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.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

St Sixtus II and his companions

The story of St Sixtus II, Pope from 257-8, and whose feast, with four of his deacons, companions with him in martyrdom, falls today is inextricably bound up with that of St Lawrence his most famous deacon whose feast day is on August 10th.

Here are two frescos by Fra Angelico from the Niccoline chapel built for Pope Nicholas V (1447-55)   in the Vatican, and in which the painter has shown St Sixtus with the features of Pope Nicholas. These are  beautiful paintings and also a fine record both of liturgical dress in the mid-fifteenth century and contemporary awareness of classical architecture:


St Sixtus ordains St Lawrence

Fresco of
1447-49 in the Cappella Niccolina in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican

Image Carlu Battista on Flickr


St Sixtus, anticipating his martyrdom, entrusts the treasures of the Roman Church to St Lawrence

Fresco of 1447-49 in the Cappella Niccolina in the Apostolic Palace,  Vatican

Image: clarescatholicclutter

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