Lecture: 'Pevsner and church architecture'

Nikolaus Pevsner was a Jew by birth, a Lutheran by conversion and, on his own account, ‘very Low Church’ in his inclinations. This lecture explores the effect, if any, that his own tastes in worship might have had on his aesthetic judgements on churches, in The Buildings of England and elsewhere. Why did he describe Jesuit architecture as ‘emaciated’ and ‘frustrated’ but thrill to the Catholic pilgrimage churches of Bavaria? How could he manage to enjoy both St George’s Chapel, Windsor, and Gaudí’s Temple of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona? How far were his attitudes conditioned by the approach of different denominations to restoration and conservation? Which was his favourite English church and why?

© 2015 Susie Harries