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Statuette - The Trinity

The Trinity

  • Object:

    Statuette

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Thomas Cam

  • Museum number:

    10-1882

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This carved alabaster statuette represents the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, by which God is considered as existing in three persons: God the Father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit. The large and heavy figure of God the Father is enthroned and wearing a gown with a cloak draped over his knees. Between his outstretched hands he holds a napkin containing six souls of the saved, shown as diminutive heads. The cross, bearing the bearded Christ, (God the Son) his head inclined to the left and wearing a loincloth and the torse, is between his knees. There is a dowel hole in the cross above Christ's head which propably originally held the Dove, symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

This carving is said to have been formerly in a church in Abergavenny.

Physical description

The large and heavy figure of God the Father is enthroned and wearing a gown and a cloak draped over his knees. Between his outstretched hands he holds a napkin containing six souls of the saved, shown as diminutive heads. The cross, bearing the bearded Christ, his head inclined to the left and wearing a loincloth and the torse, is between his knees.

The hands of God the Father appear to be later restorations in alabaster. The head of God the Father is missing. There is a dowel hole in the cross above Christ's head, doubtless to hold the Dove, although there is little space to contain it. The details of the figure of Christ are worn. No paint remains on the figures.

A large amount of alabaster has been scooped out of the middle and bottom of the back of the figure. There are four holes, two plugged with lead.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

15th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved alabaster

Dimensions

Height: 71.4 cm, Width: 35.6 cm

Object history note

Said to have been formerly in a church in Abergavenny. Given by Thomas Cam in 1882.

Descriptive line

Statuette, alabaster, depicting the Trinity, English, early 15th century

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

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984, p. 301 (cat. 227)
Nelson, P. Some Examples of English Medieval Alabaster Work. Archaeological Journal. LXXI, 1914, p. 164, pl. III, no. 3
Victoria & Albert Museum. English Medieval Art (exhibition catalogue), 1930, no. 588
List of Objects in the Art Division, South Kensington Museum acquired during the Year 1882. London, 1883, p. 1

Materials

Alabaster

Techniques

Carving

Subjects depicted

Torse; Cloak; Loincloth; Crosses (objects); Trinity

Categories

Christianity; Religion; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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