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The Style and Iconography of the Westminster Retable

Ordinary Meeting of Fellows (Fellows and Guests Only)

‘The Style and Iconography of the Westminster Retable: Creating Gothic Painting between France and England in the 13th Century’

MA Michael, FSA

This paper will present new research into the sources for the iconography of the Westminster Retable which will establish that models invented for use in the Bible moralisée in France of the second quarter of the thirteenth century were known to the artist and were adapted for use at Westminster. It will also propose that the Retable should be regarded as part of a project that included the Westminster Pavement as part of an iconographical plan. Other sources will be examined in the text of the Golden Legend and in Byzantine art for compositional models.

The paper will then attempt to place the style of the Westminster Retable in the context of developments in French and English painting between c. 1250-1290. It will suggest ways in which the work of the artist of the Westminster Retable should be understood in the broader European context as an example of one of the catalysts that helped to create the style of painting we have come to know as Gothic.

Westminster _Retable