English Art, 1100-1216

English Art, 1100-1216

English Art, 1100-1216

English Art, 1100-1216

Excerpt

The greater part of this book was delivered as the Waynflete lectures in the University of Oxford in the Hilary term of 1950 at the invitation of the Fellows of Magdalen College. I am deeply appreciative of that invitation and of their permission to use the material for a volume in the Oxford History of English Art.

The field of twelfth-century English art has been very unevenly covered by the works of my predecessors in it. Architecture has received notable and distinguished treatment and I must here record, among many names that might well be mentioned, those of R. Willis, J. Bilson, and A. W. Clapham. Anyone who has worked on the history of our English cathedrals knows how well the way has been cleared for him by Professor Willis's exact and imaginative investigations. The writings of John Bilson are amongst the most distinguished English contributions to architectural history and have never received in this country their full due of admiration, though long recognized in France as a landmark in the subject. Sir Alfred Clapham's two volumes on Romanesque architecture in England compress the significant and necessary facts into a remarkably brief compass: using them constantly, I have seldom failed to find in them the information sought. Shortly before his death Sir Alfred summarized his latest views on the subject in a pamphlet which showed how closely he was in touch with all developments and discoveries and how his mind was on the alert for any new aspect or line of approach. I had hoped that this book might have benefited from his criticisms, always most generously and frankly given: instead, it must appear under the shadow of the recent loss of our greatest master in Romanesque studies.

In sculpture the great tome of E. S. Prior and A. Gardner has still no rival or successor. Their plates provide a corpus the like of which few other countries possess in such convenient form. The stylistic problems of contemporary art history were not those that . . .

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