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Massingham


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English family of sculptors. Although the Massinghams are the only substantially documented late medieval English sculptors, little of their recorded work survives.

(1) John Massingham I (fl 1409–50). In 1438 John I was paid for an inn sign for the Sun Tavern in Canterbury, and from 1438 to 1442 he was master carver at All Souls College, Oxford, founded by Henry Chichele (Archbishop of Canterbury, 1414–43). Similarities between the six statues of kings on the Canterbury Cathedral choir-screen and the carvings of Henry VI and the Archbishop and of the Resurrection (all replaced) on the College gateway suggest that Massingham may have made all these works, together with the lost imagery of the College chapel's great reredos. The very weathered figures from the gateway show many similarities with the Canterbury kings. In 1448–9 Massingham, now working in London, carved an image of the Virgin for Eton parish church (Berks). In 1449 he worked on the effigy of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, for his burial chapel in St Mary's, Warwick, probably carving the wooden model from which the gilt-latten figure was cast. It has been conjectured that he made some of the extant freestone imagery for the east window of the chapel, and that he also produced imagery for the chantry chapel of Henry V in Westminster Abbey, the two works that introduced Netherlandish–Burgundian realism into English sculpture.

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From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.



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