Research into England’s oldest medieval altarpiece – which for centuries provided the backdrop to Westminster Abbey coronations – has revealed that it cost no more than the rather unprincely equivalent of eight cows.
Art historian Dr Meredith Hale reveals that a 17th-century screen, commissioned by the Viceroy of Mexico for a palace designed to impress visitors with the immutability of Spanish rule, is a striking example of a transcultural work of art. In an article for the Burlington Magazine, she traces the many influences that went into its narrative imagery and luxurious embellishment.
During the First World War artists were widely believed to be spies and, around much of the country, painting became illegal. Research by art historian and broadcaster Dr James Fox reveals how deeply artists were affected, not just by the government’s ban but also by a surge of public paranoia.
A comprehensive exploration into Gothic cathedrals and their place in medieval society will be the focus of a series of Cambridge University Slade Lectures in Fine Art entitled The Gothic Cathedral: A New Heaven and a New Earth.