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, 6 November 2020

A medieval mason shows his face at Compostela

The discovery of what appears to be a self-portrait by one of the twelfth century sculptors engaged in carving capitals for the nave of the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela has been picked up by two websites. Described - slightly tiresomely in my opinion - as a medieval “selfie” it can be seen and is discussed in an article from The Guardian at A selfie set in stone: hidden portrait by cheeky mason found in Spain 900 years on, and in one from LifeScience Essentials at Long-hidden 'selfie' of a medieval mason found in historic Spanish cathedral

The pilgrimage and shrine at Santiago was supported and encouraged by the Cluniac Benedictines and along the land routes to Galicia through southern France and northern Spain are numerous examples of sculpture in the Cluniac tradition. This distinctive style - almost a brand identification for the Cluniac and their spirituality - is illustrated by many of the photographs in this link here on Pinterest including the great west portal of the cathedral at Compostela.

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