Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.

I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop...
It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.


Friday, 4 December 2015

St Barbara


Today is the traditional feast day of St Barbara, Virgin and Martyr who has disappeared from the modern General Calendar.

Gordon Plumb posted on the Medieval Religion discussion group the following stained glass images of her:

Exeter Cathedral, Choir Clerestory, east window, c.1301-4:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/22274117@N08/2885208187

North Luffenham, St John the Baptist, Rutland, chancel north, 2b, early 14thC.:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/22274117@N08/21731958225

Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, east window, 2b-4b, late 15thC.:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/22274117@N08/2419630606

Winchester Cathedral, nVIII, A3 early 16thC.:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/22274117@N08/4438638138
and detail:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/22274117@N08/4438639730

Wrangle, St Mary and St Nicholas, Lincolnshire nVII, A1, c.1410-30:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/22274117@N08/8170507670

Mapledurham, St Margaret, Oxfordshire, east window, 2c, 15thC.:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/22274117@N08/5592494012

Winchester College Chapel, Thurburn's Chantry, south window, A7, 15thC.:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/22274117@N08/3456891488

York Minster, nXX, figure on left, 15thC.:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/22274117@N08/5017465302

John Dillon followed up with a supplement to Gordon Plumb's offering of links to images of St. Barbara in glass, with some links to other period-pertinent images of her, which indicate her onetime popularity as an intercessor and patroness. I have reproduced some of them before in posts on this feast, but they are so splendid it seems a pity not to reproduce them again. I have added my own comments on [ ]:

a) Barbara as depicted in an earlier eighth-century fresco in Rome's chiesa di Santa Maria Antiqua (grayscale view):
http://www.icon-art.info/masterpiece.php?lng=en&mst_id=1895

b) Barbara as depicted in a tenth-century fresco in the Grotta dei Santi in Pignataro Maggiore (CE; near Calvi Risorta) in Campania:



c) Barbara as depicted in the earlier eleventh-century mosaics (restored between 1953 and 1962) in the narthex of the church of the Theotokos in the monastery of Hosios Loukas (St. Luke of Stiria) near Distomo in Phokis:



d) Barbara as depicted in an eleventh-century fresco in the chiesa di Santa Maria della Croce at Casaranello, a frazione of Casarano (LE) in southern Apulia:




e) Barbara as depicted in a twelfth-century codex in a library on Mt. Athos (cited at the Athonite site Pemptousia without further indication of location or shelfmark):
http://pemptousia-4.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/files/2013/12/Varvara-manuscris-athos-s12-IN.jpg

f) Barbara as depicted in an early thirteenth-century fresco (1208) in the church of the monastery of St. Moses the Egyptian (Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi) near near An-/Al-Nabk (a.k.a. Nebek) in Syria:



g) Barbara as depicted in the mid-thirteenth-century frescoes (1259) in the church of Sts. Nicholas and Panteleimon at Boyana near the Bulgarian capital of Sofia:



h) Barbara (at left, with Sts. Marina and Anastasia) as depicted in the late thirteenth-century (1280) wall paintings in the church of the Panagia in Moutoullas (Nicosia prefecture), Republic of Cyprus:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/actaeon1805/9017442141/

i) Barbara (at right; at left, St. Agnes) as depicted in the late thirteenth-century (c. 1284-1290) Livre d'images de Madame Marie (Paris, BnF, ms. Nouvelle acquisition française 16251, fol. 96r):
http://tinyurl.com/y9wmsx6

j) Barbara (lower register) as depicted in an early fourteenth-century fresco (between 1307 and 1313) in the church of the Theotokos of Ljeviš in Prizren in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:

Church of Our Lady of Ljeviska - Saint Barbara (around 1310)


k) Barbara as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century fresco (between c. 1312 and 1321/1322) in the nave of the monastery church of the Theotokos at Gračanica in, depending on one's view of the matter, Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija or the Republic of Kosovo:
http://tinyurl.com/gvlf4dy
Detail view:



l) Barbara's martyrdom as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century copy (c. 1335) of Vincent of Beauvais' Speculum historiale in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (Paris, BnF, ms Arsenal 5080, fol. 238r):
http://tinyurl.com/mx3wet2

m) Barbara (at right; at left, St. Brictius / Brice) as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century glass window (c. 1340) in the entrance hall -- an enclosed porch -- of the Basilika Mariä Himmelfahrt at Gurk (Kärnten):



n) Barbara as depicted (at right; at left, St. Francis of Assisi) by Jaume Ferrer Bassa in a mid-fourteenth-century fresco (between 1343 and 1348) in the capella di Sant Miquel of the Reial Monestir de Pedralbes in Barcelona:


Detail view:



o) Barbara as portrayed in a relatively recently restored later fourteenth-century polychromed wooden statue (c. 1380) from the church of Corpus Christi in Svaty Tomáš (Český Krumlov dist.) in the Czech Republic, now in the Regionální muzeum, Český Krumlov:

Sv. Barbora, Svatý Tomáš u Frymburka, kolem roku 1380, dřevěná polychromovaná plastika, Stav po restaurování, komplexní restaurátorský zásah Stojan Genčev, Kotangens s.r.o., Praha, 1997 – 1998


p) Barbara as depicted in the very late fourteenth-/early fifteenth-century Breviary of Martin of Aragon (Paris, BnF, ms. Rothschild 2529, fol. 414v):
http://tinyurl.com/ylbu3ze

q) Barbara (at right) as depicted in the late fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century Pähl Altarpiece (ca. 1400) in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich:



r) Barbara as depicted in a fifteenth-century Novgorod School icon in the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow:
http://www.icon-art.info/masterpiece.php?lng=en&mst_id=517

s) Barbara (at centre, between a pastoral scene and the BVM and Christ Child) as depicted in a fifteenth-century fresco on the iconostasis of the rupestrian chiesa di Santa Barbara in Matera:
http://www.sassi-di-matera.it/immagini/santa-barbara/santa-barbara.JPG
Detail view (Barbara):
http://tinyurl.com/npdw77q

t) Barbara as depicted in a fifteenth-century wall painting in St Ethelbert's Church, Hessett (Suffolk):

S. Barbara, Hessett [73KB]

http://tinyurl.com/kgwnkj4

u) Barbara as depicted in a fifteenth-century drawing in the Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg (Handzeichnung H 2):



v) Barbara (at right; at left, St. Michael) as depicted on the fifteenth-century chancel screen of All Saints, Filby (Norfolk):



w) Barbara as depicted on the fifteenth-century chancel screen of St. Helen's, Ranworth (Norfolk):



Detail view:



x) Barbara as depicted (four scenes from her Passio) in seemingly fifteenth-century paintings (_aliter_, fourteenth-century; uncovered and restored, 1888-1893) in the apse of the église Notre-Dame at Savigny (Manche), once a dependency of the abbey of Sainte-Barbe-en-Auge:


http://www.normandie-heritage.com/IMG/jpg/Notre_Dame_Savigny_11.jpg
http://www.normandie-heritage.com/IMG/jpg/Notre_Dame_Savigny_12.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/q7n49o8
http://www.normandie-heritage.com/IMG/jpg/Notre_Dame_Savigny_13.jpg
http://www.normandie-heritage.com/IMG/jpg/Notre_Dame_Savigny_14.jpg

y) Barbara as depicted by Jan van Eyck in an earlier fifteenth-century panel painting in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp:



z) Barbara as portrayed by Claus de Werve in an earlier fifteenth-century limestone statue (ca. 1430) in the Bode-Museum in Berlin:



aa) Barbara as depicted on a panel of the now dismembered earlier fifteenth-century Triptych of Heinrich von Werl (1438) in the Museo de El Prado, Madrid:



[A wonderful fifteenth century interior]

bb) Barbara (flanked by Sts. Felix and Adauctus) as depicted by Wilhelm Kalteysen of Aachen in the central panel of his mid-fifteenth-century St. Barbara Altarpiece (1447) in the Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, Warsaw:



cc) Barbara as portrayed by the workshop of Niclaus Gerhaert of Leiden in a later fifteenth-century reliquary bust (c. 1465) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:

Reliquary Bust of Saint Barbara


dd) Barbara as depicted by Domenico Ghirlandaio in a later fifteenth-century fresco (1471) in the pieve di Sant'Andrea at Sesto Fiorentino (FI) in Tuscany:




ee) Barbara (at left; at right, St. Catherine of Alexandria) as depicted in the lower panel of a wing of a later fifteenth-century altar (c. 1476-1490) in the bazilika sv. Jakuba in Levoča (Prešovský kraj) in Slovakia:


The altar as a whole:



ff) Barbara (at right; at left, St. Catherine of Alexandria) flanking the BVM as depicted by Hans Memling in a late fifteenth-century panel painting (early 1480s) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:

Virgin and Child with Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Barbara


gg) Barbara as depicted in a late fifteenth-century fresco inside the Pfarrkirche St. Barbara in Abensberg (Lkr. Kelheim) in Bavaria:



hh) Barbara as portrayed in a late fifteenth-century statue (c. 1480-1490; from Normandy) in the Musée national du Moyen Âge (Musée de Cluny), Paris:



ii) Barbara as portrayed in a late fifteenth-century statue on the église Saint-Pantaléon in Troyes:



jj) Barbara as portrayed by the Flemish engraver Master FVB in a late fifteenth-century engraving in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:



kk) as portrayed in a late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century polychromed limestone statue of French origin in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:

Saint Barbara


ll) Barbara (martyrdom and other scenes) as depicted by Jerg Ratgeb on the central panel of his early sixteenth-century Barbara Altar (1510) in the Stadtkirche of Schwaigern (Lkr. Heilbronn), Baden-Württemberg:


Detail view (martyrdom):



[ I am rather intrigued by the Noddy lookalike in the scenes in the background...]

mm) Barbara (at right; at left, St. Homobonus of Cremona) flanking the BVM and Christ Child on an early sixteenth-century relief (1511) for the former Ospedal dei Poveri Sartori at no. 4338 Fondamenta dei Sartori in Venice's _sestiere_ of Cannaregio:



nn) Barbara as portrayed in an early sixteenth-century reliquary statue (1514; from Gdansk) in the Muzeum Diecezjalne, Pelplin:


Detail view:



oo) Barbara as portrayed, perhaps by the maître de Mailly, in an earlier sixteenth-century sandstone statue (c. 1525) in the église paroissiale de la Nativité et de l'Assomption de la Sainte-Vierge in Villeloup (Aube):



NB: the images on that page are all expandable.

pp) Barbara as portrayed in an earlier sixteenth-century limewood relief (1525) in the Salzburg Museum, Salzburg:


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/50/Hl_Barbara_1525.jpg

All in all a reminder of how widespread devotion to St Barbara was in past centuries and of the varieties of artistic expression which depicted her.



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