ANONYMOUS NEO-GOTHIC PAINTER
Scenes from the Life and Miracles of Saint Thomas Becket (c. 28.5 x 35.5 mm.)
France (?) or perhaps Austria (?), c. 1900
UNUSUAL NEO-GOTHIC CREATION OF THOMAS BECKET FROM AUSTRIA
This large sheet includes two scenes from the life of Saint Thomas Becket. In the lower medallion the saint is kneeling in prayer, his mitre on the floor next to him while two knights rush in to kill him. In the arched vignette on the left, the saint faces a pilgrim (?) with his two daughters in a classical landscape. The sheet is unfinished. Whatever text was intended for the center was never added, although it appears from the residue of offset on the left that the sheet was tipped into an album. The acanthus, floral and foliate decoration, and the vignettes with birds and animals are thoroughly in the style of the late fifteenth century typical of French manuscript illumination. However, the subject and especially the portrait raises the possibility that this is a Neo-Gothic creation of Austrian origin.