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Landscapes of Patronage, Power and Salvation: A Contextual Study of Architectural Stone Sculpture in Northern England, c. 1070-c. 1155

TURNOCK, JONATHAN,ANDREW (2018) Landscapes of Patronage, Power and Salvation: A Contextual Study of Architectural Stone Sculpture in Northern England, c. 1070-c. 1155. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (Volume 1) - Accepted Version
PDF (Volume 2) - Accepted Version


This thesis explores architectural stone sculpture produced in northern England between c. 1070 and c. 1155. It proposes an integrated interdisciplinary approach to sculpture, weaving together documentary sources, art history, architectural history and archaeology, in order to situate the visual material within its historical context and contemporary networks of patronage. In other words, establishing who commissioned sculpture and why. Patrons of sculpture included the secular elite, ranging from royal individuals to minor lords, and religious communities or individual prelates. It is argued that many patrons selected particular motifs and craftsmen to express their lordship, power, and affinities with other patrons. The spiritual functions of sculptural schemes are also explored, especially in relation to church reform movements of the later eleventh and early twelfth century.

The thesis demonstrates that the study of sculpture can contribute to a number of key historiographical debates, including the effects of the Norman Conquest, behaviours and conditions during the conflicts of Stephen’s reign (1135–54), and experiences of ‘church reform’. By establishing a close dialogue between sculptural case studies and written sources, it is possible to highlight discrepancies between the material evidence and historical narratives, and subsequently propose new questions and interpretations. Equally, the study of sculpture and patronage networks provides a wealth of new cultural information that can augment existing historical knowledge.

Part 1 charts the development of architectural sculpture from the Norman Conquest until the middle of the twelfth century, identifying patrons and relationships between different sites. Part 2 proceeds to apply these findings in order to explore how sculptural schemes were used to express lordship and power, and reform the behaviours of ecclesiastics and the laity.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Romanesque; medieval sculpture; medieval architecture; northern England; medieval patronage; medieval lordship; church reform; parish church; Norman Conquest
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Dec 2018 12:13

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