Winchester Cathedral  -  Headless Sculpture in Retrochoir


From Hampshire and the Isle of Wight by Nikolaus Pevsner and David Lloyd (1967) Yale University Press, New Haven and London:

Ecclesia or Synagogue, c.1230.  Headless, but even so of a quality as good as anything in France. The source of inspiration is the transept porches of Chartres (Ste Modeste, Visitation).  Here the flow of the folds downwards and the disturbance when they meet the ground can be matched, and even the belt with one end hanging low down. This at Winchester was of metal.  The draperies show to perfection that nobility could be expressed in the C13 in drapery. The head is hardly necessary to inform us of carriage and mood.  The piece was found in the Deanery porch.  

Description below the statue:

"13th Century Statue.  This statue was probably one of the four which adorned the porch of the priory (now the Deanery), and may have represented Fortitude.  The right hand held down a metal collar-strap; and there was a metal girdle, with a long end (or sword?) hanging down.  The figure is a superb example of medieval sculpture.
Professor Herbert Read writes ('The Meaning of Art', p.74) that in this statue 'all the transcendent grace and spirituality of a great religion are embodied in stone'. "

Setting in Retrochoir - click to enlarge


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