Dreams and Hammers (1996)

Film details


In a series tracing the history of British art, this programme looks at the tradition of Catholic religious art that thrived for centuries until the Reformation. Considers examples from both small village churches and cathedrals. Also looks at the tradition of image smashing and the iconoclasts which continued from the time of Henry VIII to Oliver Cromwell, an entire culture devoted to destroying art - perceived as "graven images" - and "purifying" religious buildings into simplicity and plainess. Looks at some of the very few surviving pieces of pre-16th century art and sculpture, and also traces the forms and simplicity of the reforming Protestants into examples of modern art. Examples include a life size sculpture of the dead Christ and a huge wooden Jesse carved from an entire oak tree.

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top