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

Contact details

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 a special journal issue on the art and cult of Thomas Becket, timed 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)


  • Jamie Haskell, ‘The cloister of Pamplona Cathedral’ (due September 2022). Funded by CEEH.


  • Costanza Beltrami, ‘Juan Guas and Gothic Architecture in Late Medieval Spain: Collaborations, Networks, Geographies’ (2020)
  • Maeve O’Donnell-Morales, ‘The Altar in Medieval Castile: a Social and Material History’ (2018)
  • Sophie Dentzer, ‘Decorative Vaults in Fourteenth-Century England’ (2016)
  • Matilde Grimaldi, ‘The Lost Romanesque Cathedral of Tortosa (Catalonia)’ (2016)


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 (many available at


Other current/ongoing professional activities

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