England, Europe and Beyond: Art, Identity, Trade and Politics in the Middle Ages - The Courtauld Institute of Art

England, Europe and Beyond: Art, Identity, Trade and Politics in the Middle Ages

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MA History of Art Special Option

England, Europe and Beyond: Art, Identity, Trade and Politics in the Middle Ages

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Detail of the Bayeux Tapestry ‘Scene 4: William sits on his throne watching as Harold, each hand on a reliquary, swears an oath’. Replica produced in 1895 to mirror the original from c.1070s. © Reading Museum (Reading Borough Council) Reading, United Kingdom.
Detail of ‘Window nIV, Canterbury Cathedral’, c. pre 1220, © Photo: Rachel Koopmans, Canterbury, United Kingdom.
Detail of ‘Window nIV, Canterbury Cathedral’, c. pre 1220, © Photo: Rachel Koopmans, Canterbury, United Kingdom.
Detail of the Bayeux Tapestry ‘Scene 4: William sits on his throne watching as Harold, each hand on a reliquary, swears an oath’. Replica produced in 1895 to mirror the original from c.1070s. © Reading Museum (Reading Borough Council) Reading, United Kingdom.
Detail of ‘Window nIV, Canterbury Cathedral’, c. pre 1220, © Photo: Rachel Koopmans, Canterbury, United Kingdom.
Detail of ‘Window nIV, Canterbury Cathedral’, c. pre 1220, © Photo: Rachel Koopmans, Canterbury, United Kingdom.

What was English about art and architecture in medieval England, and how has Englishness been constructed? Following a broadly chronological arc from the Norman Conquest to Henry VIII’s break with Rome, this course examines English material culture and its relationship to art in Europe and beyond. The Bayeux Tapestry, Canterbury cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Opus anglicanum, and Cotswold wool churches: these and lesser known witnesses to England’s cosmopolitanism will be placed within broader European and global contexts, exposing the construction of English national identity from the Middle Ages to the present.

Courtauld Course Lecturer

About the lecturer

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.

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