Skip to comments.Lady Of Wells Reveals Her Secrets
Posted on 02/19/2006 4:18:47 PM PST by blam
Lady of Wells reveals her secrets
The current bishop wants to restore the throne room
A mysterious medieval wall painting found beneath the floor of the Bishop of Bath and Well's bedroom has given up its secrets. The painting, which shows a partly-clad woman wearing a transparent dress, dates from between 1460 and 1470.
It was part of the decoration of the throne room of Bishop Thomas Beckynton.
Dr Mark Horton, of Bristol University, who researched the painting discovered it is most likely to be part of a scene representing a medieval paradise.
"It was rather like something out of the Da Vinci Code, creeping beneath the bishop's floorboards to come face to face with this incredible piece of medieval art"
Dr Mark Horton
The painting was found by builders three years ago in the space between two floors in the Virgin's Tower next to heating pipes where the whitewash had fallen away.
The key to the identification is a medieval manuscript that shows the actual throne room with the wall paintings accurately depicted.
The manuscript is at Trinity College, Cambridge but a Victorian copy exists in the Special Collections of Bristol University and this shows the playwright Thomas Chaundler presenting one of his plays to Bishop Beckynton in 1460.
Dr Horton said: "The amazing thing is that this medieval manuscript accurately records what was on the wall. This included details of foliage and fruits which we then were able to find behind the heating pipes next to the image of the lady.
"It was rather like something out of the Da Vinci Code, creeping beneath the bishop's floorboards to come face to face with this incredible piece of medieval art."
The discovery has inspired the current Bishop, the Right Rev Peter Price, who lives in the palace, to want to restore the throne room to its former glory with the painted lady in pride of place along with the rest of the earthly garden.
Exquiste art, and I hope that the Bishop does fully restore the room.
Unfortunatly, a lot of images were lost during the English reformation, and so this is all the more valuable.
Bush must have done it.
Sounds like midieval pornography.
This is just another one of those British tabloid page three things, right?
Oh, my, yes. Google "Dissolution of the Monasteries".
There was Henry VIII who did these things for political reasons and following that the English Civil War and Cromwell who was motivated by his religious beliefs on the matter of icons and other things. (That was a very brief nutshell of an explanation).
Quite a find and most interesting. Thanks for the ping...
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At the time, there was a problem of power. The Church in Rome had an awful lot of it, and Henry wanted it. And remember that beginning with Henry VIII's reign the Renaissance brought so much to culture. A lot of good came out of his reign, and even more out of his daughter Elizabeth's. But he was quite fond of beheading everyone, and completely self-indulgent. It's difficult to find Monarchs who aren't, which is why we have this forum in the first place.
more medieval art news from England:
Archangel sculpture rises from Lichfield nave
Monday February 20, 2006
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