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Medieval Wall Painting
in the
English Parish Church

Burnham Overy, Norfolk (†Norwich) early C.15

St Christopher

St Christopher, Burnham Overy

The most striking thing about this painting of St Christopher is its size. At a bare three feet wide, it is one of the smallest examples of the subject in England.

Much colour has disappeared, and the painting is generally very faded, but HC Whaite, who saw it in the 1920s, reported traces of yellow pigment in the Christ Child’s halo and orb, along with some green in his robe and in flowering top of St Christopher’s staff.

There was also once an inscription along the lower horizontal border, indecipherable now, but suggesting, as Whaite pointed out, an early fifteenth century woodcut as a more or less direct source. The absence of much in the way of extraneous detail (restricted to a single fish now appearing as a dark shape beside the saint’s left foot) is also indicative of a comparatively early date in the century.

† in page heading = Diocese