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Alastair Sooke reveals the astonishing range of our medieval sculpture, from the imposing masterpieces of our Gothic cathedrals to the playful misericords underneath church stalls.

He shows how sculpture casts a new light on medieval Britain, a far more sophisticated, fun-loving and maverick place than we in the modern world commonly believe. But despite the technical and emotional power of these works, the notion of a 'sculptor' didn't even exist; most carving of the time was done by teams of itinerant masons and artisans working for the Church. The names of some, like William Berkeley, are known but most are lost to history.

This first golden age came to an end with Henry VIII's Reformation of the Church, unleashing a wave of destruction from which it would take centuries to recover.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 21 Mar 2011 03:35

Credits

Role Contributor
Series ProducerMark Halliley
PresenterAlastair Sooke
DirectorMark Halliley
Executive ProducerJonty Claypole
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