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, 20 June 2022

A sixteenth century tapestry celebrating the Blessed Sacrament

The New Liturgical Movement had an artivle st the weekend about an early sixteenth century tapestry in the church at Chalons-sur-Soâne that was given literally as a suitable back cloth for the celebration of Holy Thursday and Corpus Christi. It illustrates the typology of the Eucharist in the Old and New Trstaments. Given to the church in 1510 it has survived in wonderful condition and is a reminder of the type of textile that would have adorned many churches in the past. 

The very well illustrated article can be seen at A Eucharistic Tapestry in France

France has preserved more of these medieval wall hangings than many other parts of the continent, from the Bayeux Tapestry to the great cycle from the late fourteenth century depicting the Apocalypse and now to be seen in the castle at Angers, and treasures in the Musee de Cluny in Paris. 

From England little survives - there was great excitement the other year when a Spanish collection found that it possessed the one survivor of King Henry VIII’s great collection of tapestries. Due to their very nature and the accidents of time and chance, of political and religious upheaval the possibility of such pieces surviving is all the more one of chance.

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