Saturday, 11 April 2015

Tipping the scales

I'm not sure how widespread wall paintings were in fourteenth century churches, but damage (routine, Reformation, Commonwealth) has deprived us of most.  We went to see Lincolnshire's best survivals at Pickworth yesterday.  

The destruction here includes the lowering of the roof line - so we see only the pierced feet of Jesus and the bottom of Mary and John beside him here.  It is the whitewashing over the whole set of pictures which actually saved them; they were rediscovered when a near-by German bomb shook some of the covering plaster down.  Here in the centre graves are being opened and people emerge.

To the right, many are herded away to damnation; top right of the most visible group there is a devil pitchforking another group into the jaws of hell.

To the left, less clearly, Peter ushers the saved to safety.

Meanwhile, the south wall is also particularly rich, including the three skeletons between the two top windows.

And also, almost best of all, including Our Lady tipping in our favour the scales in which Michael is weighing a soul (which is, of course, her job - 'pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death').


Amanda Russell said...

Dear Peter,

I am currently researching a book called O Sing Unto the Lord for Profile Books and the author has flagged one of your images from this post as a potential picture for his plate section.

Can you contact me please, so that we can discuss usage, file size and fees?

Many thanks

Amanda Russell

Peter Mullins said...

The pictures themselves are not quite at a standard I'd expect a book to want, and you don't give a way I could contact you, but you could e-mail me via the link from St Michael's, Little Coates on the A Church Near You website if you want to follow this up.