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Saint James the Great
Saint James the Great
Saint James the Great
Saint James the Great
Saint James the Great
Saint James the Great
Saint James the Great

Photo credit: The Henry Barber Trust, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

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Saint James the Great, a fisherman, was one of the first disciples of Jesus, who called him from the seashore. He is identifiable by his broad-brimmed hat adorned with a scallop shell, his emblem. He supports a long trailing scroll in one hand and a staff in the other. The distinctive style of his beard places him to the time of Henry VIII (reigned 1509–1547), the king whose dramatic break with the Roman Catholic Church brutally cut short the English production of such religious sculpture. A magnificent and much earlier Midlands alabaster, representing the Coronation of the Virgin, is located in the Barber foyer downstairs.

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts





alabaster, with traces of gilding & polychromy (coloured paint)


H 39.7 x W 16.7 x D 5.2 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, with the generous support of the Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, 2019

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TS England

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