Getty Museum to Exhibit Two Masterpieces of Medieval English Art

The J. Paul Getty Museum will offer visitors the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience two masterpieces of medieval English art: six dazzling, monumental stained glass figures depicting the Ancestors of Christ from England’s famed Canterbury Cathedral and the St. Albans Psalter, a richly illuminated manuscript that is a landmark of English Romanesque art.

Noah, from the Ancestors of Christ Windows, Canterbury Cathedral, England, 1178-1180; design attributed to the Methuselah Master.  Colored glass and vitreous paint, lead came; 148.8 x 69.5 cm (58 1/2 x 27 3/8 in.). © Robert Greshoff Photography, courtesy Dean and Chapter of Canterbury

Noah, from the Ancestors of Christ Windows, Canterbury Cathedral, England, 1178-1180; design attributed to the Methuselah Master. Colored glass and vitreous paint, lead came; 148.8 x 69.5 cm (58 1/2 x 27 3/8 in.). © Robert Greshoff Photography, courtesy Dean and Chapter of Canterbury

Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister will be on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum from September 20, 2013 to February 2, 2014, and will unite monumental glass painting with the intimate art of book illumination to reveal how specific texts, prayers and environments shaped the medieval viewer’s understanding of these pictures.

The exhibition of both these bodies of work is possible because of preservation activities. The six glass windows from Canterbury Cathedral have been temporarily removed from the Cathedral’s Great South Window for conservation on the architectural framing. The St. Albans Psalter, on loan from the Cathedral Library in Hildesheim, Germany, has been temporarily unbound for documentation and conservation and will soon be permanently rebound.

These two bodies of works are among the most famous examples of English Romanesque art, representing innovations of 12th-century English painting on a monumental and miniature scale. Both the psalter, created at the beginning of the 12th-century and the stained glass from Canterbury, created at the end of that same century, share the fully modeled and articulated figures, saturated colors and elaborately patterned border decorations that characterize Romanesque painting.

Additional information is available at www.getty.edu.

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