Art Under Attack Exhibition

Smashed stained glass from Rievaulx Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral is featured in a new exhibition at Tate Britain, which opened at the beginning of this month. The exhibition, entitled ‘Art Under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm’, explores religious iconoclasm and is a reminder of what was lost in the 150 years after the Reformation. The damaged works are accompanied by vivid accounts of the destructive actions of Puritan iconoclasts.

Two panels from Canterbury Cathedral included in the exhibition, The Presentation in the Temple and Christ Leading the Gentiles from Pagan Gods, show evidence of precise attack. These panels are from the medieval typological series from the cathedral and are displayed alongside diagrams illustrating how the damaged versions appeared before restoration, acting as comparative tools to witness how specific the vandalism was. The glass works were specifically removed from the windows of Canterbury Cathedral for this exhibition.

More information on the Canterbury panels can be seen on the Tate blog.

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