made)

Artist/maker

Floris, Cornelis II (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

alabaster carved in high relief

Dimensions

Height: 7.7 cm, Width: 165 cm, Depth: 8.5 cm

Object history note

The frieze is said to have come from the Abbey of Tongerloo. Floris was renowned for his delicately carved arabesque ornament. The decorative work of this relief recalls his style.

Descriptive line

Frieze, alabaster, carved in high relief, in the style of cornelis Floris, Flemish, mid 16th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1853. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 44.

Materials

Alabaster

Techniques

Carved; High relief

Subjects depicted

Ornament

Categories

Architecture; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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