Paradise found: Romanesque tombs in Western Europe, c. 1000- c. 1150

Speaker: Dr Xavier Dectot (Director of the future Orientalist Museum in Doha, Qatar)

Although the study of mediaeval tomb sculpture has been a fairly active field in the past decades, it has nearly exclusively focused on the much richer (at least in numbers) Gothic era. Most forays in the Romanesque have been driven by a teleological drive to find the supposed precursors of the Gothic monuments.

This lecture will aim to shed a different light on Romanesque tombs which bear witness to a period of intense experimentation and exploration, reflecting both a new desire for visibility and a very fluid and ever changing theological conception of the afterlife.

Dr Xavier Dectot started his career at the Musée de Cluny in Paris, where he spent ten years as curator of Sculptures, before moving on to become the founding director of the Louvre Lens, a branch museum of the Louvre in Northern France, then keeper and Art and Design at
National Museums Scotland and, currently, director of the future Orientalist Museum in Doha, Qatar. An honorary reader at the University of St Andrews, he is the author of numerous articles and books, amongst which are Pierres tombales médiévales, sculptures de l’au-delà (Remparts, 2006) and Les Tombeaux des familles royales de la péninsule ibérique au Moyen Âge (Brepols, 2009).

Organised by Rose Walker (The Courtauld) 


6:00pm, 30 Apr 2021

6pm - 7pm BST

Free, booking essential

Booking closes 30 minutes before the event start time.
If you do not receive the log in details on the day of the event, please email


A romanesque sarcophagus
CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons/Ángel M. Felicísimo