English Sculpture - 14th Century
In England purely decorative carving in stone reached Foui-its highest point of excellence about the middle of theteentb 14th century,rather later, that is, than the best period century' of figure sculpture. WOOD-CARVING (q.v.), on the other hand, reached its artistic climax a full century later under the influence of the fully developed Perpendicular style.
The most important effigies of the 14th century are those in gilt bronze of Edward III. (d. 1377) and of Richard II. and his queen (made in 1395), all at Westminster. They are all portraits, but are decidedly inferior to the earlier work of William Torell. The effigies of Richard II. and Anne of Bohemia were the work of Nicolas Broker and Godfred Prest, goldsmith citizens of London. Another fine bronze effigy is at Canterbury on the tomb of the Black Prince (d. 1376); though well cast and with care-fully modelled armour, it is treated in a somewhat dull and conventional way. The recumbent stone figure of Lady Arundel, with two angels at her head, in Chichester cathe-dral is remarkable for its calm peaceful pose and the beauty of the drapery. A very fine but more realistic work is the tomb figure of William of Wykeham (d. 1404) in the cathedral at Winchester. The cathedrals at Rochester, Lichfield, York, Lincoln, Exeter, and many other ecclesiastical buildings in England are rich in examples of 14th-century sculpture, used occasionally with great profusion and richness of effect, but treated in strict subordination to the architectural background.
The finest piece of bronze sculpture of the 15th century is the effigy of Richard Beauchamp (d. 1439) in his family chapel at Warwick,a noble portrait figure, richly decorated with engraved ornaments. The modelling and casting were done by William Austen of London, and the gilding and engraving by a Netherlands goldsmith who had settled in London, named Bartholomew Lambespring, assisted by several other skilful artists.
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