Snarford 3, originally uploaded by Vitrearum (Allan Barton).

This is such a striking image, one of the panels of the fifteenth century font at the remote church at Snarford in Lincolnshire. A full frontal head of Christ entirely fills one panel of the octaganonal font.  This image probably derives from the popular late image known as the ‘Vernicle’. The Vernicle was a reproduction of the cloth, which tradition asserts, was used by St Veronica to wipe the face of Christ on his way to the cross and was found to be miraculously marked with the imprint of his face. It was an image that grew in popularity in the late Middle Ages and with the invention of printing the Vernicle became a popular domestic devotional item.

Snarford, Lincolnshire

Next to this image on the Snarford font is a representation of the arma christi, a shield charged with the cross and two scourges.

7 thoughts on “Vernicle

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  1. It is a lovely and wonderful image which immediately brings to mind the Shroud of Turin. Like wise the story of Vernicle. I wonder if anyone has ever done a study of that story to determine just when and where it first appeared or the point in time and the place where we first had evidence of it. I can not but think that somewhere, somehow it has a connection to the Shroud.It is really wonderful that this was not destroyed. Perhaps it was simply too out of the way to come to the notice of the iconoclasts.


  2. The Vernicle was associated with St Veronica's veil and was also called the Sudarium. The miraculous image imprinted on it was also similar to the Mandylion. The account of St Veronica's wiping the face of Jesus does not occur until the c4, in the apocryphal acts of Pilate, part of the Gospel of Nicodemus. A later version is in the Golden Legend.What is said to be the veil is kept in St Peter's. I suggest that the image is associated with this font rather than the Holy Shroud of Turin which has no early documented history. The first reference to it is in 1389 when the Bishop of Troyes petitioned Pope Clement VII in Avignon to stop the veneration of a so-called relic purporting to be Christ's shroud, which he maintained was a cloth painted with imprints which a local painter had admitted making.


  3. Hello I would just like to inform you that we, at Medieval Costumes and Gifts, thought that your blog was amazing which is why we provided it on our list of top 10 blogs to visit for the medieval enthusiast. You can view the page under Medieval Costumes and Gifts(the display name above)Thank you.


  4. Reminds me a bit of the 'Icon not made with hands' of the Saviour.Is there a correspondance between East and West here?Rdr James,Olympia WA USA


  5. PS You have to get out more and take more lovely photos of interesting places! Rdr. James lurker on the West Coast of the other continent


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