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Ushaw Virgin

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1968,0707.1

  • Title (object)

    • Ushaw Virgin
  • Description

    Figure of the Virgin from shrine; bronze; low relief, hollow-cast engraved, not gilded; four pin-holes for attachment to a flat surface; the Virgin Mary leans her head on her left hand, which she supports at the elbow with her right hand, in the traditional gesture of mourning; scalloped halo, slightly broken; long tunic with hood, ribbed sleeve, overmantle with low collar, 'apron-fold' over the breast and very deep cuffs; drapery boarders arranged in a series of rippling folds; Romanesque

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  • Date

    • 12thC(early)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 108 millimetres
    • Width: 40 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Text from Zarnecki et al, 1984, cat. no.231; see bibliography
    'Brass (79.5% copper, 15.9% zinc, only2.7% lead and 2.0% tin {XRF analysis, British Museum Lab.}) hollow-cast engraved, not gilded; four pin-holes for attachment to a flat surface; the Virgin Mary leans her head on her left hand, which she supports at the elbow with her right hand, in the traditional gesture of mourning; scalloped halo, slightly broken; long tunic with hood, ribbed sleeve, overmantle with low collar, 'apron-fold' over the breast and very deep cuffs; drapery boarders arranged in a series of rippling folds.

    With the age-old posture of grief the mother of Christ accepts with calm resignation the moment of His crucifixion. Her voluminous draperies are arranged in great patterns of subtlety. This figure must have been part of an applied Crucifixion group, like certain of the surviving Scandinavian alters such as the Sahl retable (Nørlund, 1926, p. 179), where similar scalloped are also used, compare also the Mourning Virgin (139). Late Anglo-Saxon drawing styles persist, but here the movement of the draperies is contained within the silhouette and there are no 'flying folds' as on the John of Beverly crosier (183), which is probably contemporary with the Ushaw Virgin and may also come from the north-east. The dates of this small masterpiece may well be as late as the early years of the reigh of Henry I.'

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  • Bibliography

    • Robinson 2008 p. 133 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:


    1984 5 Apr-8 Jul, London, Hayward Gallery, English Romanesque Art 1066-1200

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1968

  • Acquisition notes

    Said to have been excavated in the 19thC.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1968,0707.1

Figure of the Virgin from shrine; bronze; low relief; perforated lugs; Romanesque.

Figure of the Virgin from shrine; bronze; low relief; perforated lugs; Romanesque.

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Object reference number: MCM591

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