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Dr. Laura CleaverDr Laura Cleaver

Ussher Lecturer in Medieval Art
Programme Director: M.Phil in Irish Art History

Research interests

I am interested in the production of art and architecture in the High Middle Ages. Although my research concentrates on medieval manuscripts, I work with objects in a wide range of media. My current interests include the illumination of histories, medieval diagrams, and the trade in medieval manuscripts in the early twentieth century.

I am involved with the Trinity College Research Theme on Manuscript, Book and Print Cultures.

I am a member of the New Interpretations on the Angevin World project, and am an associate of the Ordered Universe project.

Recent funded research projects include the illustration of history in the Anglo-Norman world (c.1100-c.1300), funded by the Marie Curie Actions grant (FP7), and research into Alfred Chester Beatty’s manuscripts, funded by the Irish Research Council. Further information about the Beatty project can be found here.

Selected publications

Education in Twelfth-Century Art and Architecture
  • Education in Twelfth-Century Art and Architecture, (Woodbridge, 2016)
  • L. Cleaver and H. Conrad O’Briain, Latin Psalter Manuscripts in Trinity College Dublin and the Chester Beatty Library (Dublin, 2015).


  • ‘The Western Manuscript Collection of Alfred Chester Beatty (ca. 1915-1930)’, Manuscript Studies, 2.2 (2017).
  • ‘The Monastic Library at Le Bec’, A Companion to Le Bec in the Central Middle Ages, (ed.) B. Pohl and L. Gathagan (Leiden, 2017).
  • ‘Documentation, Forgery and the Making of the Chronicle of Battle Abbey (British Library, Cotton MS Domitian A II), Anglo-Norman Studies, 39 (2017), pp. 27-43.
  • ‘History Books at Reading Abbey in the Twelfth Century’, Reading Medieval Studies, 42 (2016), pp. 25-44.
  • ‘“Almost every miracle is open to carping”: Doubts, Relics, Reliquaries and Images of Saints in the Long 12th Century’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, Vol. 167 (2014) pp. 51-69.
  • 'From Codex to Roll: Illustrating History in the Anglo-Norman World in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries' Anglo-Norman Studies, 36 pp. 69-90.
  • 'Gerald of Wales on Irish Art: Objects, Stories and Images in the Making of History in the Thirteenth Century' Making Histories: Proceedings of the Sixth International Insular Art Conference, York 2011 (ed.) J. Hawkes (Donnington, 2013) pp. 315-325.
  • 'Past, Present and Future for Thirteenth-Century Wales: Two Diagrams in British Library Cotton Roll XIV.12' electronic British Library Journal (2013, article 13) pp. 1-26.
  • Latin Psalter Manuscripts in Trinity College Dublin and the Chester Beatty Library
  • 'Kings Behaving Badly: Images of Rulers in Gerald of Wales' Works on Ireland (c.1200) IKON 5 (2012) pp. 151-160.
  • Gothic Legacies: Four Centuries of Tradition and Innovation in Art and Architecture (ed.) L. Cleaver & A. Lepine (Newcastle, 2012).
  • ''On the Nature of Things': The Content and Purpose of Walters MS W.73 and Treatises on Natural Philosophy in the Twelfth Century' Journal of the Walters Art Museum, 68-9 (2010-11) pp. 21-30
  • 'The Many Faces of Peter Lombard' in Spiritual Temporalities in Late-Medieval Europe (ed.) M. Foster (Cambridge, 2010), pp. 33-56
  • 'Heretic or Hero? Posthumous representations of Gilbert of Poitiers in texts and images before 1200' Word and Image (2010) Vol. 26 pp. 285-296.
  • Gothic Legacies
  • Art & Nature: Studies in Medieval Art and Architecture (ed.) L. Cleaver & K. Gerry, with J. Harris (London, 2009).
  • 'Grammar and her Children: learning to read in the art of the twelfth century' Marginalia 9 (2009)
  • 'Taming the Beast: images of bears in twelfth-century English manuscripts' Ikon, 2(2009) pp. 243-252.


At its broadest my teaching covers art and architecture in Western Europe produced between c.400 and c.1400 AD. However my focused modules concentrate on works of art made in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, exploring issues of production, function and interpretation. These modules are largely based on material from Britain and France,and that available in Dublin collections. Modules currently on offer include

I supervise post-graduate work on medieval art, and in particular illuminated manuscripts. PhD theses supervised include:
  • Collectors of Indian miniatures in the first half of the twentieth century (2017-present)
  • Thirteenth-century Parisian Manuscripts of Peter Lombard’s Commentary on the Epistles (2014-present)
  • Mythical legends or Moralising Commentaries? The Marriage of the Sacred and Secular in Fourteenth-Century French Arthurian Ivories and Illuminations (2014-present)
  • The Faddan More Psalter (2012-present)
  • A Hierarchical Image Processing Approach to Analysis of Early Medieval Manuscript Art (2012-15)

Dr. Cleaver on the TCD Research Support System

Contact Details

Department of the History of Art and Architecture,,
Trinity College,
Dublin 2.

Telephone: 00 353 1 8963487
Fax: 00 353 1 8961438

Dr. Cleaver on


Last updated 13 September 2018