Three Boys in the Barrel


St John the Baptist Church
Padworth, Berkshire, England UK

ca 1225-50
"Nicholas is the figure at the far right, his mitre and vestments clearer as he extends his right arm and hand in blessing. The three boys, set in the brine-tub by an evil butcher, are further left, the one nearest to Nicholas holding out his arm towards the saviour-saint, and half turning to look at his companions. The boys’ heads are very close together. . . . In one of the most interesting circumstantial touches I have seen in a medieval English painting, their other garments are apparently draped over a rod at the top of the scene. At the far left, also in a conical hat, is a standing man with arms raised in amazement, presumably the butcher himself. Almost nothing is left of the brine-tub itself. From