I found a manuscript illustration of a religious image carved into a tree trunk. I thought this would make an unusual model for my medieval scenery. The contemporary illustration appears to show the image of a saint being blessed by a bishop, after being created by a carpenter. I've not seen any other images from the period however which show a tree with an integral religious image carved in.
After I'd started the process of recreating the tree and saint, I looked more closely again at the image and it's context. I'm now more certain that this doesn't show an icon set in a tree. I think it's more likely to portray a narrative about the process by which carpenters created wooden icons - taking a commission, carving the image in the tree before cutting it down and then finishing the piece in a workshop (destined no doubt to be placed in a religious establishment or home of a high status individual). There may be good reasons for carving the image in a standing tree, but I would have thought that it was a more difficult process, as the wood would be wet and unseasoned to carve.
The model has been made by Debris of War - who I'm pleased to say are now making some of the trees previously made by Keith Warren of Realistic Modelling Services (who's enjoying his retirement). They sent me a trunk casting, which I drilled out a space to fit an icon that was a Green Stuff press moulding from a railway scenery model I have. Debris of War then completed the tree with paint and flock, to match others I have. I'm pleased with the result and I think it'll end up within a walled graveyard base to sit alongside the church, which seems appropriate.