NOTES ON THE ARTWORK
This marble funerary monument depicts Thomas Belasyse, the first Earl Fauconberg who died in 1700, on the right wearing court dress and holding an earl’s coronet. His father, Henry, on the left is in Roman dress. Both wear periwigs. Above them, five figures of putti, two of which are holding a heavenly coronet and palm branch, are set amidst clouds. The life-sized figures of the father and son are enclosed by pilasters. At the top, above the entablature sits the Belasyse family coat of arms with carved stone floral festoons draped on either side. At the base, the life and achievements of Henry and Thomas are inscribed in Latin. Large flaming urns sit to either side of the monument on which are carved pairs of cherub heads and wings.
The funerary monument has been attributed to the workshop of Grinling Gibbons on stylistic grounds. The treatment of the figures and putti, as well as the depiction of the heavenly coronet, are reminiscent of other funerary monuments by Gibbons. See for example Archbishop Dolben’s monument at York Minster and the Duke of Beaufort’s monument at Badminton Church.
The Treasures of English Churches: Witness to the History of a Nation, Matthew Byrne, 2021
Coxwold and the Belasyse Monuments, Pauline Sheppard, Routh 1981
Sculpture and Sculptors in Yorkshire, Katherine Esdaile
Yorkshire Archaeological Journal 1943/4/5