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Exeter Cathedral Keystones & Carvings: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Medieval Interior Sculpture & its Polychromy

Exeter Cathedral Keystones & Carvings: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Sculptures & their Polychromy is a complete, explanatory scholarly catalogue of all the superb medieval sculpture that is part of the fabric of Exeter Cathedral, Devon - one of the major decorated Gothic buildings in the world. The catalogue describes the carvings' architectural context together with their significance both as indicators of the sequence by which a Norman cathedral was refashioned into a Gothic one, and as objects of great beauty and interest in their own right.

Photograph of the vaulted ceiling of Exeter Cathedral

The carvings are mostly bosses, corbels, capitals and label-stops, all with identifying numbers: some figure-reliefs are also included. Surviving medieval colour (for which Exeter is famous) is seen in all its glory. There is no attempt to present a visual tour of the Cathedral, or to show the architectural context of each object, apart from its position on the Cathedral Plan, though views of the main areas of the Cathedral are provided.

The digital material is divided into two main elements: 1) the text consisting of Contents, Catalogue, Introduction, Abbreviations, Bibliography and Footnotes and 2) the digital images, including elaborate colour-coded digitized Cathedral Plan showing building periods, and more than 1100 images, in colour where colour is original and significant.

The catalogue offers two main routes into the material, designed to assist equally those who work visually and those who work verbally:

The Visual Route, via the colour-coded Cathedral Plan, is for those who know the rough position in the building of the object they wish to study, but not its number or even the name of the area to which it belongs.

The Verbal Route, is for those who know a number/letter identifying the object they want, or the name of the area to which it belongs, and for those who wish to read the Introduction or Catalogue first and proceed from there.

The catalogue was many years in the making by its co-authors Avril Kay Henry and Anna Carlton Hulbert (ACH). The work, which began in 1976, consisted both of ACH's conservation of the objects, and of the authors' joint exploration of the objects' nature and significance.

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Contact Details

Photograph of Medieval boss
Contact Person Avril K Henry
Professor of English Medieval Culture
Email a.k.henry@ex.ac.uk
Address University of Exeter

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