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Here the painter has managed to suggest something other than a straightforward row of crucified figures, all facing squarely to the front. Something of this shows in the articulation of the figure at the left of the photograph, but it is most marked in the way the other Thief and his cross are disposed at the right, where the painter has clearly tried to angle the cross and the figure so that the Thief appears to be in a slightly different lateral plane from Christ in the centre, farther back into the implied distance.
In the centre is the crucified Christ, nailed to the Cross and with legs straight - unlike the two thieves, who are fastened to their crosses with arms hooked over the transverse beams and pinioned behind. Their legs are bent, and the head of the Thief at the right visibly slumped forward. At the lower left are the faint remains of Longinus, possibly wearing some kind of dark-coloured headgear, and with his lance piercing Christs side. An area of dark pink pigment to the right was probably St. John and some other faint pigmentation at the far right might be another figure carrying a ladder.
All in all, I think this represents a late development in English medieval church painting. Some aspects of it suggest comparison not with other English provincial Crucifixions but rather with some treatments of the subject - not after all much later - by the German painter Lucas Cranach³
The other paintings at Barnby-the Annunciation and the Seven Works of Mercy have been on the site for some time.
¹ No longer true. Amberley in Sussex also has both thieves - the Impenitent one unfortunately very damaged and faint. Its date is problematic however.
³Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1472-1553. (But his style and that of his son Lucas Cranach the Younger are well-nigh indistinguishable).
|Crucifixion, with Mary & John, Bapchild, Kent||Crucifixion with 2 Thieves, Barnby, Suffolk||Crucifixion with Mary & John, Brent Eleigh, Suffolk||Crucifixion, painted on pillar, Broughton, Oxon||Christ crucified on a lily, Godshill, Isle of Wight||Crucifixion with Mary & John, Goxhill (nr.Immingham) Lincs||Background to Rood Group, with angels, Kingston, Cambridgeshire||Crucifixion, Little Missenden, Bucks NEW||Crucifixion with Mary & John, Turvey, Beds.||Crucifixion, with Penitent Thief, Wisborough Green, Sussex|
Website for St John the Baptist, Barnby
© Anne Marshall 2001**++4/3/13