35 minutes
February 2003
R0 (PAL)

Image and Idol: Medieval Sculpture

The extraordinary richness of sculpture from the twelfth to the sixteenth century is revealed in this unique film. Historian Phillip Lindley introduces a selection of surprising and startlingly beautiful artworks from churches and cathedrals in England and Wales.

Lindley explores the force and distinctiveness of medieval sculpture and outlines the religious context in which the work was made. Among other examples, he discusses an extraordinary figure of Jesse from Abergavenny, an exquisite Madonna and Child from Winchester Cathedral, and the moving tomb of Sir Thomas Andrew, who lies with his two wives in alabaster on either side.

Many of the works featured in the film suffered dreadfully in the iconoclasm of, first, the sixteenth-century Reformation and, later, the fundamentalism of the English Civil War. Their shattered fragments remain both poignant and powerful.

The film was made alongside Tate Britain’s groundbreaking exhibition of medieval sculpture, which was selected by Lindley with the distinguished sculptor Richard Deacon. As he discusses, Deacon designed the controversial installation of the works highlighting their striking and memorable qualities.


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