• 11 June 2014
  • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Seminar Room, Paul Mellon Centre

The cycles of pictures in books of prayers, such as the Psalters and Books of Hours, are generally said to be for devotional purposes. But how might anyone have meditated fruitfully on these images; in what ways are they any more than simply a visual narrative? Using one of the first examples of this genre known from England, the early twelfth-century 'St Albans' Psalter, this analysis focuses on the ways in which the artist constructed his pictures, individually and as a group, arguing that his strategies were specifically designed to facilitate readings of the events that would lead the viewer to an understanding of the structure of salvation. For this process to work effectively, it was important to encourage empathy. The means by which the viewer's emotions were engaged is thus also a crucial part of the exercise.

To book your place please contact the Centre's Co-ordinator Ella Fleming on: efleming@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk  

About the speaker

  • Sandy Heslop

    Sandy Heslop is Professor of Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, where he has worked as a teacher and researcher since 1976. He publishes widely on the art and architecture of medieval England from around 1000 to the Reformation. Recent research interests include studies on St Anselm’s Canterbury (in Anglo-Norman Studies, the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, and the BAA Canterbury Conference Transactions). His main project at present is the medieval parish churches of Norwich, funded for three years by the Leverhulme Trust: norwichmedievalchurches.org. Publications on other topics include a book on the Eadwine Psalter, another on Norwich Castle Keep, and an exhibition and catalogue: Basketry: Making Human Nature.