Tom Nickson - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Tom Nickson

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Dr Tom Nickson

Senior Lecturer in Medieval Art & Architecture Office hours (office 6): email me for an appointment
Photograph of Tom Nickson

My research and teaching fall broadly into two categories: Gothic art and architecture across Europe, and encounters between Christian, Islamic and Jewish traditions, especially in medieval Iberia. Many of these issues were addressed in my first book, Toledo Cathedral: Building Histories in Medieval Castile (2015), and I am now working on a new book, Architecture in Medieval Spain: Seven Moments, which will explore architecture across the Iberian Peninsula (including Portugal and al-Andalus) from the twelfth to the fifteenth century.

I am also developing two additional projects. The first is an investigation of light and architecture at Canterbury cathedral, part of a special journal issue I am editing to mark the anniversary of his death and translation in 2020. The second considers the management and significance of light and darkness in medieval art and architecture.




  • ‘Power and Piety: Medieval Westminster’ (BA1)
  • ‘Contact Zones: Art, Exchange and Identity in Medieval Spain’ (BA2)

PhD Supervision

I welcome applications from prospective PhD students and advise you to contact me as early as possible in the application process (ideally before December, to begin the following October)


  • Costanza Beltrami, ‘Juan Guas and Gothic Architecture in Late Medieval Spain: Collaborations, Networks, Geographies’ (submitted December 2019). CHASE funded.
  • Jamie Haskell, ‘The cloister of Pamplona Cathedral’ (due September 2022). Funded by CEEH.



Research interests

  • The spread of Gothic architecture in medieval Europe and technologies of architectural transmission.
  • Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, especially Iberia and England.
  • 19th– and 20th-century architectural criticism and revivalism.
  • The cult of St Thomas Becket.
  • Church furnishings and inventories.
  • Epigraphy and orality in Christian and Islamic contexts.
  • The reception of Islamic art and architecture in medieval Europe.
  • Architecture and light.
  • Antiquarianism in Early Modern Spain and England.

Recent publications

Books and edited books

Essays and articles (some available at


Other current/ongoing professional activities

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