Martyrdom of Thomas a Becket
Date: 1400 (?)
Culture: British (?)
Dimensions: Overall: 3 7/16 x 2 5/16 x 1/4 in. (8.7 x 5.8 x 0.6 cm)
Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1970
Accession Number: 1970.324.10
Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 to 1170, is perhaps best known for his struggles with King Henry II of England over the separation between the church and the monarchy. He was killed by four knights of Henry's court in Canterbury Cathedral at twilight on December 29, 1170, the scene depicted here. This delicate carving also shows his soul, borne between two angels, receiving God's blessing.
Provenance - Ernst and Marthe Kofler-Truniger, Lucerne (sold 1970)