Dom Hubert Van Zeller Sketches

Over the summer, the Archive and Library team have been starting to digitalise the Downside Abbey archive. The first part of the archive being released are these, the sketches of monastic brethren by Dom Hubert Van Zeller. 

Born in Suez, Egypt, in 1905, Dom Hubert joined Downside School (C20) in September 1914. After completing his studies, he joined the monastic community at Downside.

Known simply as ‘Dom’ to his friends, Dom Hubert Van Zeller claimed to have learnt to carve before he could read. Despite never having any formal artistic training, he was a well-respected sculptor who also enjoyed sketching. His carvings, sculptures, and drawings, feature in Catholic churches around the world.

The sketches available here were drawn by Dom Hubert in the early 20th century and are caricatures of his monastic brethren of Downside Abbey. Each caricature reflects an aspect of the personality of the monk depicted; for example Dom Augustine James was a keen horologist, hence the drawing of him in a clock. 

With each sketch comes a brief summary of the life of Dom Hubert Van Zeller and the subject of the image. 

Click here to purchase prints.