- Museum number
Capital; limestone; freestanding, each of the four faces carved with a separate narrative relating to St Peter; the scenes should be read anti-clockwise:
1. A boat, built of planks, floats on waves depicted as concentric strands. There are two men in the boat, simply dressed, their hair cut in straight fringes. One is holding an oar and both are pulling out of the water a net with indistinctly carved fishes in it. This is an illustration of Matthew IV.18-19, in which Christ sees Peter and Andrew fishing and calls them to follow Him.
2. This scene, the Calling of St Peter, illustrates Matthew IV.20, in which Peter and Andrew 'left their nets, and followed Him'. A nimbed figure of Christ is separated from the two figures by a tree, now largely broken. Peter and Andrew are dressed in cloaks with hoods, presumably the standard dress for fishermen in the 12th century and essentially like that of today.
3.Here, the nimbed Peter, holding a large key, his symbol, lifts the lame man whom he has just healed at the gate of the Temple, Acts III.1-17. The man's crutches are damaged but unmistakeable.
4.This depicts a church built with diagonal ashlar and with arcades, while on the tiled roof was a cross (now broken). It illustrates Matthew XVI.18, '...thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church'.
- Production date
- 1125-1150 (circa)
Height: 253 millimetres
Width: 290 millimetres
Depth: 290 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Zarnecki et el 1984, see bibliography:
'The subject of this capital was particularly appropriate for a Clunaic house such as Lewes, since Cluny had a very special relationship with the papacy, and the popes always emphasized their succession to St Peter, the first Bishop of Rome. Cluny Abbey was dedicated to St Peter. The Calling of St Peter is also found on the lavabo in the Clunaic priory at Much Wenlock. There was yet another, more topical reason for showing scenes connected with St Peter, and by implication with the church itself; the conflict over the lay investiture of bishops and abbots, which the papacy bitterly opposed. In England, the conflict first came into the open under Archbishop Anselm who, returning from Rome in 1100, refused to pay homage to the new king, Henry I. Seventy years later this conflict led to the murder of Thomas Becket. Stylistically the capital is somewhat hesitatnt and shows a similar narrative sculpture to that in the Judgement of Solomon capital in Westminster Abbey.'
- On display (G40/stand)
- Exhibition history
1984 5 Apr-8 Jul, London, Hayward Gallery, English Romanesque Art 1066-1200
- The surface is weathered and many details have been lost, especially legs of people and branches of trees.
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number