[Fragment Of Decorated Work]
Medium: Photographic print
View of a fragment of carved stone masonry from Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire. Dating from the 12th century, Kenilworth is the largest castle ruin in England. During the medieval period a range of stately halls embellished with finely-carved stonework were built at Kenilworth next to the original Norman castle keep, turning it into one of the country's most magnificent noble residences. The photograph illustrates in vignette form the title page of an 1872 guide to the history and architecture of the castle by the Reverend E. H. Knowles. He observed: “Two or three beautiful fragments of Early Decorated work have been discovered, sufficient only to prove that the building to which they belonged was of a very high excellence. It would not be possible, I think, to do finer work in sandstone.” The Decorated style of Gothic architecture dates from the late 13th century and is so called for its emphasis on the lavish use of decoration on surfaces such as arches and gables, especially stylized repeated patterns. This corner fragment features a figure looking down, his head damaged but his arms clearly visible on either side.