Item Number: 108949
Title: Decorating the 'Godly' Household : Religious Art in Post-Reformation Britain
Author: Hamling, Tara
Price: Not Available
Description: New Haven and London: Yale University Press, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2011. 26cm., hardcover, 348pp. 193 illus., ca. 40 in color. Summary: The Reformation is generally regarded as a calamitous episode in the history of British art, with the rich artistic heritage of the medieval period eradicated and replaced by an austere Protestant culture of the word. This compelling new study presents a wealth of visual evidence to argue that religious subject matter was common in the arts of Protestant Britain. Tara Hamling examines decorative features from historic houses throughout England and Scotland and identifies a significant but overlooked trend in the history of British art. She reveals a widespread fashion for large-scale religious imagery in houses owned by the gentry and prosperous middle classes during the period 1560–1660. The book is illustrated with narrative imagery in wall painting, plasterwork, carved wood and stone and objects including furniture, textiles and ceramics. The character of this ‘decorative’ art is explored in relation to the functions of rooms in the domestic interior with a focus on how religious imagery might inform and support spiritual activities taking place within the home. The visual evidence throughout the book is supported by extracts from contemporary texts. Far from being hostile towards images, many Protestant patrons continued to commission traditional religious art to decorate their houses. While the choice of materials, forms and iconography represents a degree of continuity with the pre-Reformation past, the imagery was modified to remove objectionable elements and used to support Protestant habits of thought and behaviour.
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