St Jude

Statuette
1410-1430 (made)
St Jude thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is an alabaster statuette depciting St Jude, made in England in ca. 1410-1430.
There are two sorts of alabaster. Calcite alabaster is very hard and was used in ancient times. This object is made of 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 carving of alabaster, mostly quarried in Tutbury and Chellaston near Nottingham, took on industrial proportions in England between the middle of the 14th and the early 16th centuries. The market for altarpieces and smaller devotional images was a large one. It included not only religious foundations but also the merchant classes. Many hundreds of English alabasters were exported, some as far afield as Iceland and Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain.



object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved, painted and gilt alabaster
Brief Description
Alabaster statuette depicting St Jude. English, 1410-1430
Physical Description
The saint, wearing a spade-shaped beard, holds with his right hand his emblem, an oar, which rests on its pointed end on the ground in front of him. A scroll, which presumably bore the words of the Apostles' Creed attributed to him, descends from his left hand, which is raised. He wears a robe and a cloak.



There are slight traces of red in the folds of his cloak and gilding in his hair. Dark green, with remins of the usual daisy pattern, can be seen at the bottom of the carving. The back of the panel is marked with 11 incisions close together. There are two lead-plugged holes with looped latten wires. Down the length of the carving the middle has been slightly chipped away, presumably to lessen the weight. The bottom has been cut away.



The figure has two metal loops for attaching it to a wooden framework. Mid-way down the back are eleven incised lines. These told the workmen that Jude was to be placed eleventh in a row of twelve apostles.
Dimensions
  • Height: 56.1cm
  • Width: 15.9cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
11 closely spaced lines. (On the back of the figure.; incising)
Credit line
Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA
Object history
Acquired by Dr W. L. Hildburgh in Paris. Possibly originally from the church of St. Avit-les-Guespières, Sarthe. On loan from Dr Hildburgh since 1924 and given by him to the Museum in 1946.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This is an alabaster statuette depciting St Jude, made in England in ca. 1410-1430.

There are two sorts of alabaster. Calcite alabaster is very hard and was used in ancient times. This object is made of 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 carving of alabaster, mostly quarried in Tutbury and Chellaston near Nottingham, took on industrial proportions in England between the middle of the 14th and the early 16th centuries. The market for altarpieces and smaller devotional images was a large one. It included not only religious foundations but also the merchant classes. Many hundreds of English alabasters were exported, some as far afield as Iceland and Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain.



Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 125 (cat. 54), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0
Collection
Accession Number
A.60-1946

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdNovember 14, 2002
Record URL