The Herefordshire School of Romanesque Sculpture produced a vibrant collection of work carved between c.1134 and 1155 by a group of sculptors who, it would seem, had received their initial training at Hereford Cathedral. This book explores their work, considering the careers of the two main sculptors, the role of the patrons, the sources of inspiration, the coming together of the work of the sculptor with that of the metalworker and the illuminator and painter, and the intended meaning behind some of the imagery.
As the authors explain, the sculptors were working in the days of the Anarchy during the reign of King Stephen, and at times they were working on or near the front line between the opposing factions supporting Stephen or Matilda. In those dramatic times, the tower of Hereford Cathedral was used to install siege engines with which to attack the nearby castle, graveyards were dug up to provide trenches for attacking troops, and the bishop of Hereford had to authorise temporary refuges in which people could seek safety. Strange as it perhaps seems, the patrons of the work of the sculptors were also warlords. And despite these troubles, the sculptors and the masons who helped them create their designs produced a collection of work that still gives great pleasure today.
Malcolm Thurlby has spent many years investigating the Herefordshire School, and this book brings together all his latest thoughts, not least on where the sculptors received their training and on the school’s chronology and development. He also discusses the interpretation of many of the images in some detail. The book is illustrated with some four hundred mainly colour illustrations of both the work itself and some of the potential sources.
Paperback with flaps | 320 pages | 240 x 210 mm | 2013
400 colour photographs