Susannah Kingwill

PhD student; Associate Lecturer

Thesis: Croix d’Or at the Valois Courts – an examination of the presence, perception, and function of metalwork crosses during the reigns of Charles V and Charles VI of France (1360 to 1422)

Supervised by Prof. Susie Nash

Funded by Consortium of the Humanities and the Arts South-east England 

The cross is one of the most powerful and ubiquitous of all religious symbols; this thesis aims to explore its long and varied meaning and use by concentrating on one particularly resonant and materially rich context, the Courts of France around 1400. It focuses on the hundreds of crosses owned by the Valois Kings, the Princes of the Blood and their wives, a handful of which survive today. Drawing together an exceptional body of documentary and material evidence yet to be exploited to this effect, it will examine the distinct role that these complex objects occupied for a courtly audience in late medieval France.


  • 2018 – present: The Courtauld Institute of Art, PhD
  • 2016-2017: The Courtauld Institute of Art, MA (Distinction)

Special Option: ‘Early Netherlandish Painting: Reinterpreting the object’ supervised by Dr Susan Frances Jones

Dissertation: ‘An Anonymous Triptych with the Anointing of Christ in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen: a study in form, meaning and function.’

  • 2010-2014: The University of Glasgow MA Hons., History of Art (First Class Honours)

Research Interests

  • Metalwork
  • Inventories from the French courts c. 1360-1420
  • Valois court culture
  • Artists at the courts of France and Burgundy
  • Late medieval art in Northern Europe of all media
  • Pre 1420 Northern European panel paintings
  • Depictions of the Passion of Christ
  • Technical art history
  • Materials, their meaning and manipulation


  • Autumn 2021, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Associate Lecturer, “Case Studies in Gothic Art: Intention and Reception” (BA2)
  • Summer 2021, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Teaching Assistant, Summer University 2021
  • Summer 2020, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Teaching Assistant, Summer University 2020
  • Autumn 2019, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Teaching Assistant and Teaching Assistants Coordinator, Foundations lecture series (BA1)

Conference papers

  • 22 June 2021, Courtauld Annual Post Graduate Symposium, ‘‘la donna ma dame a mondit seigneur au jour de l’an’: Philip the Bold’s Gold Cross in Esztergom Cathedral Treasury’ (online).
  • 7 February 2020, 25th Annual Courtauld Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium, Working Materials and Materials at Work in Medieval Art and Architecture, ‘Croix d’Or at the Valois Courts – material meaning and manipulation’

Other academic activities

Research Groups

  • Co-founder and co-convenor of ‘All That Glitters: Making with Metals in the Middle Ages’, an informal research group established in January 2020.


  • Co-organiser ‘Display and Displacement in Medieval Art and Architecture’, The Courtauld’s 26th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium, February 2021


  • Organiser, vitreous enamelling workshop at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation
  • Organiser, gilding workshop at The Courtauld Institute in collaboration with Sam Fogg London.

Professional affiliations

  • Project board member of the Doctoral and Early Career Research Network at the Association for Art History.
  • Member of the ICMA, HNA, and ICOM.

Academic Training

  • Palaeography Course at the Institute of Historical Research with Dr. Jenny Stratford, 2018-2019.
  • Research Associate, Painting Pairs Programme 2018/19, The Courtauld Institute of Art.
  • Participant in CHASE Material Witness workshop training programme 2018/19.