Tom Nickson

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Dr Tom Nickson

Senior Lecturer in Medieval Art & Architecture
Photograph of Tom Nickson

I was educated at Cambridge and The Courtauld, and taught at the University of York for three years before returning to The Courtauld in 2012. 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 material culture in relation to the cult of St Thomas Becket, in preparation for 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.


PhD Supervision

I welcome applications from prospective PhD students and advise you to contact me as early as possible in the application process.


  • Costanza Beltrami, ‘Juan Guas (active 1453-1496) and the ‘Hispano-Flemish style in late medieval Castile’ (due 2019)



Research interests

  • The spread of Gothic architecture in medieval Europe and technologies of architectural transmission.
  • 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.

Recent publications

Books and edited books

Essays and articles


  • Rose Walker, Art in Spain and Portugal from the Romans to the Early Middle Ages. Routes and Myths, in Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 2017, forthcoming.
  • Paul Binski, Gothic Wonder: Art, Artifice and the Decorated Style, 1290-1350, in Art History, 39: 1, 2016, pp. 152-155.
  • Jacqueline Jung, The Gothic Choir Screen, in The Medieval Journal, 14.1, 2014, pp. 139-141.
  • Pamela Patton, Art of Estrangement. Redefining Jews in Conquest Spain, in Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations, 8.1, 2013.
  • Christabel Watson, The Romanesque Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela: A Reassessment, in Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 163, 2010, pp. 182-185.

Other current/ongoing professional activities

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