The Kime Stories: Part Two
Over this small series, we will be looking at some of Robert’s most loved pieces in his collection.
“I have always liked alabaster, in many forms, but this alabaster is from Nottingham around the 15th Century. Nottingham had wonderful carvers who exported all over Europe. There is more Nottingham alabaster in Europe than there is in Great Britain and they used them as beautiful altar pieces. This particular one, I bought at the Ronald Lee sale at Sotheby’s in 2001 and I got it, not for much, but I’m very fond of it. The scene captures that ‘moment’ of resurrection when Christ steps out of His tomb, alive. It is the moment when the world doesn’t believe it, but ‘He is alive’. Everything stands for something. The world is depicted by sleeping soldiers who don’t wake up when he leaves the tomb. Isn’t it marvellous? It is a flash, a revelation in history that is personal and makes people feel something. I also like the idea of the soldiers sleeping being a wonderful contradiction. They are supposed to be on guard, but miss the whole thing. A painting might try to do the same thing, but having this in alabaster helps capture the humanity of religion I think. That 3rd dimension and the beauty of the material - a single moment that makes it rather wonderful.”
“Nottingham alabaster is a term used to refer to the Medieval English sculpture industry, mostly of relatively small religious carvings, made of alabaster, mined in, no surprise, Nottingham. The carvers were wonderful and clearly admired broadly. Alabaster is a very malleable marble and it is impressive that these examples have survived so long.”
- Robert Kime