Architecture & Ornament

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‘Neither sculpture nor painting, although both are rooted in elementary creativity and imitative instincts, surrounds us to the same extent as architecture, acts upon us so incessantly and so ubiquitously. We can avoid interaction with what people call the Fine Arts, but we cannot escape buildings and the subtle but penetrating effects of their character, noble or mean, restrained or ostentatious, genuine or meretricious.’ – Nicolaus Pevsner

The works of art in this exhibition provide an overview of the diversity that existed in Romanesque and Gothic architecture, which continually transformed across space and time. They range from the tenth century, when Lombard architecture and sculpture formed the so-called first Romanesque, to the late fifteenth century, when openwork spires towered over cities. The exhibition includes pieces from some of the most celebrated medieval buildings in Europe, such as the capital from Madinat al-Zahra, a palace-city complex just outside of Cordoba, built as a symbol of Umayyad power on the Iberian Peninsula. The group also includes a twelfth-century impost from Saint-Remi in Reims, one of the most important royal churches in France and the site where King Clovis was baptised in 508 by Bishop Remigius. The engineering progress of the Gothic period is represented by a 13th century gable from a buttress pinnacle of the York Minster Chapter House, a building designed to show-off technological advancements and a new kind of decorative character. Finally, the exhibition also features a tracery fragment from Canterbury Cathedral, one of England’s most renowned ecclesiastical buildings, and one of the most significant pilgrimage sites in Europe. In addition to these pieces there are many others and together they take us through architectural history that spans almost seven hundred years.

Sam Fogg
15D Clifford Street
W1S 4JZ
London
22 October - 19 November 2020
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Sam Fogg
Art of the Middle Ages