From Sueno’s Stone to the seal of Scone Abbey: the iconography of Scottish king-making

DATE: 19 September 2024

TIME: 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

LOCATION: Perth Museum

TICKETS: £7.50/£5

EVENT TYPE: Lectures & Talks, Museum & Gallery Events


The Sueno’s Stone, now known as the Forres Cross Slab situated in Moray, depicts a ninth-century inauguration scene on its base. This scene has often been compared to the seal of Scone Abbey, which shows the inauguration of King Alexander III in 1239. This comparison implies that the medieval Scottish ritual of king-making has ancient roots.

In this lecture, Professor Jane Geddes will discuss the iconography of two undoubtedly similar scenes and compare Byzantine sources showing the Arming of David by Saul. She will also explore similar scenes from the ninth to thirteenth centuries to understand how the evolution from a shepherd boy to a mighty king took place.

Biography Professor Jane Geddes is an Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Aberdeen, President of the Pictish Arts Society and author of various books including Hunting Picts: Early Medieval Sculpture at St Vigeans, and the Catalogue of Early Sculpture at St Andrews Cathedral for Historic Environment Scotland. She is a British art historian and academic specialising in Scottish architecture, Pictish sculpture and Medieval decorative ironwork.

Images: (Right) Sueno’s Stone, Forres. (Historic Environment Scotland). (Left) Scone Abbey Seal appended to letter of renunciation by Patrick, Bishop of Murray and commendator of abbey of Scone in favour of Patrick Kynnard of Kynnard, 7 February 1568, (Perth & Kinross Archive, MS169/1/2/189)