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Seats, relics, and the rationale of images in Westminster Abbey: Henry III to Edward II

Guerry, Emily Davenport and Binski, Paul (2015) Seats, relics, and the rationale of images in Westminster Abbey: Henry III to Edward II. In: Westminster Part I: The Art, Architecture and Archaeology of the Royal Abbey. The British Archaeological Association, 1 . Routledge, pp. 180-204. ISBN 978-1-910887-25-7. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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The aim of this paper is to illuminate the wall- and panel paintings in the sanctuary and south transept of Westminster Abbey by considering their relationship to the ways these spaces were furnished and used. The study of liturgy, inferring behaviour from texts, tends to idealization and does not always take into account human contingencies, that is, what actually happened. In cases such as Westminster’s, the well-documented unruliness of courts reminds us of brute reality. The sedilia in the sanctuary were made in a context that witnessed conditions of actual riot during court ritual. The south transept paintings adorned a complex space used or viewed by monks and layfolk. The murals amplified the relic cults of the church and were part of a viewing situation whose agency depended in part upon access routes and seating of uncertain nature. We take these cases in turn, beginning with seating and images in the south transept. Our contributions are initialled separately.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: D History General and Old World
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Emily Guerry
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 11:38 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 20:06 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Guerry, Emily Davenport:
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