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Migrants in Medieval England, c. 500-c. 1500$
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W. Mark Ormrod, Joanna Story, and Elizabeth M. Tyler

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266724

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266724.001.0001

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The Migrant in English Art: Perspectives on Influence and Agency

The Migrant in English Art: Perspectives on Influence and Agency

(p.206) 8 The Migrant in English Art: Perspectives on Influence and Agency
Migrants in Medieval England, c. 500-c. 1500

Julian Luxford

British Academy

This chapter addresses English medieval art and architecture in the long term and is of a basically methodological character. It argues for a view of immigrancy rooted in stylistic and (less urgently) iconographic influence, in favour of an approach through case studies of individual immigrant artists or particular works. In an extended introduction, the traditional, formalist nature of art history is presented as a justification of this point of view. This is followed by an object-focused section in which some of the main practical functions and ambiguities of the concept of influence are exposed, and the problems of ignoring these ambiguities suggested. A case study focused on English church architecture is then presented in order to clarify the theoretical points. The chapter concludes with a brief, essentially sceptical review of the usefulness of medieval documentation as a basis for understanding stylistic influence in art.

Keywords:   Medieval art, Medieval architecture, Influence, Anglo-Saxon, Romanesque, Gothic, Artistic style, Terminology

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