Pictures of Kilpeck Church Romanesque Sculptures | Kilpeck England { 294 images } Created 14 Feb 2015

Pictures images photos of the Romanesque Norman sculptures of St Mary and St David (1140 AD), Kilpeck England One of the great Norman Romanesque treasures of England is Kilpeck church in Herefordshire. Its remote location probably saved its incredibly well preserved Romanesque sculptures from the ravages of the reformation and Parliamentary puritans. Kilpeck church is a fine example of a Norman church with a Byzantine style apse at the eastern end of the church. The incredible sculptures around the south door of Kilpeck Church and the corbels that run around the church, are its treasure Our modern eyes have lost the meaning of a lot of medieval iconography and it is difficult to read medieval religious art when modern western civilisation is not under the yoke of a Roman Catholic church. A thousand years ago medieval man was obsessed with what would happen in the next world. The ravages of the plague and the successes of the Muslims had rendered Christians in a pessimistic mood that pointed to their Hell and Damnation. It is against this background that we have to look at the sculptures at Kilpeck Church. One of the most popular Medieval books was the Bestiary. This was an illustrated compendium that of the natural world. Animals and birds were illustrated and a description was accompanied by a moral lesson for each creature. The Bestiary illustrated not only known animals but also creatures that were thought to exist like the Unicorn. The more fanciful sculptures of Kilpeck Church are based on the creatures from the Bestiary. The meaning of some of the sculptures can be found in Bestiaries but the meaning of other creatures have been lost.

Other sculptured corbels of Kilpeck Church are morality panels. A lot of these panels show what seem to be theatrical masks the meaning of which have also been lost, but would have been understood by medieval eyes. The temptation of women is a popular theme at Kilpeck Church and it is clear that in Medieval minds all women are like Eve, who tricked Adam into eating the apple which led to their explosion from heaven. A grotesque corbel at Kilpeck Church depicting a female holding open a huge vulva is a moral tale of the temptations of women to be avoided. The creativity in the Kilpeck Church sculptures is both and endearing and mysterious. To the modern eye that has become used to abstract art Romanesque art can be enjoyed for its creativity and style if not for its original meaning.

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Hereford Churches
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