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Title: Space, its construction and uses : St. George's Chapel, Windsor, in the late Middle Ages
Author: Stewart, Camilla M.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis explores the construction and experience of space in the royal Chapel of St. George at Windsor by questioning how sacred spaces were used, perceived, understood and moulded by late medieval individuals ranging in social status from kings to pilgrims. The new Chapel of St. George’s, commenced by Edward IV in 1475, was designed as a single entity from the outset and the first stage of building was completed rapidly in the 1470s and 1480s. It is therefore unique in encoding a single vision of sacred space formulated by the apex of late medieval English society, the king himself. The second phase of building, funded by Henry VII’s courtier, Sir Reynold Bray, in the early sixteenth century, placed new visual demands on the integrity of Edward IV’s space. A study of the foundation therefore allows me to explore the sophisticated, but changing, understanding the elite had of sacred space in the closing decades of the fifteenth century. The building, however, was used by individuals from very different social groups. By exploring these users – king and courtiers, Garter Knights, college canons and lay pilgrims – across a wider chronological period, this study considers the relationship individuals forged with sacred spaces. Worked examples suggest these were affected by whether the context in which they experienced the chapel was an ordinary or ceremonial one. I argue that to understand why the foundation looks the way it does, we need to take a more wholesale, holistic understanding of the function and representation of space in other artistic and intellectual realms, both English and foreign. By integrating a study of alternative visual forms, such as manuscript illumination, music and costume, this work explores the extent to which patrons of other art-forms brought the experience of their ideas and discoveries to bear on the space of the chapel.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available