Lecture: ‘English Romanesque Sculpture in its Architectural Context’, by Professor Malcolm Thurlby FSA
Annual Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain & Ireland lecture
Where: Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, Courtauld Institute
Date: 24th April 2018, 5:30pm
This year’s CRSBI annual public lecture, delivered by Professor Malcolm Thurlby of York University, Toronto, Canada, will consider English Romanesque sculpture in the context of its architectural matrix, focusing on specific carved elements such as portals, tympana, capitals, and figural reliefs. It will set out to demonstrate the fundamental importance of forensic visual analysis to our understanding of a Romanesque building and its ornament, most notably where documentary information is lacking. The diagnostic potential of a range of material evidence – painted decoration, the use of stucco, the work of 19th-century copyists – will be seen to support proposed dating sequences at a number of monuments, including the cathedrals of Worcester, Hereford and Ely and the abbey at Malmesbury, and at lesser churches such as Knook in Wiltshire, Leigh in Worcestershire, Milborne Port in Somerset, and Kirkburn in Yorkshire.
Malcolm Thurlby studied art history at the University of East Anglia. His PhD thesis on Transitional Sculpture in England 1150—1240 (1976) was supervised by Eric Fernie. He teaches art and architectural history at York University, Toronto. His research focuses on Romanesque and Gothic architecture and sculpture, and on 19th- and early 20th-century architecture in Canada. He concurs with Bishop John Medley (1804-92) that ‘some knowledge of Church Architecture ought, surely, to be a part of every liberal education.’
Entry to the lecture is free and open to all. The Courtauld would like all those wishing to attend to register beforehand: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/english-romanesque-sculpture-in-its-architectural-context-tickets-44591422144
The Courtauld lecture theatre is accessed via the doors opposite the main gallery entrance. Ask at the reception desk on arrival for further directions.
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We would like to draw your attention to three new books on medieval art that came out in 2017: on architecture, metalwork and the iconography of St. John’s head.
Ouroboros, single and in pairs at Kilpeck, England
North and South of the Loire: The Culture of Copying and the Rebirth of Sculpture
by Professor Deborah Kahn
Tuesday 25th April 2017 at 5.30pm at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
From his thesis of 1950 on “Regional Schools of English Sculpture” to his later writings, Professor George Zarnecki, deputy director of the Courtauld Institute of Art from 1961 – 74, showed himself to be a master of visual comparison. In one of his last articles (written in 1992), he surveyed the iconographic kinship between the earliest Romanesque sculptures at Saint-Benoit-sur-Loîre, Bayeux and Toulouse. These far-flung similarities revealed a culture of copying that led to what may be regarded as a rebirth of architectural sculpture in these regions. The article still serves as the basis for further exploration of the visual relationships between the earliest monumental architectural sculpture and the role of copybooks and loose sketches in the transmission of motifs and iconography. George speculated that the likely source of all these relationships was the monastery and library at Saint-Benoit-sur-Loîre — as indeed has turned out to be the case. Moreover, the emergent taste for monumental architectural sculpture on the great new ashlar buildings of the first half of the 11th century appears to reflect not only the preoccupations of the abbot of Saint-Benoit, Gauzlin (1004-1030), but also those of his half brother Robert II (972-1031), whose foundations at Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Saint-Aignan at Orléans were richly carved in the 1020s as well. The rebirth of monumental architectural sculpture in the early eleventh century thus turns out to have been given impetus by the ascendant Capetian dynasty. These connections amplify the links set forth by George and confirm not only his extraordinary ability to trace previously unnoticed formal lineages but also his role in laying the ground for future studies in the field of Romanesque art.
Invitation is attached. Seating is unreserved and booking is not necessary but please RSVP to this e-mail address: email@example.com