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Title: "Every age is a Canterbury pilgrimage" : art and the sacred journey in Britain, c. 1790-1850
Author: Barush, Kathryn R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 0240
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis examines the intersections of the concept of pilgrimage and the visual imagination in Britain from the years 1790 to 1850. Historically, distinctions between understandings of pilgrimage as motif, metaphor, artistic process, and actual journey have been blurred to varying degrees, resulting in the creation of images that were at once narratives, memorials, and stimuli for contemplative journeys from pictorial space to imagination. In the first half of the nineteenth century, religious architecture, sacred landscapes, and the emblematic figure of the pilgrim with coat, hat, and scrip functioned as temporal reminders of a promised land to come, as mediated through artistic practice. Through a close analysis of a range of interrelated visual sources, I contend that pilgrimage, both in practice and as a form of mental contemplation, helped to shape the religious, literary, and artistic imagination of the period and beyond. This study draws out the various levels at which pilgrimage engaged the visual imagination. In doing so it offers a detailed perspective on the conjunction of content, form, meaning, and process for artists and theorists, as notions of the transfer of ‘spirit’ from sacred space to represented space re-emerged as a key aspect of the theological and artistic discourse of the period. Chapter 1 outlines the antiquarian dissemination of medieval pilgrimage texts and images. I suggest that an awareness of pilgrimage as embodying the real and imagined emerged with the recovery of allegorical texts, histories of actual pilgrimages, and an interest in pilgrimage souvenirs. The discussion moves on to intersections between pilgrimage and religious art in Chapters 2 - 4, including the idea of painting as pilgrimage, as demonstrated through specific case studies, and the refashioning of relics and religious ruins as contemporary sites of pilgrimage (Chapter 5).
Supervisor: Garnett, Jane ; Kemp, Martin Sponsor: Leverhulme Studentship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Art ; Visual art and representation ; History of art and visual culture ; Modern Britain and Europe ; Modern spiritual movements ; Theology and Religion ; Christianity and Christian spirituality ; English and Old English literature ; pilgrimage ; nineteenth century ; Britain ; art history ; religion ; material and visual culture