The figure of a knight on horseback is the emblem of medieval chivalry. Much has been written on the ideology and practicalities of knighthood as portrayed in medieval romance, especially Arthurian romance, and it is surprising that so little attention was hitherto granted to the knight’s closest companion, the horse. This study examines the horse as a social indicator, as the knight’s animal alter ego in his spiritual peregrinations and earthly adventures, the ups and downs of chivalric adventure, as well as the relations between the lady and her palfrey in romance. Both medieval authors and their audiences knew more about the symbolism and practice of horsemanship than most readers do today. By providing the background to the descriptions of horses and horsemanship in Arthurian romance, this study deepens the readers’ appreciation of these texts. At the same time, critical reading of romance supplies information about the ideology and daily practice of horsemanship in the Middle Ages that is otherwise impossible to obtain from other sources, be it archaeology, chronicles or administrative documentation.
‘…the most impressive thing in the world [is] an armoured knight on horseback’ wrote Luis Zapata de Chaves in his late 16th-century treatise Del Justador. Recent flourishing of studies in horse history proves that horses not only at the core of pre-modern society but that they make an important part of medieval studies today.
Buildings in Bloom: Foliage and Architecture in the Global Middle Ages
College Art Association Annual Conference
Chicago, February 12-15, 2020
Session sponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art
CFP Deadline: July 23, 2019
This panel seeks to explore foliate forms in a cross-cultural context across geographies and cultural traditions from roughly 300 to 1500 CE. Foliate forms can be found in many types of buildings from the medieval period, displayed in prominent locations or hidden from the casual viewer’s gaze. From the Gothic cathedrals of western Europe to the Hindu temples of south Asia, builders and artisans filled their structures with flowers, leaves, fruits, and vines. These organic interventions took many forms and adorned architectonic elements in sometimes unexpected ways. They were also executed in a variety of media: sculpture, glass, mosaic, ceramics, and painting. The study of foliate forms has the potential to enliven discussions of artistic production and authorship in medieval architecture. A generation of new scholarship has richly re-integrated the decorative into architectural discourse; vegetal forms need not be filed neatly under “architecture” or “decoration,” as foliage often occupies a liminal space that defies such categorization. Furthermore, the ecological turn has reinvigorated debates concerning liveliness, between-ness, and nature in art, and this research presents a promising opportunity to apply new thinking to previously overlooked aspects of medieval monuments on a global scale while examining one of the most fundamental relationships in the history of architecture, that of nature and the built environment.
We seek papers from scholars working in any cultural context (including Western Medieval, Pre-Columbian, Byzantine, Islamic, African, South Asian, East Asian, etc.) and any building typology (sacred architecture, palace architecture, commemorative monuments, vernacular architecture). Potential questions may include but are not limited to:
-What role or roles do vegetal motifs play in articulating space, creating meaning, or mitigating identity?
-How do these forms connect to the broader cultural context?
-As historians of medieval art, how should we approach this aniconic imagery methodologically?
-What new methodologies or technologies can be employed in studying a large corpus of foliate decoration?
-What lessons might be learned from examining foliate forms across traditional cultural boundaries?
Accepted speakers may be eligible to apply for ICMA Kress Travel Grants to support travel to and from Chicago. For more information, see: http://www.medievalart.org/kress-travel-grant.
Why would you want to insert penworked letters, gold-leaf and illuminations on your legal document: company statues, a contract, a grant of land or even an indulgence? This may seem like a waste of time in the modern business context, but in the medieval culture visuals carried their own significance. The messages could be multiple. Look, it’s important, because whoever ordered or produced this document put extra time and materials into it! This document won’t get thrown away, because it’s so beautiful! It’s so rich, it must be authentic. Not to mention the visual shorthand the illuminations would generate for the document’s content. All of which, of course, could be highly misleading, because a forgery can get illuminated just as easily as an original, which I learned through my study of medieval Livonian charters.
The Art and Architecture of the Cistercians in Northern England, c.1300-1540
Author: Michael Carter
2019, c. 328 pages
Retail price: EUR 100,00 excl. tax
The Cistercian abbeys of northern England provide some of the finest monastic remains in all of Europe, and much has been written on their twelfth- and thirteenth-century architecture. The present study is the first in-depth analysis of the art and architecture of these northern houses and nunneries in the late Middle Ages, and questions many long-held opinions about the Order’s perceived decline during the period c.1300–1540. Extensive building works were conducted between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries at well-known abbeys such as Byland, Fountains, Kirkstall, and Rievaulx, and also at lesser-known houses including Calder and Holm Cultram, and at many convents of Cistercian nuns. This study examines the motives of Cistercian patrons and the extent to which the Order continued to enjoy the benefaction of lay society.
Featuring over a hundred illustrations and eight colour plates, this book demonstrates that the Cistercians remained at the forefront of late medieval artistic developments, and also shows how the Order expressed its identity in its visual and material cultures until the end of the Middle Ages.
Illuminierte Urkunden. Beiträge aus Diplomatik, Kunstgeschichte und Digital Humanities/Illuminated Charters. Essays from Diplomatic, Art History and Digital Humanities
2018, Ca. 520 S.
116 s/w- und 75 farb. Abb.
23.5 x 15.5 cm
Preis: ca. € 70.00 [D] | ca. € 70.00 [A]
Illuminierte Urkunden sind lange Zeit als Stiefkinder der Forschung behandelt worden. Nicht zuletzt durch den Einsatz digitaler Hilfsmittel sind sie im vergangenen Jahrzehnt zunehmend in das Licht der Öffentlichkeit getreten. Das neu geweckte Forschungsinteresse konzentriert sich auf die veränderte Performativität von Urkunden durch den Zusatz von Schmuckelementen. Der reich bebilderte Band präsentiert Aufsätze von Forscherinnen und Forschern aus elf Ländern, die illuminierte Urkunden aus den unterschiedlichen Blickwinkeln ihrer Disziplinen untersuchen.
The book is an interdisciplinary work in diplomatics and art history, focusing on the form and function of illumination in historical documents, notably charters. The contributions in German and English are based on the conference papers delivered at the international conference on Illuminated Charters as part of the Illuminierte Urkunden project conducted at the University of Graz.