Perhaps this is near as we may ever get, to the face of a “Border Reiver”.
(Photo’s courtesy of F.J.A.G.)
The face of an unknown warrior…. British,
Limestone, circa 1530.
Find site unknown.
A fragment, life size, and carved probably from life, by a master carver.
A battle worn face, helmeted, and with visor raised, carved with an economy of detail… and all the more effective for it.
The weary face of a man who has seen everything…. and done most of it.
Carvings such as this are beyond rare, they are near enough non-existent.
Most sculpture of the era, exists merely to glorify the rich, or to decorate their tombs.
But this man, stares back at us… haunting us with his memories.
In all probability he was hacked off a larger sculpture shortly after he was carved. Sometime between 1536 and 1541. During Henry V111’s “Dissolution of the Monasteries,” an era when a massive amount of British sculpture perished.
The style of helmet, could just be English, and possibly Greenwich.
So far, I have been unable to locate any other depictions of a British knight, carved in this style.
And he may well be unique.
His face, however, reminds me strongly of the prints of Albrecht Durer, and the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, More “Gothic,” than “Renaissance.”
But for certain, a masterpiece….
By: Brian Moffatt