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Panel - The Incredulity of St Thomas

The Incredulity of St Thomas

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    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.149-1946

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Christ, wearing a robe draped from his left shoulder, leaving his chest and lower legs bare, is represented on the right of his narrow panel, holding the cross-staff of the Resurrection in his left hand. St Thomas kneels on the left handside of the risen Christ, who raises the Saint's left hand to the wound in His side.

The narrow dimensions of this panel suggest that it was the terminal panel from a Passion altarpiece.

Physical description

Christ, wearing a robe draped from his left shoulder, leaving his chest and lower legs bare, is represented on the right of this narrow panel, holding the cross-staff of the Resurrection in his left hand. He holds by his right side the left hand of the bearded kneeling Thomas, as if to make Thomas' ordeal easier. The apostle wears a gown and a cloak fastened with a brooch and looks up at Christ, his right hand slightly raised.

The whole of the top of the panel, including the head of Christ, is missing. The top of the cross-staff is missing. There is a hole in the panel under Christ's right arm. The right side of the panel is chipped.

Green paint and the usual daisy pattern remain on the ground; a yellowish feathering pattern is also present. There is gilding on the hair and beard of St. Thomas, on the cross-staff and on the edges of the robes of the two figures. There are traces of blue on the robes of Christ and St. Thomas. There are four lead-plugged holes in the back of the panel. The bottom has been cut away.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

15th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved, painted and gilt alabaster

Dimensions

Height: 34.5 cm, Width: 14.8 cm

Object history note

Acquired by Dr W. L. Hildburgh in Paris. On loan since 1928. Given by Dr Hildburgh in 1946.

Historical significance: The narrow dimensions of the panel suggest it was the terminal panel from a Passion altarpiece, doubtless balancing a similarly shaped panel. Panels of this subject are not common.

Descriptive line

Alabaster panel depicting the Incredulity of St Thomas. English, 15th century.

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

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 287 (cat. 214), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0

Materials

Alabaster; Paint; Gilt

Techniques

Carving; Painting; Gilding

Subjects depicted

Brooch; Robe; Cloak; Staff (symbolic)

Categories

Christianity; Religion; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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