Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On display at the Garden Museum, London

St Fiacre

Statuette
15th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Saint Fiacre holds a book in his right hand and a spade in his left. He is the patron saint of gardeners.

Saints are the heroes and heroines of Christian faith. In the 14th and 15th centuries, they were a popular subject for alabaster carvings. Religious themes penetrated private life, so devotional images of saints were sculpted not only for church interiors, but also for individuals to contemplate within the privacy of their homes.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved alabaster
Brief Description
Alabaster statuette depicting St Fiacre. English, 15th century.
Physical Description
An unusually large figure of the saint stands with his bare head inclined to his right. He is bearded and his head is small in proportion to his body. He wears a girded habit under a cloak with a lappet hanging down in front; on his shoulders he wears a hood, gathered in folds round his neck. In his right hand he carries a closed book, and in his left he holds the handle of a spade which rests between his feet.



A horizontal break across the middle of the figure has been repaired. The bottom left-hand corner of the figure and part of the saint's beard is missing. The top of his book is chipped. The lower right-hand side of the figure has been damaged.



No paint remains on the figure. The back of the figure bears three holes, two of which are lead-plugged.
Dimensions
  • Height: 60cm
  • Width: 22cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA
Object history
Acquired by Dr W. L. Hildburgh in Paris. On loan from him since 1926. Given by Dr Hildburgh in1946.



Historical significance: Figures of this saint in English alabaster are rare.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Saint Fiacre holds a book in his right hand and a spade in his left. He is the patron saint of gardeners.



Saints are the heroes and heroines of Christian faith. In the 14th and 15th centuries, they were a popular subject for alabaster carvings. Religious themes penetrated private life, so devotional images of saints were sculpted not only for church interiors, but also for individuals to contemplate within the privacy of their homes.
Bibliographic Reference
Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 102 (cat. 31), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0
Collection
Accession Number
A.135-1946

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record createdNovember 21, 2002
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