MEDIEVAL WALL PAINTINGS
Medieval Wall Paintings at Breage Church
The discovery of the paintings
The church houses many important late medieval wall paintings, discovered in 1891 during renovations to the church. The two most imposing were placed opposite the main door so that they would be seen instantly by someone entering the building.
A more detailed description of these and the other murals is available as a PDF Download.
To the left of the north door is the huge bearded figure of St Christopher, bearing the Christ child on his shoulder. He wears a grey/blue tunic with a yellow border, has a red cloak draped over his shoulder, and carries a staff to help him cross the river. St Christopher was a very popular subject in 15th century wall paintings. He was thought to protect travellers and to have powers against the bubonic plague.
The Sabbath Christ
To the right of St Christopher stands a huge sorrowful-looking bearded figure of Christ with shoulder-length black hair. Dressed in only a loin cloth, he displays a scarred and blood-spattered body. One hand hangs limply by his side while the other holds his wounds at his waist. He is surrounded by various working tools and objects associated with gambling, music and drinking. Droplets of blood are shown on Christ’s body where the tools make contact. This ‘Sabbath Christ’ warned Christians not to commit the sin of working or gambling on the Sabbath Day, as to do so would injure Christ and incur damnation for the sinner.
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