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Medieval Wall Painting
in the
English Parish Church

Selling, Kent (†Canterbury) C.14

St Peter & St Paul

St Paul, Selling St Peter. Selling, Kent

Images of St Paul (left) are not common in the English church, even when, as here and at Black Bourton and Beckley (table below), he is partnered with St Peter. But his physiognomy is usually unmistakeable, and despite its very partial state, this painting is an excellent example. The saint is shown as bearded, bald, ageing, with careworn furrows on his brow.

In the opposite splay of this window on the south wall is St Peter (above right). He is dressed in bishop’s robes, with, in his right hand, a sceptre or pastoral staff. He also has a crown or coronet of some kind, and the dark triangular shape above this may, as Tristram thought, mean that he was originally depicted wearing the Papal tiara, but I am uncertain about this – the triangular area may be the confusing remains of something painted earlier in the space. But at any rate, the large crossed keys painted on a red background below his feet identify the saint beyond doubt.

These two paintings, like those of saints John the Evangelist and Bartholomew, are in the south chancel chapel of this church, which also has a superb 13th century East Window of great historical interest, described in detail in the excellent illustrated guidebook available in the church.

Website for St Mary the Virgin, Selling