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Not currently on display at the V&A

Last Supper

Relief
end of forteenth century (made), late 14th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This relief panel of the Last Supper is a remnant of an altarpiece representing the Passion of Christ. In this panel representing the Last Supper, Christ, blessing a large loaf, is shown surrounded by the Apostles. A beardless figure representing St John the Evangelist is on the left and lies across Christ's lap, his head resting on his right arm. Judas kneels below St John, holding what appears to be a fish.

This is one of the earliest surviving examples of an English alabaster relief. The carvings are of a finer quality than those which were executed in the fifteenth century.


object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Alabaster
Brief Description
Relief, alabaster, The last supper (orig part of passion alt), English 14c late
Physical Description
Alabaster relief, chamfered edge. Christ, haloed and bearded is seated in the centre on the far side of a table, around which the apostles are grouped. The twelve apostles wear loose cloaks and gowns. Christ holds a loaf of typical mediveal prism shape in his left hand and blesses it with his right. He is flanked by six apostles, one of whom St. John leans forward and lies across his lap. Five other apostles are seated around Christ on his side of the table, including another bearless figure on the left of the panel. Three apostles are seated on square cushions on a bench on the left of the panel and two similar figures are seated on the right. Note the similar medieval benches. A kneeling apostle, probably Judas, holds what appears to be a fish in his hands. The top part of this large and heavy panel is missing, although the break has been carefully trimmed round the heads of the figure of Christ and five of the apostles. There is a break across the centre of the panel. The heads of five apostles in the foreground are either missing or damaged.
Dimensions
  • Length: 39.8cm
  • Width: 37.2cm
Credit line
Given by Dr W.L Hildburgh, F.S.A.
Object history
Given by Dr W. Hildburgh, F.S.A. Acquired by him in Paris in 1923.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This relief panel of the Last Supper is a remnant of an altarpiece representing the Passion of Christ. In this panel representing the Last Supper, Christ, blessing a large loaf, is shown surrounded by the Apostles. A beardless figure representing St John the Evangelist is on the left and lies across Christ's lap, his head resting on his right arm. Judas kneels below St John, holding what appears to be a fish.



This is one of the earliest surviving examples of an English alabaster relief. The carvings are of a finer quality than those which were executed in the fifteenth century.
Bibliographic References
  • Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984.
  • Alexander, Jonathan, and Paul Binski (eds.), Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400, London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1987.
  • English Medieval Alabaster Carvings : York Festival Exhibition. York : City of York Art Gallery, 195416
Collection
Accession Number
A.48-1946

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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