Martyrdom of Thomas Becket


Not on view

Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 to 1170, is perhaps best known for his struggles with King Henry II of England over the separation between the church and the monarchy. He was killed by four knights of Henry’s court in Canterbury Cathedral at twilight on December 29, 1170, the scene depicted here. This delicate carving also shows his soul, borne between two angels, receiving God’s blessing.

Martyrdom of Thomas Becket, Elephant ivory, British

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.