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.

Monday, 3 September 2012

St Gregory the Great

Today, in the novus ordo calendar, is the feast of St Gregory the Great, Pope from 590 until 604, and the Apostle of the English.

To mark his feast day here is another depiction of the Mass of St Gregory, the oft-used later medieval story of how he convinced a doubter of the reality of Transubstantiation. As became usual the scene is shown with the Saint having a vision of the Man of Sorrows.

Mass of Saint Gregory

The Mass of Saint Gregory

Student or follower of Robert Campin about 1440
Oil on panel, 85 x 73 cm
Brussels, Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts
Some scholars have thought that the Mass of Saint Gregory was a copy after a lost original by Robert Campin dating from around 1410-1415.

Image: aiwaz.net

As with other depictions of this story the painting is an insight into late medieval liturgical practice and also late medieval expectations of what churches and liturgies looked like.

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