Summer Miscellany of Papers
Fellows are invited to our annual summer meeting, where we will hear a miscellany of papers from Dr David Neal FSA and Professor Warwick Rodwell OBE, FSA.
No booking is required for the miscellany of papers, and admission is free for Fellows (and their guests). The meeting is followed by our Summer Soirée (with Pimm’s and wine), to which all Fellows and their guests are welcome. Admission to the Soirée is by ticket only (£10).
WESTMINSTER ABBEY: The 13th century Cosmati Mosaics and their Context
Westminster Abbey contains a suite of royal monuments decorated with Cosmatesque mosaics of the 1260s and 1270s, the only known examples outside Italy. Since 2012, the speakers have been engaged on the first-ever detailed study of the assemblage, which followed a major conservation programme on the sanctuary pavement. The study is being prepared for publication in 2019, to coincide with the 750th anniversary of the dedication of Henry III's new abbey, and the installation of the body of St Edward the Confessor in a sumptuous new shrine.
The Cosmati monuments comprise: the sanctuary pavement, the shrine pavement, the shrine-tomb of St Edward, the reredos of the shrine altar, the tomb of Henry III and the tomb of Prince John of Windsor (son of Edward I). The Tudor shrine canopy is also mosaic-decorated and there are Tudor faux mosaics in plaster and paint on two of the tombs. All of these monuments have been studied and drawn in minute detail, revealing much that was hitherto unknown about their history and construction.
Warwick Rodwell will present an account of the monuments, their construction and context in Westminster Abbey, and the archaeological investigations that have taken place.
David Neal will exhibit in the Library and describe his watercoloured scale drawings of all the monuments. By recording every surviving tessera and the impressions left by those that are missing, he will reveal how much of the lost decoration can be reconstructed.