A larger image of the Mural with a scene of the Martyrdom of St Thomas Becket, St Peter ad Vincula Church, South Newington, England, c.1330AD
This was almost certainly a private chapel for the Giffard family, and it is to them we owe the astonishing wall paintings that decorate the north wall. The paintings in the aisle date from about 1330 and are at the same time a devotional expression and a statement of political affiliation and family status. They are created with oil on plaster, a very unusual and expensive way to produce paintings at that time. The paintings were covered with limewash at the Reformation, and this has acted to preserve the art in an amazingly good condition.
Thomas Becket Martyrdom
The murder of Becket was a popular subject in medieval church art, but only 15 or so wall paintings survive, and this is undoubtedly one of the finest. Why did so few survive? Henry VIII ordered the 'idolatrous' paintings destroyed, but this one was spared because it was covered by a painting of St George and the Dragon. Becket is shown kneeling by an altar, confronted by the four knights. He is in an attitude of prayer, defended by a priest, who has blocked the first sword blow. A second knight strikes a fatal blow, while a third has his sword ready and the fourth begins to draw his weapon. Becket's head is perfectly preserved, but only the head of the fourth knight, Richard le Bret, has survived relatively intact.
Source: Britain Express - South Newington Church and wall paintings
Other Thomas Becket images:|
Murder of Thomas Becket, Spoleto, Italy, late 12th-century
The Murder of Thomas Becket, Wall Painting in Santa Maria de Terrassa, Catalonia, Spain, c1180-1200
Murder of Thomas Becket on the font in Lyngsjo Church, Scania, southern Sweden, late 12th century
Martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury, Chronica Majora by Matthew Paris, England, ca. 1240–53
Martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury, Carrow Psalter, England, c.1250
Mural with a scene of the Martyrdom of St Thomas Becket, St Peter's Church, Preston Village, Brighton, England, mid 13th century
The Martyrdom of Thomas Becket, Fresco in the Museo Diocesano from Palazzo dei Trecento, Treviso, Veneto, Italy, c.1260
Alabaster panel with a scene of the Martyrdom of St Thomas Becket, England, 1450-1500