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Unknown man ('carved wooden roof boss')

1 portrait matching these criteria:

- medium type 'sculpture'
- 'Recent Acquisition'

Unknown man ('carved wooden roof boss'), by Unknown artist, 15th century - NPG D48634 - Art Fund Popular Portraits Collection. Photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London

Art Fund Popular Portraits Collection. Photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Unknown man ('carved wooden roof boss')

by Unknown artist
carved elm roof boss, 15th century
10 3/8 in. x 9 1/2 in. (265 mm x 240 mm) overall
Purchased with help from The Art Fund, 2018
Reference Collection
NPG D48634

On display in Room 15 at the National Portrait Gallery

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This decorative carving depicts a 'type' rather than an individual. It was originally intended to be seen from below and would have been attached to the beams supporting the roof of a church or cathedral. Religion was central to daily life in the fifteenth century and people would have glimpsed this face while attending church. It is in the form of a grotesque face and may have had humorous intent. This carving indicates that representations of people were an important part of everyday visual culture.

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