Painted Ceiling: Root of Jesse
Photo © Holly Hayes / Art History Images. All rights reserved.

Painted Ceiling: Root of Jesse

Detail of Jesse, the father of King David who is the root of the family tree of Christ. The painted wooden ceiling of the nave is a rare and beautiful survival, dating from 1230. It survives thanks to its removal in 1943 before wartime bombing destroyed much of the church. Comprised of 1,300 oak boards covering an area 27.8m long by 8.7m wide, it depicts the Tree of Jesse (the family tree of Christ). Also pictured are 42 medallions of the ancestors of Christ, Adam and Eve, the Four Evangelists, and the Rivers of Paradise. The area showing Christ enthroned is the only part that is not original - that section of the ceiling collapsed in 1650 and was remade in 1960.