Online Lecture: ‘Capturing expertise: Romanesque sculpture between Spain and France’, with Rose Walker, Murray Research Seminar at Birkbeck, 23 February 2021, 16:50-18:30 (GMT)

This paper will pursue the concept of artistic expertise as a commodity in the first half of the twelfth century in northern Iberia and southern France. Consequently it will also cast doubt on the idea of the unfettered itinerant craftsman. The proposed exchange of expertise will be situated within wider systems of trade and captivity both across and within confessional divides. Literature supplies an image, conjured in the Pseudo-Turpin, of a statue made by the Prophet Muhammad, beautifully carved with Saracenic work but containing a legion of demons. In this vein Romanesque sculpture at Oloron-Sainte-Marie has been viewed both as a response to pagan works and through a triumphalist lens. Here the twin chained atlantes on the trumeau, and the cast of the shackled figure from Sainte-Foy at Morlaàs, will be the object of a different interpretation. It will be argued that these figures – and some other atlantes – embody a playful response to the complex status of craftsmen.

Rose Walker is an Honorary Research Fellow at The Courtauld; this research is part of a project on twelfth-century Iberia funded by a Leverhulme Emeritus Research Fellowship.

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Published by charlottecook

Charlotte Cook graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in European History from Washington & Lee University in 2019. In 2020 she received her Master’s degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, earning the classification of Merit. Her research explores questions of royal patronage, both by and in honor of rulers, in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. She has worked as a researcher and collections assistant at several museums and galleries, and plans to begin her PhD in the autumn of 2022.

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