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The Vigil, c1884, (1938). Artist: John Pettie

The Vigil, c1884, (1938). Artist: John Pettie


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Heritage Images

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The Vigil, c1884, (1938). Artist: John Pettie

The Vigil, c1884. The Vigil of Arms was one of the religious exercises, which in the Middle Ages preceded the conferment of knighthood. The artist James Watt was the model for the knight; the background was taken from St Bartholomew?s Church in Smithfield. Painting held at the Tate Britain, London. From World-Famous Paintings edited by J. Greig Pirie [W. & G. Foyle, Ltd, London, 1938.]

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Media ID 14928370

© The Print Collector

Altar Cloak J Greig J Greig Pirie James Watt John Pettie Kneeling Knight Knighthood Looking Up Pettie Pirie Tate Britain Watt World Famous Paintings Worship Worshipping St Bartholomews Church Vigil


The Vigil, c1884

EDITORS COMMENTS
is a captivating oil painting by John Pettie that transports viewers back to the Middle Ages. This artwork, featured in the World-Famous Paintings collection edited by J. Greig Pirie, captures one of the religious exercises preceding knighthood conferment known as The Vigil of Arms. The central figure in this mesmerizing composition is James Watt, who posed as the model for the knight depicted in the painting. With St Bartholomew's Church in Smithfield serving as its backdrop, "The Vigil" exudes an aura of solemnity and devotion. Pettie skillfully portrays Watt kneeling before an altar adorned with weaponry, symbolizing both war and faith intertwined during medieval times. Clad in a cloak and dressed in traditional knightly attire, he gazes upwards with reverence and determination. This masterpiece immerses us into a world where chivalry meets spirituality—a time when knights were not only warriors but also devout followers of Christianity. Through his meticulous brushstrokes and attention to detail, Pettie brings this historical period to life within the confines of Tate Britain. As we gaze upon this print from Heritage Images' vast collection, we are reminded of our rich heritage and how art can transport us across centuries. It serves as a reminder that even amidst warfare and conflict, there existed moments of introspection and worship that shaped our collective history.

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