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22 January 2020Treasures of Romanesque Europe 1050 - 1200

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Treasures of Romanesque Europe 1050 - 1200 Sally Dormer Wednesday 22 January 2020

Our January Study Course will be held at Nayland Village Hall, Church Lane, Nayland CO6 4JH on Wednesday 22 January 2020 and Wednesday 29 January 2020, from 1.30 pm to 4.00 pm. There is a car park at the hall, and behind the hall on the meadow.   The cost  is £35 per person which includes tea. The booking form can be downloaded here

Please note the change of day from the usual Monday to Wednesday.

Between 1050 and 1200 Western Europe became more settled, politically and economically, than it had been since the demise of the Roman Empire in the 5th century. The church flourished, and as pilgrims, monks, and crusaders travelled extensively aesthetic ideas were disseminated, leading to the evolution of a remarkably international style of European church architecture, dubbed "Romanesque" by 19th-century architectural historians because it was influenced heavily by Roman models.

The first of this pair of study days will focus on Romanesque churches such as the Abbey of Sainte Foi, Conques, in south-western France, the cathedral of Durham, and San Marco, Venice, to consider their debt to antiquity, how they share common design principles and yet demonstrate regional characteristics, and how their exteriors and interiors, embellished with sculpture, wall paintings and coloured glass windows, were intended to conjure a foretaste of Heaven.

The second day will be devoted to the sumptuous array of artefacts that furnished Romanesque church interiors: illuminated manuscripts clad with bejewelled covers, cast baptismal fonts and candlesticks, enamelled reliquaries set with carved ivory panels. We will explore the properties and origins of the materials used; the techniques utilised by craftsmen; and how objects functioned within the liturgy. The final session will consider surviving commissions made for secular patrons; a chance to look at castles, such as those at Orford and Framlingham in Suffolk and town houses in Cluny, Burgundy; items like the Lewis chessmen made for leisure; and rare pieces of jewellery intended for display.

Sally Dormer is a lecturer and tutor for the Early Medieval Year course at the Victoria & Albert Museum. She is Dean of European Studies for two universities in the USA, and a freelance lecturer for The Art Fund.  She leads study tours and works on cruises and in tour groups. Her history degree at Durham university was followed by her PhD in Medieval Manuscript Illumination and an MA in Medieval History of Art at the Courtauld Institute.