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.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

St Oswald in medieval art

John Dillon has posted on the Medieval Religion discussion group some medieval images of St. Oswald of Northumbria, the seventh century martyr King, whose feast is today.

a) Oswald (very probably) as depicted in a later twelfth-century mural painting in Durham cathedral's Galilee Chapel:

b) Oswald as portrayed on (in a plaque) and atop (in a bust) his late twelfth-century head reliquary (ca. 1185-1189; partly restored, 1779) in the cathedral museum in Hildesheim:

Another view of the bust:

The reliquary can be seen in detail and from many angles at this website:

c) Oswald as depicted in an earlier thirteenth-century legendary (betw. 1200 and 1235) of south German origin (New York, New York Public Library, Spencer Collection ms. 1, fol. 89v):

d) Oswald (lower right) as depicted by Matthew Paris in a mid-thirteenth-century copy of his Abbreviatio Chronicorum (ca. 1250; London, BL, Cotton MS. Claudius D. VI, fol. 6v):

I do not know who the rather grumpy looking monarch is at St Oswald's feet - possibly the pagan King Penda of Mercia [Clever Boy]

e) Oswald at Heavenfield as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century French-language legendary of Parisian origin (ca. 1327), with illuminations attributed to the Fauvel Master (Paris, BnF, ms. Français 183, fol. 78v):

Gordon Plumb has posted on the same site these pictures of St Oswald in medieval stained glass:

Wells Cathedral, SII, centre figure:

York Minster, NX, 2b:

York Minster, CHnIX, 5b-6b:

Oxford, Christ Church Cathedral, sVII, A3, St Cuthbert holding the head of St Oswald:

York Minster, sVII, 3c-4c, St Cuthbert holding the head of St Oswald:

Cockayne Hatley, St John the Baptist, nIII, 1b:
According to a leaflet in the church this glass (of c.1300-20) was rescued from a small church in Yorkshire and reset here by the gift of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers in 1968.

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