Bernadine or Cistercian Monk (1)


The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

This figure is one of a set of 50 dressed to represent the outfits worn by Catholic religious orders. They are made of tow (hemp) with wax heads, hands and feet. They were probably made in France, as they are labelled in French, but some of the orders represented were only active in Germany and the Netherlands.

This figure represents a Bernadine monk. The Bernadines are a Cistercian order that is open to both monks and nuns, and which is still active today. The Cistercian order was founded in 1098 at Citeaux Abbey, near Dijon, France. The order emphasises manual labour and self-sufficiency, and observes St Benedict's Rule. Cistercian monks are sometimes called "White Monks" due to the colour of their undyed wool habits. Unusually, this figure wears a black tricorn hat with his white habit.

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  • Title: Bernadine or Cistercian Monk (1)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1800/1850
  • Location: France
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 31 cm including stand
  • Provenance: Given by Mr. G. Smith
  • Medium: Figure made of tow and wax, dressed in linen and woollen materials

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