Held at Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre
with Mark Cottle
Touching the Sublime : English Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts
Saturday, 9th October 2010
From the Lindisfarne Gospels in the early Anglo-Saxon period to the Books of Hours in the fifteenth century, illuminated manuscripts are a quintessentially medieval art form whose beauty can still captivate the spirit. The course will explore the three main phases of illuminated manuscript production in England: the Anglo-Saxon (e.g. the Lindisfane Gospels, the Book of Kells and the later Benedictional of St Aethelwold); the Romanesque (e.g. the Great Bibles of Dover, Lambeth, Bury and Winchester); the Gothic (e.g. the Ormesby and Luttrell Psalters, the Bedford Book of Hours). Although so much has been lost in England, in particular through the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the Reformation, what remains bears eloquent testimony to a remarkably rich culture and industry for the production of manuscripts which could reach very high levels of artistic achievement.
Portraits in Stone : English Gothic Cathedrals
Saturday, 27th November 2010
For five hundred years, through a range of styles, the great cathedrals of England were built. In terms of resources applied, space covered, design and craftsmanship employed, the period remains the greatest single architectural achievement in England history. The aim of this course is to look at how the cathedrals evolved from the Norman period of the late 11th century t the Perpendicular at the end of the Middle Ages. It will also look at the historical context of the cathedrals and at the people and ideas which shaped them.
Richard II : Kingship & Crisis
Saturday, 19th February 2011
Richard II's personality and policies stirred up debate and controversy in his time and still do today. His highly personalised, authoritarian concept of kingship, putting royal authority on a different, more arbitrary footing than his predecessors was to end in disaster - deposition and death. Temperamentally, he did not seem suited to kingship or to be able to generate popular interest and support. Yet some of his policies and perceptions can be seen as constructive and influential. The Wilton Dyptich reminds us that, beyond the business of kingship, his reign saw remarkable achievement in both the literary and visual arts. The course will look at Richard's kingship and his reign as well as the cultural achievement of the period.
Courses in Other Years