Roger Rosewell will be delivering three talks on medieval wall paintings this summer:
Friday June 7th 2013 - Horton Church, Near Banbury (Oxfordshire). 7.30pm. For more information visit the Hornton History Group website.
Sunday 16th June 2013 - Burton Dassett Church, Warwickshire. Afternoon.
Tuesday 6th August 2013 - Raunds Church, Northamptonshire. Details tbc.
St George, Hornton, Near Banbury, Oxfordshire. Image © Anne Marshall.
Medieval Art in Sweden is a new website compiled by friend and colleague Dr Alex Fried. The site will provide information about Swedish medieval art, relevant research projects, conferences, exhibition reviews and new literature. The most recent post discusses the fourteenth and fifteenth century wall paintings at Linde Church on Gotland.
Medieval Wall Painting, Linde Church, Gotland
Image © Dr Alexandra Fried
Alex recently completed her PhD in the Department of History of Art and Film at the University of Leicester, examining the wooden sculpted Madonna and Child images in thirteenth and early fourteenth century Sweden.
There are also a number of additional images on her Flickr site.
Vaughan College Lecture Series
The University of Leicester Institute of Lifelong Learning presents a series of public lectures as part of the new Vaughan College Lecture Series, to be held at Vaughan College.
Next Lecture: “Inside the Greyfriars: what do we know about Franciscan Wall Painting in England?”
When: Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Lecturer: Dr Miriam Gill
Book your FREE place
All lectures start at 7pm and are 40 minutes in duration, with an opportunity afterwards to ask questions. All lectures are FREE and open to all.
This article discusses the Rakentajamaalaukset murals (translated as ‘construction worker painting’) which appear in fifteenth and early sixteenth century Finland. Traditionally criticised as ‘primitive’ and ‘popular’, art historians have frequently perceived the subject-matter as anomalies beyond Christian iconography and outside the canon of western medieval art. Researchers have ignored their religious context, connecting the subject-matter to ‘popular’ culture and beliefs such as medieval magical practices, paganism and folklore, and viewing the paintings as child-like imitations constructed by an untrained local hand.
Rakentajamaalaukset Wall Paintings, Maaria Church, Turku, Finland. 1440s-1450s. Figures Include a monk, a devil and a cross.
Fält argues that the labels ‘primitive’ and ‘popular’ are false, modern divisions, and that there is no evidence to substantiate the painters as unskilled local people, nor the subject-matter with paganism. She points to the discontinuity between the modern and medieval understanding of imagery such as the Rakentajamaalaukset, and suggests that the typology challenges twenty-first century viewers to step outside conventional art historical thinking. As yet, the visual language of this extensive and diverse body of works is not fully legible and paintings cannot be accurately interpreted.
Dr Katja Fält is a Researcher at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
Read the article online: Fält, K., ‘Attitudes and Discourses in the Historiography of Finnish Medieval Rakentajamaalaukset Paintings’, St Andrews Journal of Art History and Museum Studies, Vol. 15, 2011, 31-39.
This month Dr Miriam Gill will be talking about the rare domestic wall paintings at Longthorpe Tower, Peterborough.
Date: Wednesday March 13th 2013
Venue: Longthorpe Tower
In December 2012 we visited historian Dr Jo Mattingly to examine some of the St Christopher imagery in Cornwall.
St Christopher, Breage, Cornwall.
The wall paintings at Breage and St Keverne are significant, not least because they are examples of very late medieval murals (possibly sixteenth century in date). Church rebuilding in Cornwall and elsewhere occurred right up to the Reformation, and provides a terminus post quem for the execution of wall paintings. The St Keverne St Christopher is particularly important because of the inclusion of rare scenes from the life of St Christopher, a feature found at Hemblington (Norfolk) and Shorwell (Isle of Wight).
Jo and I also visited the Cornwall Record Office to examine the sixteenth-century accounts for the (now ruinous) Berry Tower – or Holy Rood chapel – in Bodmin, which include unusual references to the funding of a St Christopher image in the church. These are to be published in a forthcoming article on St Christopher wall painting patronage in England.
We also visited the largest (?) academic library in Cornwall and drank wine with renowned owner-historian-bibliophile-vet Dr Cockerham.
The Berry Tower, Bodmin.
St Christopher, St Neot, Cornwall.
St Christopher, St Keverne, Cornwall
This atmospheric ghost story for children is written by our friend Kath Langrish, a fellow musician and the sister of John Langrish, who runs the monthly Greyhound Music Session at Letcombe Regis in Oxfordshire. Published by Harper Collins in Midnight Feast - a fundraising book for charities War Child and No Strings – the story tells of Philip Acton’s encounter with a sinister Danse Macabre medieval fresco in a French monastic church. While Philip is haunted by a shadowy presence, his historian father visits the abbey library to decipher the mystery of the menacing Jehan le Necre and to establish his connection with the painting. The work is pleasingly reminiscent of M.R. James’ ghost stories The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral and O Whistle and I’ll Come to You My Lad.
Kath – herself an historian of literature – is a successful young adult book author, and has written a number of fascinating stories published by Harper Collins. These include the Viking-inspired Troll Fell Trilogy and Dark Angels, which takes place on the twelfth-century Welsh borders .
Following on from the successful conference held at the University of Lincoln in September 2011, the forthcoming ‘New Perspectives’ symposium, to be held at the Lincoln Cathedral Centre on 12-13 April 2013, will focus upon religious life in medieval Lincolnshire.
Organised on behalf of Lincoln Record Society:
New Perspectives on Medieval Lincolnshire – call for papers (2013) (5)
For high-quality photographs of church art, fixtures, fittings and much more (including wall painting), see Dr Allan Barton’s Medieval Church Art Blog:
Allan also has a Flickr site:
Dr Allan Barton has a PhD in History of Art from the University of York, and is now an Anglican priest in Norfolk.
Roger Rosewell has recently completed his latest book: Medieval Wall Paintings. It will be published by Shire in 2013, and will replace E. Clive Rouse’s book on the same subject.
The book has 100 new colour photographs taken by Roger Rosewell and C. B. Newham. There is also additional material on post-Reformation wall paintings and murals in the domestic and secular setting.
The book follows Roger Rosewell’s successful 2012 publications for Shire: Stained Glass and The Medieval Monastery.
Rosewell, Stained Glass, Shire 2012.