Ranworth Chancel Screen With Parochial Altars

Late fifteenth century.

Mr. Fredk aumner, Photo.

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at the Pillar ; (2) The Bearing of the Cross ; (3) The Crucifixion ; (4) The Resurrection and (5) The Ascension. The upper part of this super-altar is missing, and the central panel may have been somewhat higher than the others.

On the bordering framework the beads were, originally gilt, with the fillets or chamfers between picked out in alternate blue and red, with small flowers stencilled in gold as a relief. The outer framing has a flat band of ornament, of which the corner sections, and the whole of the top length is missing, on which are the remains of small heraldic paintings on glass. These are, evidently, the coats of the donors, and from them the date of the production of the altar-piece can be deduced. Mr. St. John Hope, M.A., in a paper read at the meeting of the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society, in 1897 (Society's Proceedings, Vol. Xlfl), stated that he had deciphered such of the coats and banners as remain. They show the arms of Henry Despencer, Bishop of Norwich, 1370-1406, Sir Stephen Hale, Sir Thomas Morieux, Sir William Kerdeston (or a later member of the same family), Sir Nicholas Gernon and Sir John Howard.

Ranworth Norfolk

RANWORTH, NORFOLK, DETAIL OF FIGURES IN BASE OF CHANCEL SCREEN.

Mr. Fredk. Sumner, Photo.

RANWORTH, NORFOLK, DETAIL OF FIGURES IN BASE OF CHANCEL SCREEN.

Mr. Fredk. Sumner, Photo.

R 121

Digitize* by Ff:~rosoft®

RANWORTH CHANCEL SCREEN N. ALTAR RANWORTH CHANCEL SCREEN S. ALTAR

AND REREDOS REREDOS.

It is difficult to resolve this painted super-altar into any school, as it stands, more or less, alone. Dr. Tancred Borenius is of opinion that it may be French in inspiration, but in the closing years of the fourteenth century, the greater part of France, at least those districts from which this work could have emanated, were English possessions. Dr. Borenius also points out that the possibility of its English origin must not be ignored. It may be the work of a Church luminer rather than of a pictorial artist, and it is known that an English school of religious painting did exist at this period, the works of which have perished in nearly every case. This Norwich retable, therefore, may be an almost solitary survival of such work. It must be remembered, also, that it is prior in date even to Hubert Van Eyck, at least to the period of his better known works. He was court painter to the reigning Prince of Burgundy, Philip the Hardy, from rqxo to 1420. True, he must have been between forty and fifty years of age at

Ranworth Church Norfolk Ornament

RANWORTH, DETAIL OF PAINTED VAULTING.

RANWORTH, DETAIL OF FLYING BUTTRESS.

Mr. Fredk. Sumner, Photos.

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