Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: October ::
Paintings in Stratford
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0691  Tuesday, 16 October 2007

[1]	From: 	Barbara D. Palmer <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date: 	Friday, 12 Oct 2007 10:32:40 -0400
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 18.0683 Paintings in Stratford

[2]	From: 	David Evett <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date: 	Sunday, 14 Oct 2007 23:04:21 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0683 Paintings in Stratford

[3]	From: 	Stanley Wells <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date: 	Monday, 15 Oct 2007 11:07:27 +0100
	Subj: 	RE: SHK 18.0683 Paintings in Stratford

[4]	From: 	Jack Heller <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
	Date: 	Monday, 15 Oct 2007 11:37:08 -0400 (EDT)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 18.0683 Paintings in Stratford


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Barbara D. Palmer <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Friday, 12 Oct 2007 10:32:40 -0400
Subject: 18.0683 Paintings in Stratford
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0683 Paintings in Stratford

For an early art inventory, see Clifford Davidson's and Jennifer 
Alexander's _The Early Art of Coventry, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick and 
Lesser Sites in Warwickshire: A Subject List of Extant and Lost Art 
Including Items Relevant to Early Drama_ , Early Drama, Art and Music 
Reference Series 4 (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 1985).

Barbara D. Palmer

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Evett <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Sunday, 14 Oct 2007 23:04:21 -0400
Subject: 18.0683 Paintings in Stratford
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0683 Paintings in Stratford

 >the Privy Council backtracked on windows - they were to be broken only 
if the window was to be reglazed.
 >
 >As a result, the only religious images in English churches for the 
next 300 years were the stained glass.

Peter Bridgeman's comment does not fully apply even to Elizabethan 
iconoclasm, as windows in many parish churches--to say nothing of the 
monasteries--were destroyed. And whatever Elizabeth's Privy Council 
ordered, the enthusiasts of the C17 interregnum were less particular, so 
that although the windows of many churches escaped (in some cases 
because the local people removed and hid them), others were less 
fortunate. Hence while much of the medieval work survives in the 
cathedrals of York, Salisbury, Exeter, Gloucester, much was destroyed at 
Ely, Peterborough, and elsewhere. At Winchester, a good many fragments 
of the medieval windows were rescued and re-used, but the windows as 
wholes did not survive.

David Evett

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Stanley Wells <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Monday, 15 Oct 2007 11:07:27 +0100
Subject: 18.0683 Paintings in Stratford
Comment: 	RE: SHK 18.0683 Paintings in Stratford

There is a fine early wall painting in an inn in Stratford - The White 
Swan - of the Apocrypha story of Tobias and the Angel. It is reproduced 
in Rene Weis's recent biography, Shakespeare Revealed.

Stanley Wells

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Jack Heller <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Monday, 15 Oct 2007 11:37:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 18.0683 Paintings in Stratford
Comment: 	Re: SHK 18.0683 Paintings in Stratford

I appreciate the answer from Peter Bridgman, but it opens a few new 
questions for discussion:

 >What was discovered in the 19th century was a large 'Doom' (Last
 >Judgement) under the 16th century whitewash in Stratford's Guild Chapel.
 >Michael Wood's book 'In Search of Shakespeare' has a photo of the Guild
 >Chapel Doom as it is today (very damaged), plus a useful reconstruction
 >of what it would have looked like. Here is part of the reconstruction 
. . .
 >
 >http://www.ecclsoc.org/wenhaston/stratfull.jpg

I first became aware of the Guild Chapel art from a reproduction of a 
St. George image in James Shapiro's A YEAR IN THE LIFE. The St. George 
image is not included in that link, so would there be more images 
available than the link includes?

 >Unfortunately my copy of Wood's book is not at hand, but I believe I'm
 >right in saying that the whitewashing was done only a matter of months
 >before WS's birth. WS is therefore unlikely to have ever seen any medieval
 >wall paintings - at least not in Stratford.

Perhaps Shakespeare would not have seen them, but as Shapiro suggests, 
he might well have heard them described. I am currently working on 
JULIUS CAESAR, a play Shapiro discusses, and there are moments in the 
play that seem strongly suggestive of some contemporary art, both in 
northern and southern Europe, both Catholic and Lutheran. It is very 
difficult to find similar imagery from England in the time of 
Shakespeare, but, as I think sonnet 73 might support, collective memory 
of the imagery might still have a powerful influence. This is why I am 
hoping to get as complete a source as possible of what images are 
reported to have existed in Stratford.

 >For the removal of religious art generally, see Eamon Duffy:  'The
 >Stripping of the Altars' (Yale, 1992). In February 1548 Thomas Cranmer
 >ordered the "total removal of images" in churches (Duffy, p.458).
 >Paintings, statues and altar-pieces were burnt; wall paintings were
 >whitewashed over and replaced with scriptural verses condemning idolatry;
 >stained-glass windows were to be removed and replaced with plain glass
 >(Cranmer later reversed this order as there was not enough
 >replacement glass in the country). Because they contained scripture,
 >illuminated books (psalters etc) were not destroyed. Although Mary's reign
 >refilled the churches with new images, these were again removed by
 >Elizabeth's Injunctions of 1559, which outlawed "all religious images,
 >including those in window and wall" (Duffy, p. 568). Again, the Privy
 >Council backtracked on windows - they were to be broken only if the
 >window was to be reglazed.

If windows were not all broken-and it seems that George Herbert has seen 
some still bearing biblical images, it would be helpful to get a good 
catalogue of those we know to have existed in the 16th century. I have 
seen a stained glass image from France of people bathing in baptismal 
fonts of Christ's blood, an image that strongly suggests the language in 
the play of the conspirators bathing in Caesar's blood. I would be very 
interested in knowing more about the stained glass imagery we can learn 
about in Shakespeare's time.

 >As a result, the only religious images in English churches for the next
 >300 years were the stained glass. Religious images only reappeared in
 >Anglican churches with the Oxford Movement of the 1840s.

I think this overlooks one other source of religious images in the 
English churches-illustrated books. Not just illuminated bibles, but 
also such books at Foxe's ACTS AND MONUMENTS, which indeed illustrated 
the stripping of the altars. Even those images might give us some sense 
of the content of what was stripped.

Jack Heller

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the 
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the 
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.