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Name that Roundel

Posted By ltempest On May 7, 2011 @ 1:50 pm In Issue 51,News | Comments Disabled

This month’s puzzle comes from the parish church of St Peter at Cassington in Oxfordshire [Fig. 6]

The roundel conflates four scenes within the same panel.

Fig. 6. Name that Roundel!

Fig. 6. Name that Roundel!

In the foreground an older man faces a shorter youth while other figures congregate near the couple. At the lower left of the panel, the youth is shown asleep. Roundels are mounted above. A crescent moon is just visible in the left hand roundel. Eleven objects can be seen in the right hand roundel. In the left hand top corner, a man is holding the wrist of the youth who is pointing ahead with his left arms. Finally, in the top right hand corner, the youth is being lowered into a pit by some men. He watches as other men hold some material.
The roundel measures 23cm and is badly pitted. William Cole dated it to c. 1500 in A Catalogue of Netherlandish and North European Roundels in Britain, CVMA (GB), Summary Catalogue 1, Oxford, 1993. What subject does it depict?

Roundels and other single panels of this period typically depict a range of subjects, including stories from the Old and New Testaments, the lives of saints, and tales from ancient history and classical literature, such as Homer’s Odyssey. Moral themes can also appear.
The solution can be found at the foot of this month’s Books section.


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