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Title: Visualising the Old Testament in Anglo-Saxon England, from the seventh to the mid-eleventh century
Author: Alexander, Elizabeth A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 3446
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2017
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This study will provide a complete account of the ways in which the Old Testament was visually articulated in Anglo-Saxon England between the seventh and mid-eleventh centuries, in order to establish the extent of the surviving Old Testament imagery in early medieval England. This is vital as, to date, no attempt has been made to establish what survives of such scenes across all media and “time periods” (pre-Viking, Viking and Reformation). The lack of scholarly interest is explained, in part, by the understanding that the Old Testament was not a popular subject to depict in Anglo-Saxon England, especially when compared to the survival of New Testament subjects and the seeming abundance of Old Testament imagery found elsewhere in the Insular world. This perception is further supported by the frequent invocation of the Old Testament in the surviving poetry, exegesis and texts of Anglo-Saxon England; the popularity of the Old Testament in the textual culture seems to emphasise its absence in the visual. With the resulting scholarly focus on a particular “time period” or medium, engagement with how the Old Testament was visualised in Anglo-Saxon England as a whole remains unchartered. By providing an overview of the extant material, this study will establish the accuracy of these perceptions. It will also examine the motives informing the selection of certain Old Testament scenes by considering their iconographic significance/s. This will provide insight into issues of continuity and change in the way the Old Testament was visually articulated from the pre-Viking Period into the Viking and Reformation Period and set these findings within the context of its portrayal elsewhere in the Insular world. By examining the visualisation of the Old Testament in this way this study will reappraise and resituate this largely ignored aspect of Anglo-Saxon art.
Supervisor: Hawkes, Jane Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available