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The Deposition

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved and painted alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:

    A.68-1946

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The dead Christ, haloed, bearded and wearing the torse is shown naked except for the loincloth and lies diagonally across the panel with his head in the top right hand corner. He is being lowered from the cross by a beardless figure on a ladder who leans over him, supporting the body round the waist with his right arm, the sleeve of which is elaborately carved and holding onto the cross with his left arm. Joseph of Arimathaea stands on the right and Nicodemus on the left while the Virgin mary is shown kneeling in front of the cross in the centre of the panel.

The composition is unusual in the grouping of the Virgin and St John in the centre of the panel.

Physical description

The dead body of Christ, haloed, bearded and wearing the torse, is shown naked but for the loincloth, and lies diagonally across the panel, the head in the top right corner. He is being lowered from the cross by a beardless figure on a ladder who leans over him, supporting the body round the waist with his right arm, the sleeve of which is elaborately carved, and holding onto the cross with his left arm. A bearded figure, wearing a belted gown and a hood on his shoulders, presumably representing Joseph of Arimathaea, stands on the right of the panel; he looks up at Christ, holding his left arm. A similar figure, possibly representing Nicodemus, stands opposite him on the left of the panel, looking towards the centre and pointing to his left hand with the index finger of his right. The haloed and veiled figure of the Virgin, wearing a close-fitting gown and a cloak over her shoulders, kneels in front of the cross in the centre of the panel, her head bowed and her hands clasped together. She is supported by the beardless and barefoot figure of St. John the Evangelist, wearing a belted gown and a cloak, the right sleeve of his gown being elaborately carved.

The left-hand corners and an area top right of the panel are missing. There is a hole through the panel between the figures of the Virgin and St. John. Very slight traces of paint remain on the panel. There are four lead-plugged holes in the back of the panel, one of which has latten wires attached. The bottom has been cut away.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

15th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved and painted alabaster

Dimensions

Height: 53.5 cm, Width: 29.4 cm

Object history note

On loan from Dr W.L. Hildburgh since 1925. Given by Dr Hildburgh in 1946.

Historical significance: The composition is unusual in the grouping of the Virgin and St. John in the centre of the panel.

Descriptive line

Alabaster panel depicting the Deposition. English, 15th century.

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

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 263 (cat. 190), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0
Hildburgh, Archaeolog. Journal LXXXVIII, 1931, p. 288
Antiq. Journal VIII, 1928, p. 55.

Materials

Alabaster; Paint

Techniques

Carving; Painting

Subjects depicted

Hood; Gown; Veil; Halo; Cross; Ladder; Torse; Loincloth; Cloak

Categories

Christianity; Religion; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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