Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland (CRSBI) Annual Lecture:

Reflections on the Cushion Capital

Speaker: Dr Richard Plant

The cushion capital, in its simple form a cubing of the sphere, is a feature found in a number of areas of Europe. While the focus of this talk will be on England, the early development of this feature in the Holy Roman Empire will be addressed, as well as its broader geographical distribution, to parts of Italy as well as the British Isles. The means and reasons for this spread will be considered, as well as the question of the date of the first appearance of the capital in the British Isles. The way in which the capital was modified, through the addition of carving, stucco or paint, and the transformation of the capital into scalloped capitals and other variants will form the concluding part of the talk.

Dr Richard Plant is an architectural historian and lecturer specialising primarily in the Middle Ages He has taught at a number of institutions, and was Deputy Academic Director at Christie’s Education. He has published on English and German medieval architecture, and co-edited a number of volumes in the British Archaeological Association’s Romanesque series.

The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland is an internationally recognised project engaged in recording all the Romanesque sculpture produced and still surviving in these islands, making scholarly descriptions and photographs freely available on the web. It was founded as the initiative of former Courtauld Deputy Director George Zarnecki with the help and support of former Director Peter Lasko, its first chairman. It is supported by The British Academy.  Find out more:

Organised by the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland, and by Dr Xavier Dectot, Dr Ron Baxter, and Dr Rose Walker. 


This event has passed.

24 Apr 2023

Monday 24th April 2023, 6.30pm - 8.30pm BST

Free, booking essential

Lecture Theatre 1, Vernon Square Campus

This is an in person event at our Vernon Square campus. Booking will close 30 minutes before the event begins.


Photograph of the top of a stone pillar
Cushion capital, Ely cathedral (copyright: Richard Plant)