Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Ugborough hides a secret!

Of the three Adorations I photographed in Devon Ugborough was in the worse condition – very damaged and very dirty . But this hid the most wonderful discovery the Ugborough artist had seen the Victoria & Albert (V&A) piece copying his style or the same artist could have done both. I say this after careful comparison of each of the five subjects – Virgin & Child (V&C) , star and three ‘kings’.

The one that first caught my eye was the odd pose of the second king in the V&A piece his legs stick out of his orange gown , through the Ugborough grime you can just make out the same legs and gown – same pose. Further looking and you can see the postures and gestures are identical – he looks to the third king and points to towards the V&C.


The first kings adopt similar poses along with red crowns respectfully place on the floor as they pay homage to the Christ the King of Kings. The Star is in the same place in both Adorations and share essentially the same physical presentations – a long comet like tail pointing to the baby Jesus.

The V&Cs are seated on similar thrones however while the V&A piece points to the Star to indicate Christ’s divine status , the Ugborough Virgin seems to point to the baby Jesus as if saying ‘Here is Christ the King’. The Virgins’ clothes are also similar.


The third kings’ comparison is problematic – in the V&A it’s the Black Magi , in the Ugborough it’s a Saracen sword in one head a cut off head in the other (according to a label on the panel).. I would believe that this panel is a replacement - it was originally a Black Magi like the V&A!

1 comment:

JD said...

WOW....what a fantastic find..the hidden wonderment!!!!!! well done...great pictures by the way :-)