skip to content

Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



I completed the BA in History of Art at King's College, Cambridge (graduated 2015), and stayed to complete the MPhil in History of Art and Architecture (2016). My MPhil thesis looked at aspects of French Gothic portal sculpture, particularly depictions of clouds and vapour, which were considered by scholastic thinkers to be halfway between spirit and matter, often serving as a visual liaison between corporeal and immaterial elements of complex sculptural programmes.

My PhD research investigated broader questions of perspective and pictorial space in fifteenth-century sculpture, focussing on English and Netherlandish examples. The Norwich Cathedral cloister bosses formed the central case study for this project. The thesis advanced a phenomenological approach to the study of sculptural space, and incorporated the thought of medieval perspectivist theologians such as Peter of Limoges and Nicholas of Cusa. A chapter summarising the thesis' argument is forthcoming: 'Questions of Sculptural Space: The Later Bosses from Norwich Cathedral Cloister c.1411-1430' in Munz, Niko et. al. (eds.), Perspectives on Early Renaissance Pictorial Space (Brepols, forthcoming).

Having completed the PhD in 2019, I took the BA in Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion, at Jesus College, Cambridge (graduated 2022), while training for ordination in the Church of England at Westcott House.

I continue to write about the places where art and theology meet, contributing reviews and articles to Times Literary Supplement, Art and Christianity, and The London Magazine.

Contact details:

Department: History of Art and Architecture
Supervisor: Professor Paul Binski
College: King's College
AHRC Subject Area: History of Art
Title of Thesis: 'Questions of Sculptural Idiom in The Later Bosses from Norwich Cathedral Cloister c.1411-1430'
 Robert  Hawkins