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Doom, North Cove, Suffolk (‡St.Edmundsbury & Ipswich) C.14/15

Photo:T.Marshall Doom, North Cove [49KB] The central portion of the Doom at North Cove, showing Christ in Judgement, with the (bare-breasted) Virgin at the left and John the Baptist to the right, pleading with arms raised in intercession. The spotted mantle, held open to show the wound in Christ’s side, may be intended for ermine, and the swirling decorative whorls around his legs are probably an attempt to suggest clouds. He sits on a rainbow, and below his feet are four angels with blue wings sounding trumpets - that of the angel at the extreme right is clearest.

Below the trumpeting angels, the dead, the coffins (they look like stone sarcophagi) of three of them fairly clear, are about to rise. The probable Donor of all the paintings in the church - in other words the patron who paid the artist to make them - is shown quite alone on the opposite wall, resurrected, sitting up in her tomb, and looking at the Judgement taking place across the chancel.
Doom, North Cove, detail, Virgin with bared breasts [33KB]
At the right is an enlarged detail of the bare-breasted Virgin, crowned and with a very large halo, reminding her son of her nurturing by her gesture, much like her slightly later counterpart at Ickleton. The stylistic differences between the two are instructive as evidence of the individual personal approaches, treatments, and indeed skills, of different painters.

Opposite the Virgin and below at the left are enlarged details of John the Baptist (possibly John the Evangelist, but this is less likely), and an angel with Instruments of the Passion - the spear at least is here, and possibly the sponge as well. On the right of the photograph, the decorative detail - a grape and Doom, North Cove, detail, John the Baptist [52KB]vine stem pattern surrounding all the paintings at North Cove - shows well, but it is seen to best effect in the Passion Cycle, particularly the Harrowing of Hell.

Further below and to the right of John, St. Peter, or perhaps an angel, standing at the left, welcomes souls. Two of them at the extreme right (scroll right) seem to be embracing each other. Doom, North Cove, detail, St. Peter & Saved [22KB]

Below this, further to the right still, and shown below at the right, St. Michael, sword drawn and threateningly raised, Doom, North Cove, detail, St. Michael & Damned [34KB]drives the damned away. The detail is very faint now, but it is relatively unusual in English wallpainting to see Michael in this role, the job being done usually by devils.

But there is no discernible Mouth of Hell in this Doom, probably because across the aisle on the North Wall is the graphically-painted Harrowing of Hell, part of the Passion Cycle. In a quite narrow space, one Hell was no doubt thought to be enough.

Woman Donor, Doom at North Cove
Ashampstead, Berkshire Attleborough, Norfolk (Christ in Majesty) Bacton, Suffolk Bartlow, Cambridgeshire (Weighing) Beckley, Oxfordshire Bishopsbourne, Kent (Weighing)
Blyth, Nottinghamshire Bradfield, Norfolk Broughton, Bucks. Broughton, Cambs Catherington, Hampshire (Weighing) Chelsworth, Suffolk
Chesterton, Cambs. Corby Glen, Lincs Coventry (Holy Trinity Church), Warwickshire Croughton, Northants (Weighing) NEW Dauntsey, Wiltshire NEW Flamstead, Herts.
Great Harrowden, Beds Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire Houghton Conquest, Beds (Christ in Majesty) Ickleton, Cambs. Lenham, Kent (Weighing) NEWMarston Moreteyne, Beds
Marton, Cheshire Newington-next-Sittingbourne, Kent North Cove, Suffolk Oddington, Gloucestershire Pickworth, Lincs Potter Heigham, Norfolk
Rotherfield, E.Sussex (Doom) Rotherfield, E. Sussex (Weighing) Salisbury, Wilts Slapton, Northants (Weighing) South Leigh, Oxon (Doom)
South Leigh, Oxon (Weighing) Stoke-by-Clare, Suffolk Stratford-On-Avon, the Guild chapel, Warwickshire NEW Wenhaston, Suffolk West Somerton, Norfolk Widford, Herts
Wissington, Suffolk Yaxley, Suffolk

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27/10/00

Anne Marshall 2000