Lecture: ‘Reflections on the Cushion Capital’ with Dr Richard Plant, Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland (CRSBI) Annual Lecture, Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square Campus, 24th April 2023, 6.30pm-8.30pm (BST)

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: https://www.crsbi.ac.uk

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

Find out more here and book your ticket using this link.


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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