The Art and Architecture of English Benedictine Monasteries, 1300-1540: A Patronage History

October 2005
46 black and white, 1 line illustrations
346 pages
24.6x17.3 cm
Studies in the History of Medieval Religion
Boydell Press
BISAC ART015070, ARC016000

The Art and Architecture of English Benedictine Monasteries, 1300-1540: A Patronage History

Julian M. Luxford


Hardback out of stock

Analysis of the patronage of Benedictine monasteries has much to reveal about both monastic life and material culture of the time.
Highly Commended in the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Prize 2007

The patronage of Benedictine art and architecture, and the circumstances that made it possible and desirable, reveal much about the ambitions, beliefs and allegiances of both the order and those who interacted with it; moreover, analysis of such patronage also improves our understanding of some of the most important and beautiful buildings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass and other artefacts surviving from the middle ages.In this survey, focussing on the Benedictine monasteries and nunneries in south-west England [including Glastonbury] during the 240 years leading up to the dissolution of the religious orders under Henry VIII, the author discusses the question in terms of 'internal' practice, initiated by Benedictine monks and nuns, and 'external' practice, for which non-monastic agents were responsible; and analyses the historical circumstances affecting the commission and the purchase of art and architecture. Throughout, he takes care to situate the study of buildings and their embellishment within the broader context of Benedictine culture. The text is lavishly illustrated with forty-five black and white plates of art, architecture and documents, many of which have not previously been reproduced.

Dr JULIAN M. LUXFORD is Senior Lecturer at the School of Art History, St Andrews University.


In many ways a model book. It is a model of careful scholarship, of caution in its conclusions, of thoroughness in its research, in the way it neatly mortars a sturdy brick to the existing architecture of Benedictine scholarship. ECCLESIOLOGY TODAY
Contributes importantly to the ongoing debates about the Reformation and the medieval heritage of monasticism, and the contribution of the abbeys to taste and fashion in wider material culture. LONGMAN-HISTORY TODAY BOOK OF THE YEAR PRIZE 2007
This magnificent book is both a regional study of much more than local significance and an art historical book that tells us much about late medieval monasticism. [It] is a major achievement. SOUTHERN HISTORY
Luxford's book provides much new material to consider and by taking the concept of patronage as a motivation, he has found ways of approaching the subject unrealised in previous studies. This is surely a model to emulate. SEHEPUNKTE
A pioneering work. REVUE BENEDICTINE
A rewarding read. [The author] has shone a bright light on late medieval Benedictine monasticism and persuasively argued for its strength and integrity. [...] He has created a new standard, transforming the way in which such studies must be conducted in the future. THE BURLINGTON MAGAZINE
An interesting book which would be a useful reference document for the church historian. TRANSACTIONS, Bristol & Gloucestershire Archaeological Society

Author Bio

Julian M. Luxford is Senior Lecturer at the School of Art History, St Andrews University.

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