From the Bayeux Tapestry to the Wilton Diptych

After a brief survey of the period from the eleventh century to the fifteenth, we will focus firstly on the Bayeux Tapestry – “one of the most enchanting pieces of narrative art in existence” ( Talbot Rice). It is a unique and magnificent survivor from a time when wall hangings of all kinds were common among the wealthy and powerful. We will then move on to illuminated manuscripts, concentrating on the Romanesque eg the Winchester Bible and moving on to the Gothic eg the Luttrell Psalter. Illuminated manuscripts are one of the great artistic achievements of the whole period.

Over a time-span of some five hundred years the great cathedrals of Medieval England were built. From Durham to Gloucester we will follow the evolution of cathedral building with reference to structural and aesthetic details together with some of the figures and events behind them. Finally, we will look at the Wilton Diptych from late in Richard II’s reign. It remains one of the most beautiful yet enigmatic paintings in our history. This will include reference to other forms of artistic expression from the late medieval period, in particular angel hammer beam roofs.

Course Details

This course finished on 20 April 2024