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Panel - The Resurrection

The Resurrection

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    late 14th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lt. Col. G. B. Croft-Lyons FSA

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This alabaster panel representing the Resurrection was probably made in the late 14th century England. The simplicity of design and chamfered edging of this panel are indicative of an early date of the development of English alabaster sculpture.

Physical description

The edges of the panel are chamfered and form a frame which, together with the relatively simple design, indicates a 14th-century date. The bearded figure of Christ, shallow holes drilled in the eyes to represent pupils, wears the torse and the shroud draped from his right shoulder and over his right arm. His right hand is raised in blessing and he holds in his left hand the cross-staff and banner of the Resurrection, symbolizing his victory over death. He steps with his right foot from the tomb, which is shown resting on uneven ground. He steps onto the back of a soldier who lies face down, and who wears a basinet, a tippet of mail, a jupon and a belt, holding in both hands a battle-axe on the ground beside him. A similar seated figure of a soldier is represented asleep sitting on the inside edge of the tomb, his left leg over the front and resting his right elbow on a square shield which he holds with his left hand. Another sleeping soldier is shown behind the tomb on the left of the panel, leaning on the edge of the tomb with his arms.

The right arm and the bottom of the shaft of the cross-staff and the bottom left corner of the panel are missing. No paint remains on the panel. The back of the panel bears four rectangular-shaped lead plugs and the remains of latten wires.

Place of Origin

England (made)


late 14th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved alabaster


Height: 38 cm, Width: 26.9 cm

Object history note

Bequeathed by Lt. Col. G.B. Croft-Lyons F.S.A. in 1926.

Historical significance: Apparently one of the earliest Resurrection panels to survive. Most panels show more than three soldiers. Resurrection panels are among the most common and were clearly one of the most popular of all the subjects to be carved by the alabastermen.

The placing of one of Christ's feet actually on a sleeping soldier is the attitude usually represented by the alabaster carvers, but very rarely shown in continental art of the period. It has been suggested the influence of contemporary mystery plays was responsible both for the conventional stone tomb, instead of the original cave-like sepulchre described in the gospels, and for the action of the risen Christ.

Descriptive line

Alabaster panel depicting the Resurrection. English, late 14th century.

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

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 272 (cat. 199), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0
Art Bulletin. XXXII, March 1950. pp. 12-13. pl. 21.
Alexander, Jonathan, and Paul Binski (eds.), Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400, London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1987.





Subjects depicted

Soldier; Armour; Belt; Staff; Tomb; Banner; Torse; Battle-axe; Shroud; Shield


Christianity; Religion; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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