East Anglian rood screens in the Tudor period

Lucy Wrapson, Conservator and Research Associate, Hamilton Kerr Institute

Making Art in Tudor Britain
Abstract of a paper presented at Tudor and Jacobean Painting: Production, Influences and Patronage
Funded by the British Academy and The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

The first fifty years of the Tudor dynasty’s rule coincided with the highest level of production of painted rood screens in East Anglia. Screens, painted both decoratively and with the figures of saints, kings, prophets and angels, survive in large numbers in the region. The paper explores the nature and techniques of screen manufacture in East Anglia during the Tudor period, contextualising it with what came before and looking at the increasing influence that portraiture and continental print sources had on the painted decoration of screens. It also explores the destruction and alterations made to the rood, rood screen and rood loft through succeeding monarchs, until the widespread removal of lofts under Elizabeth I.