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The Trinity

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    second half 15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved, painted and gilt alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:

    A.116-1946

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The cronwed figure of God the Father is enthroned in the centre of the panel, under a canopy. His hands are raised in blessing and he holds the Crucified Christ between his knees. The Holy Spirit is not represented but there is a whole in the top of the cross and the Dove may formerly have been fixed to it. At the bottom of the panel, two angels hold a chalice to receive blood from Christ's feet.

Physical description

The crowned figure of God the Father, with a forked beard and wearing a gown with a cloak draped over his knees, is enthroned in the centre of the panel, under a canopy that forms an integral part of the panel. His hands are raised in blessing; his feet rest on a ledge. The folds of his garments are treated very decoratively by the sculptor. Between his knees is the cross which rises from the base of the panel and bears the bearded figure of Christ, his head inclined to the left, long hair hanging on his shoulders, and wearing a lonicloth and the torse. Behind the throne at the top of the panel two angels stand to left and right on brackets, swinging censers. Two more angels kneel to left and right at the base of the cross, each holding a chalice between them with one hand to receive the blood of Christ; their other hands are raised. The Holy Spirit is not represented, but there is a dowel hole at the top of the cross by which the Dove was doubtless attached.

The canopy at the top of the panel is damaged. Green paint and the usual daisy pattern remain on the ground. Traces of red decorated with flecks of white are on the angels' wings. The upper background is gilt with the remains of gesso decoration. The crown, hair and beard of God the Father are gilt as are the angels' censers and the canopy. There are four lead-plugged holes with latten wires attached at the back of the panel. The bottom has been cut away.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

second half 15th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved, painted and gilt alabaster

Dimensions

Height: 58.9 cm, Width: 24.4 cm

Object history note

Acquired by G. Thomas in Spain. Later in the possession of P. Nelson from whom it was acquired by Dr W.L. Hildburgh. On loan from him since 1926. Given by Dr Hildburgh in 1946.

Descriptive line

Alabaster panel depicting the Trinity. English, second half of 15th century.

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

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 304 (cat. 230), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0

Materials

Alabaster; Paint; Gilt

Techniques

Carving; Painting; Gilding

Subjects depicted

Loincloth; Censer; Angel; Cloak; Torse; Crown; Canopy; Throne; Chalice; Cross

Categories

Christianity; Religion; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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