CFP: Imaging the Public Square (Florence, 22-24 October 2015)

Call for Papers:
Imaging the Public Square. International conference within the framework of the „Piazza and Monumento“ project at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut
Florence, 22 – 24 October 2015
Deadline: 15 January 2015

Recent broadcasts of scenes playing out in Egypt, Turkey and Ukraine have reinforced our awareness of the significance of the public square as a venue of action and assembly. As a consequence of protest movements, but also independently of them, images circulated in various media have participated in the construction of a visual culture of the public square. Each of these images should be historicised and analysed according to its own logic. The conference, organized by the collaborators of the “Piazza e Monumento” project at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max Planck Institut, will take the image and imagination of the square as a point of departure for a discussion, ideally through comparative analysis, of the following themes:

The square is often the result of a pictorial concept in the architectural planning process, whether it results in entirely new venues or the partial alteration of older ones. Carl Linfert has provided a methodological model for this kind of research in his investigation of tactile responses to the architectural drawing. Regarding the depiction of the public square in architectural designs, the question likewise arises: how do approaches to representation shape the image of the square, and how do they relate to structural, formal-aesthetic, legal, and urban-spatial conditions and possibilities? The built city and the designed city are mutually dependent entities. The degree to which architectural designs are capable of intervening in the existing structure of a city is thus worthy of consideration. In other words, to what extent do such plans and drawings develop a dynamic of their own, above and beyond the function assigned them, leading in the long term to changes in the existing built environment?

II ARTISTIC REPRESENTATIONS OF THE CITY SQUARE: The square is often the main feature of a picture, situated in a larger spatial context, and it can be regarded as an embodiment of the city – regardless of whether we are looking at prints of the Early Modern era of the Meidan in Isfahan, built by Shah Abbas I, Menzel’s painting of the Piazza della Erbe in Verona, or photos of Tahir Square in Egypt in the 1950s. Since images of squares vary historically and culturally, but also respond to one another and are subject to processes of change, images of piazzas should also be analysed as pictorial solutions. What perspectives on the public square, and thus on the city and the territory, are developed pictorially? What artistic media are employed in the process, and who are the makers and recipients of these pictures?

III SCHOLARLY RESEARCH ON THE SQUARE AND THE CITY: Images of squares find their way into many publications, whether as illustrations, elements in a visual argument, or the focal points of research itself. From Renaissance architectural theory and pre-modern engravings to modern architectural and urban anthologies, images of squares are important players on theoretical and methodological levels. What is the significance of these images in architectural and urban studies – including from a history of science perspective – and what social, political and cultural conceptions of society are linked to them?

IV THE MEDIATISATION OF THE SQUARE: The public square is the subject of popular media in various forms, ranging from film, literature and comics to (often anonymous) newspaper, television, and cell phone images. To discuss the square’s mediatisation is thus also to consider the rapid blending of media reality with social and political reality, and to take the pictorial history of the square into account. How much do pictures tell us about the square when protestors climb onto monuments with fluttering flags, as in Kiev? Does this form part of the visual history of liberty, whose canon includes works such as Delacroix’s ‘Liberty Leading the People’, and which can be examined against the background of studies such as Jutta Held’s ‘Monument und Volk’? What impact does the mediatisation of the square have on the ephemerality of certain elements (platforms, public artworks, protest signs, etc.) that temporarily re-design and semanticise the square? And what is the relationship between the visual focus on the square and the construction and transformation of squares? In other words, what effect do experiences of the square from near and far have on not only its perception, but also on its material-physical constitution?

The conference is intended for art historians as well as representatives of neighbouring disciplines. It welcomes case studies and synthetic reflections on the above-suggested themes, which can be treated individually or together, as well as on other topics. Papers should not exceed 25 minutes. Please send your proposal (max. 300 words) and a short CV in German, English or Italian to Dr Brigitte Sölch ( and Dr Stephanie Hanke ( by 15 January 2015.

CFP: Monastic Europe, Landscape and Settlement (Ennis, 22-25 August 2015)

Call for Papers:
Monastic Europe: Landscape and Settlement. International Conference
Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland, 22-25 August 2015 
Deadline: 28 November 2014

The Irish Research Council-funded Monastic Ireland: Landscape and Settlement project is a research partnership between the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, Trinity College Dublin, the Discovery Programme and the Department of History, University College Cork. The project is examining the unusually well preserved remains of late medieval monastic buildings in Ireland within their broader European context, with a particular emphasis on their architecture and impact on the landscape around them.

The project team is pleased to announce an international conference, to be held 22-25 August in Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland. Located in an area rich with the medieval buildings of the European monastic orders, the conference will balance sessions of papers with a number of site visits, and will stimulate a focused academic debate on the impact of monasticism in shaping the development of the physical environment across Europe between c. 1100 and c. 1700. Conference themes will include:

– The topography of medieval monastic settlement (1100-1700) in both urban and rural environments
– The impact of Church reforms on the physical structures and landscapes of monastic foundations
– Monastic space (liturgical, social, and architectural aspects)
– Patronage networks
– Architecture and identities
– Written sources for understanding the monastic environment

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers exploring this theme across the stated time span, throughout Europe. Papers may deal with either case studies or broader methodological questions, and are not limited to delivery in the English language.

Proposals for posters are also welcomed from doctoral students and early career scholars, and the conference organisers hope to have small subsidies available for accommodation costs>

Please send an email containing both your proposed title and an abstract of no more than 300 words to Dr Rachel Moss at If you intend for apply for a conference subsidy please indicate this on your proposal. Deadline for proposals is Friday, 28 November, 2104.

Workshop: The Iconicity of Script in Manuscripts from  Asia, Africa, America and Europe (Hamburg, 31 October – 1 November 2014)

The Iconicity of Script in Manuscripts from  Asia, Africa, America and Europe
Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg
31 October -1 November 2014

Scripts and writing systems are more than neutral transmitters of the words that are encoded by them. When words that were previously spoken and transmitted orally are written down, they gain a new, visual and material dimension. The iconic component with which the script can be endowed in this process has a hermeneutic, as well as an aesthetic, potential. Recognising and decoding it is as much part of the process of reading as is the deciphering of the written text. In manuscript cultures all over the world, script is adorned with or transformed by ornamental and figurative elements. The aim of this workshop is to explore how the visual and iconic potential of script has been used in manuscript cultures in Asia, Africa, America, and Europe. Its approach is a comparative one, exploring similarities as well as differences and the possible reasons behind them.

Relevant phenomena include:

The semantic potential of particular styles of scripts and of writing systems.
In many manuscript cultures, scribes and illuminators have a range of different writing styles, and sometimes even different writing systems, at their disposal. These can be used, separately or in combination, for various different purposes. As complex visual patterns, they can encourage or control the way in which a text is read and interpreted. Often, sacred or revered texts are written in a particularly elaborate script, hereby both emphasizing and affirming their outstanding dignity and authority. In other cases, calligraphy can be part of an artistic, philosophical or political statement. On a more (but by no means exclusively) pragmatic level, different scripts can be used to indicate hierarchical relationships between different texts (e.g. a treatise and its commentary) or the structure of a text (e.g. by highlighting chapter breaks) within a manuscript. In some cases, which would be of particular interest to our workshop, calligraphic shapes, techniques and practices are subject to intercultural transfers, by means of quotation, adaptation or assimilation.

Script constituting figures and images
Calligrams, carmina figurate, text ‘labyrinths’ and other instances in which script is arranged in figural shapes, or in which such figures are revealed to the reader in the process of reading a text, are found in many manuscript cultures, and in many different variations. Some of these variations may be due to different writing systems that are current in different manuscript cultures; others, to varying notions of the status of script, of writing and reading within a culture. In some, e.g. Islamic and Jewish cultures that restrict the use of images, script can perform some functions that pictures do in others, perhaps taking on some of the aesthetic and even figurative characteristics that are elsewhere attributed mainly to images.

Figures and bodies constituting script
While figurative forms can be constituted by script, script in turn can also be formed by figurative elements. For instance, so-called anthropomorphic and zoomorphic initials in European manuscripts consist of the painted or drawn bodies of humans and animals, and in Arabic calligraphy, script can bloom and sprout leaves. In other cases, script in a manuscript can be written or painted in a way that conjures up a specific material, such as textile or stone.

Diagrams and schemata consisting of or incorporating script
A different kind of iconicity lies at the heart of diagrams and schemata. Here, too, the written and the figural form an inextricable whole. Their overall visual structure, however, serves first and foremost as a matrix which represents not things or concepts themselves, but relationships of concepts and/or things to one another, making diagrams and schemata unique instruments for transmitting and even generating knowledge.

Hanna Wimmer, Rostislav Tumanov and Lena Sommer

For the full workshop programme, and to register, see here:

Job: Part-Time Lecturer Ancient Art (Berlin, 2 February – 22 May 2015)

Part-Time Lecturer in Art History
“Ancient Art in Berlin: Discovering  the Collections of Museum Island”
New York University (NYU) Berlin, 2 February 2 – 22 May 22 2015
Deadline: 11 November 2014

New York University (NYU) Berlin is seeking a part-time lecturer to  teach an undergraduate course entitled “Ancient Art in Berlin:  Discovering Museum Island” in the Spring 2015 semester.

NYU Berlin is one of New York University’s global study-away sites and  provides US and other international students with the opportunity to  spend a semester studying in Berlin while earning credits towards their  degree. The program is fully integrated into NYU’s curriculum and  designed for BA students in the social sciences, arts and humanities  who want to earn credit in their major – including sociology, history, politics, art, art history, German, European studies, and environmental studies – while having a transformative experience abroad. Most courses  are taught in English. Seminars and lectures take place at the academic  center located within the complex of the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer  Berg and at NYUB’s art studio in Kreuzberg. The program size is 80-100  students per semester.

berlinPosition: NYU Berlin has created a study abroad program of exceptional quality  for its students. We are seeking a part-time lecturer for the Spring  2015 semester (February to May) for an art history course on the  ancient art collections held at Berlin’s Museum Island. The trio of  museums at the heart of inquiry consists of the Pergamon Museum, the  Neues Museum (and Egyptian Museum, within it) and the Altes Museum.  Collectively, their early artifacts in various media will introduce  students to an almost encyclopedic chronological and regional range of  ancient visual cultures. The Bode Museum, notably featuring the  Münzkabinett (“coin cabinet”) within its diverse holdings, will also be  visited and studied. Field trips taking advantage of all these rich  collections thus make up an essential part of the course. The course  meets once per week. The sessions are not a straight lecture but a  mixture between seminar, field trip and lecture.

Requirements for Interested Candidates:

•    Doctorate in art history or another relevant discipline.
•    Record of research and publications in the field.
•    Minimum of three years teaching experience at university level.
•    German work-permit and tax number at the time of application, covering the entire period of the employment.
•    Preference will be given to candidates who have studied in the US  and/or have international teaching experience.

Terms and conditions will be discussed with the successful applicant.  Applications will be reviewed jointly by NYU Berlin and NYU New York.  Interviews of short-listed candidates will be held in person at NYU  Berlin and online/by phone with New York faculty.

Please submit your  application by November 11th – in the form of a C.V., cover letter,  scans of degree certificates, as well as any available references and  student evaluations (preferably all documents in one PDF file) – via  e-mail to Dr. Gabriella Etmektsoglou ( and Dr. Roland  Pietsch ( at NYU Berlin, who will forward the application  to the relevant departments in New York.

CFP: Object Emotions, Revisited (Yale, 20-21 February 2015)

Call for Papers:
Object Emotions, Revisited: An Interdisciplinary Conference
Yale University, New Haven, CT, February 20-21, 2015
Deadline: 15 November 2015

Keynote speaker: Spyros Papapetros (Princeton U)

Organizing Committee: Padma Maitland (UC Berkeley); Christopher P. Miller (UC Berkeley); Marta Figlerowicz (Yale U); Ksenia Sidorenko (Yale U); Emma Natalya Stein (Yale U)

reims“Object Emotions” continues a critical dialogue about new directions in humanities research and theory that began at UC Berkeley in 2013. This conference is inspired by the recent heightened attention to objects and emotions as new points of entry into history, literature, art, architecture, area studies, and the social sciences. We aim to foster interdisciplinary reflections about the critical uses of thing theory, affect theory, the histories of emotions, and new materialism. We also want to study how these discourses might benefit from being set in conversation with each other.

Last year, these questions inspired papers on, among many other topics, forms of animism in fourteenth-century England, the role of tiles in Taiwanese architecture, representations of churches in Willa Cather, oral accounts of labor in factories in India, and the songs of Kylie Minogue. This coming conference seeks to be similarly diverse and experimental in the kinds of approaches it brings together. By exploring emotions and objects in conjunction with each other we hope to bring out the shared stakes of these scopes of critical inquiry, as well as the divergences among the ways feelings and things are studied in particular disciplines.

Questions we want to ask include, but are not limited to, the following: How is the task of describing emotions within the context of a poem different from describing them within the context of a painting or a temple? How do the current fields of affect theory, thing theory, and the history of emotions participate in the much longer history of debates about the subjective and the objective? How do emotions and the bodies experiencing them relate to each other? Are there cultural differences in the way objects and emotions are defined and assessed? What does it mean to attribute feelings to an inanimate object, or even to describe this object as the cause or inspiration of a feeling? Do feelings have an animating force? How does the critical framing of scale—the microscopic, the individual, the human, the social, the global—change the way we pursue questions about objects and emotions?

The conference will take place at Yale on February 20th and 21st, 2015. Participants will include both graduate students and faculty members. We welcome papers that address any of the questions described above, or related ones, with reference to the bodies of theory shared across disciplines or to individual works of literature, art, or architecture. Please submit 250-word abstracts to Padma Maitland at by November 15, 2014.

Conference: Microarchitecture and Miniaturized Representation of Buildings (INHA, Paris 8-10 Dec 2014)

The font enclosure c.1330 in Luton (Bedfordshire)
The font enclosure c.1330 in Luton (Bedfordshire)

Micro-architecture et figures du bâti au Moyen-Âge : l’échelle à l’épreuve de la matière

Institute national d’historie de l’art

8 – 10 December 2014
Auditorium de la Galerie Colbert
6 rue des Petits-Champs ou 2, rue Vivienne
75002 Paris
Free entry

This conference organized by the National Institute of Art History, University of Nantes and the National Archives has the ambition to address issues related to the miniature representation of the built environment in a different perspective from that which has gone before. The phenomenon of “architecturation in which the proliferation of architectural vocabulary in all forms of art continues to intrigue historians of the Middle Ages. But this can only be truly understood if one takes into account the changes that scaling affects the work of artisans, and the reception of their works.


Lundi 8 décembre
13h30     Accueil


14h00 – 15h30


Présidence: Paul Binski

Julian Gardner (University of Warwick), Who were the microarchitects?          


Javier Ibàñez Fernandez (Universidad de Zaragozza) et Arturo Zaragozá Catalán (Universidad de Valencia), Entre imaginación y realidad. Microarchitecturas y architecturas en el mundo Ibérico entre los siglos XV y XVI

15h00-15h30          discussion


15h30 – 17h00

James Alexander Cameron (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London), Sedilia in English churches: micro-architectural innovation in function and form


Sabine Berger (Paris-Sorbonne), Edifices minia-turisés et figures de bienfaiteurs à la période médiévale: iconologie de la maquette d’architecture




au Musée de Moyen Age-Termes de Cluny,

conférence plénière de Paul Binski (sur réservation:

Mardi 9 décembre


8h30     Accueil


9h00 – 10h30


Présidence: Isabelle Marchesin

Giovanni Santucci (Università di Pisa), Archi-tectural paper models in Early Modern Italy


Peter Kurmann (ETH, Zurich), Les modèles miniaturisés et leur rôle de transfert d’idées au XIIIe siècle.

10h-10h30       discussion et café


10h30 – 12h30

Circulations et transferts

Présidence: Julian Gardner

Felipe Serrano Estrella (Universidad de Jaén), Circulation of Classicist Models between Spain and Italy through the “Eucharistic Microarchitecture”


Farah Makki (EHESS, Paris), Figures scripturales de la microarchitecture au palais de l’Alhambra (XIVe siècle): préceptes d’une architecture relationnelle en Islam médiéval

12h-12h30       discussion



12h30-14h00     Déjeuner



Orfèvrerie et mobilier

Présidence: Élisabeth Taburet-Delahaye

Sebastian Fitzner (Ludwig-Maximilians-Uni-versität München), Tile stoves as buildings and symbolic forms. Remarks on a largerly unexplorated field of microarchitectures in late medieval times


Anita Paolicchi (Università di Pisa), Examples of miniaturized architecture: the chivots at the time of Constantin Brâncoveanu


15h00-15h30          discussion

15h30 – 18h Dany Sandron (Paris-Sorbonne), La châsse de Saint-Marcel et l’architecture de Notre-Dame de Paris: renvoi et emprunts    


Frédéric Tixier (Université de Lorraine), Dextérité de l’orfèvre, symbolisme de la forme: remarques sur quelques crosses “architecturées” médiévales (XIIIe-XVIe siècle)


Matthew James Sillence (University of East Anglia, Norwich), Compositions and Associations of Architectural Frameworks on Cardinals’ Seals 1378-1533

17h30-18h00          discussion générale



Mercredi 10 décembre


9h00 – 10h30


Présidence: Peter Kurmann

Anne-Orange Poilpré (Paris I, Panthéon-Sor-bonne), Bâtir et figurer la royauté chrétienne au IXe siècle: les trône architecturés des manuscrits de Charles le Chauve


Matt Ethan Kavaler (University of Toronto), Microarchitecture as the Paradigme of Antique Architecture in the Low Countries: 1515-1540

10h-10h30       discussion et café


10h30 – 12h30


Présidence: Roland Recht

Achim Timmermann (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), City, Cathedral, scopic labyrinth: scalar travels in medieval microarchitecture


Renzo Chiovelli (Università La Sapienza, Roma), Pifferi Sandra (Architecte), Materials, space and time in the microarchitecture of the Holy Sepulchre

12h-12h30       discussion

12h30-14h00     Déjeuner




Présidence: Danielle Gaborit-Chopin

Sophie Cloart-Pawlak (IRHiS, Lille), Identifica-tion, hiérarchisation et sacralisation des espaces au seuil de l’église. Remarques sur le rôle des décors d’architecture à travers l’exemple de l’ornementation des portails gothique


Alexander Collins (University of Edinburgh), Miniaturising Mary: The Microarchitecture of Embodiment in the Sherborne Missal (British Library, MS. Add. 74236)


Sarah Guérin (University of Montréal), Micro-architecture and memory: a place of devotion

16h30-17h00          discussion générale et conclusions

Official site:


Book roundup: Autumn 2014

Bright Lights of the Dark Ages is a major new volume on early Medieval art. It features over two hundred stunning and extremely rare early medieval gold and precious stonework objects, including brooches, buckles, shields, clasps, spoons and other “grave goods”, that were interred as status symbols with their owners in burials mounds across Europe.

The new societies of the early Medieval period which developed on the periphery of the great Roman Empire – Germanic barbarians in western Europe, Sarmatian and later Alanic tribes around the Black Sea, and the eastern frontier cities bordering the Parthian Empire in Iran – were all shaped by interaction with the Roman Empire, and profoundly influenced by its material culture.

Author Noël Adams surveys the magnificent pieces that were made to advertise power and wealth in these new “barbarian” kingdoms which arose after the fall of the Roman Empire, and in doing so shows the dramatic and surprising relationship between these “migration era” objects and later medieval art. In a volume full of wonderful images, highlights include Gothic and Visigothic imperial style brooches from modern-day Slovakia and Crimea, superb Gallo-Roman spoons and enamelled domed brooches and buckles from Northern Europe and Britain.

Photographer John Bigelow Taylor’s images of Thaw Collection works render these archaeological finds in exquisite detail, capturing the intricacies of their materials and craftsmanship.

9780500517680_27090[1]The Basilica of St Francis in Assisi. Edited by Gianfranco Malafarina, introduction by Chiara Frugoni, Thames and Hudson.

Founded in 1228, the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi is the burial place of the well-known saint and the mother church of the Franciscan order of monks. It is also a treasure house of art, decorated with monumental frescoes by some of the greatest painters of the 13th and 14th centuries.

This book takes its readers on a guided tour of this magnificent complex, aided by a wealth of beautiful photographs. Rarely seen details allow the personal imprints of the artists to shine through, and demonstrate that beyond their diversity of styles, they were all united by a desire to mirror reality while maintaining a sense of the spiritual and the sublime. This unmatched artistic heritage marks a revolutionary era in the flowering of Italian art.

The Upper Church is perhaps most famed for its sequence of frescoes that celebrate the life and teachings of St Francis, attributed to Giotto and his workshop, while Cimabue and his followers were responsible for a series of dramatic scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The Lower Church, meanwhile, has been expanded through the addition of several magnificent chapels; their titular saints are commemorated with great imagination and immediacy in works by artists including Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti.

Gianfranco Malafarina is a noted art historian, and has written widely on Italian art. Among his previous books are volumes on Modena Cathedral and St Peter’s Basilica, Rome. Chiara Frugoni is former Professor of Medieval Art History at the Universities of Pisa and Rome.

An interdisciplinary anthology that explores the role of imagery, both visual and textual, in the construction of episcopal authority from the late-antique period through the fourteenth century.

The bishop wielded significant authority in religious, intellectual, and political spheres during the Middle Ages, but how was this influence articulated, and once articulated, how was it received? The essays in this volume represent a variety of disciplinary perspectives, each tuned to the production of images made by, for, and about the medieval episcopacy. They present the bishop as a model of piety and intellectual life as well as political and religious action.

Considering material from Late Antiquity through the thirteenth century, the essays offer a series of case-studies demonstrating that crafting episcopal imagery was a complicated endeavour employing pictorial, historical, literary, and historiographic devices. Never a static institution, the episcopacy was formed and reformed making it visible to the bishop, to those with whom he interacted, and to broader communities. These efforts at making present the power and authorities of the office asserted the duties, expectations, and ideals of the bishop in ways often specific to time and place.

The diverse perspectives on the episcopal image assembled here reveal the office, not as a singular contour, but as a succession of marks and erasures. Shaped by supporters and detractors alike, medieval images of the bishop engaged with historical models, responded to present realities, and considered the eschatological future.

9781903153581[1]The Prelate in England and Europe, 1300-1560 edited by Martin Heale, Boydell and Brewer.

High ecclesiastical office in the Middle Ages inevitably brought power, wealth and patronage. The essays in this volume examine how late medieval and Renaissance prelates deployed the income and influence of their offices, how they understood their role, and how they were viewed by others. Focusing primarily on but not exclusively confined to England, this collection explores the considerable common ground between cardinals, bishops and monastic superiors. Leading authorities on the late medieval and sixteenth-century Church analyse the political, cultural and pastoral activities of high-ranking churchmen, and consider how episcopal and abbatial expenditure was directed, justified and perceived. Overall, the collection enhances our understanding of ecclesiastical wealth and power in an era when the concept and role of the prelate were increasingly contested.

Dr Martin Heale is Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval History, University of Liverpool.

Contributors: Martin Heale, Michael Carter, James G. Clark, Gwilym Dodd, Felicity Heal, Anne Hudson, Emilia Jamroziak, Cédric Michon, Elizabeth A. New, Wendy Scase, Benjamin Thompson, C.M. Woolgar

dIS-9782503529776-1[1]Space, Place and Ornament: the Function of Landscape in Medieval Manuscript Illumination by Margaret Goehring. Brepols.

The present volume analyzes the functions of landscape imagery within medieval Northern European manuscript illumination, and also takes into account the ideological and the economic milieus in which they were produced.

This book proposes a new methodological framework for the study of medieval landscape imagery by analyzing the functions of landscape within Northern European manuscript illumination. This study explores landscape imagery within a broad range of specific manuscript contexts, taking into account the ideological and the economic milieus in which they were produced. Organized into four sections, this study looks at how landscape functions as rhetorical device, ornament, didactic tool (Space) and political tool (Place). The first section explores the rhetorical function of landscape as encomium and amplificatio. The second section looks at the role that landscape imagery had in the hierarchy of book decoration, and how it responded to late medieval mnemonic systems and devotional practices. It also addresses the emergence of landscape as a form of ornamental elaboration, sometimes as a means to appeal to specific aesthetic criteria, or as a way to create extra-textual associations to augment the message of the text. The third section is concerned with landscape within encyclopedic and allegorical manuscripts, analyzing how artists constructed space to frame knowledge. Finally, the visualization of the political and economic landscape of late medieval Europe is explored, particularly focusing on how landscape was structured around issues of status, power and identity not only in works created for the landed nobility but within manuscripts made for urban patrons as well. Concentrating on manuscripts from Paris, Northern France and Flanders from the late thirteenth to the early sixteenth centuries, this book offers new insights as it contextualizes the emergence of landscape painting in the late Middle Ages.

9781472422651[1]Sculpting Simulacra in Medieval Germany, 1250-1380 by Assaf Pinkus, Ashgate.

Engaging with the imaginative, nonreligious response to Gothic sculpture in German-speaking lands and tracing high and late medieval notions of the ‘living statue’ and the simulacrum in religious, lay, and travel literature, this study explores the subjective and intuitive potential inherent in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century sculpture. It addresses a range of works, from the oeuvre of the so-called Naumburg Master through Freiburg-im-Breisgau to the imperial art of Vienna and Prague. As living simulacra, the sculptures offer themselves to the imaginative horizons of their viewers as factual presences that substitute for the real. In perceiving Gothic sculpture as a conscious alternative to the sacred imago, the book offers a new understanding of the function, production, and use of three-dimensional images in late medieval Germany. By blurring the boundaries between viewers and works of art, between the imaginary and the real, the sculptures invite the speculations of their viewers and in this way produce an unstable meaning, perpetually mutable and alive. The book constitutes the first art-historical attempt to theorize the idiosyncratic character of German Gothic sculpture – much of which has never been fully documented – and provides the first English-language survey of the historiography of these works.

9780300203547[1]Romanesque Architecture. The First Style of the European Age by Eric Fernie. Yale University Press.

In a new addition to the Pelican History of Art series, leading architectural historian Eric Fernie presents a fascinating survey of Romanesque architecture and the political systems that gave rise to the style. It is known for its thick walls, round arches, piers, groin vaults, large towers, and decorative arcading, as well as the measured articulation of volumes and surfaces. Romanesque architecture was the first distinctive style to dominate western and central Europe. The book explores the gestation of the style in the ninth and tenth centuries and its survival up to the fourteenth century. Notable structures include Speyer Cathedral, Sant’Ambrogio in Milan, the abbeys of Cluny, and Vézelay, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and Durham Cathedral, as well as the castles of Loches and Dover. A superb teaching tool, close to 400 illustrations pack this seminal text describing the design, function, and iconography of key church, monastic and secular buildings of a formative era.

Eric Fernie was director of the Courtauld Institute of Art between 1995 and 2003 and president of the Society of Antiquaries of London from 2004 until 2007.

9781851778119[1]Medieval Ivory Carvings, 1200-1550, by Paul Williamson, V & A Publishing.

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection of ivory carvings from c. 1200–1550 is one of the most important in the world. Containing 289 entries, this book is the first catalog of the material to be published since 1929. Together with Medieval Ivory Carvings: Early Christian to Romanesque, it makes available more than 400 pieces of the ivory carver’s art. Included here are masterpieces and representative examples from many of the vital centers of ivory carving in the Gothic era. Each entry provides a comprehensive physical and scholarly discussion, synthesizing the existing literature and including much new research. Also included are carvings of dubious authenticity, which are discussed as fully as the genuine pieces.

61YilrwQCXL._SY300_[1]Apocalypse: The Great East Window of York Minster, by Sarah Brown, Third Millennium Information.

Apocalypse – The Great East Window of York Minster by Sarah Brown is a magnificent book to celebrate the conservation of York Minster’s Great East Window.  This volume reproduces the Apocalypse Cycle of the Great East Window of York Minster in full colour for the very first time with stunning photography presenting each panel in detail, accompanied by expert commentary.

The book is a testament to the remarkable combination of skill, scholarship and cutting edge technology that has gone into the conservation of the window and has given the York Glaziers Trust a unique opportunity to analyse the astonishing painting of John Thornton who created the Great East Window between 1405 and 1408.

9780813151267_p0_v1_s260x420[1]Tilmann Riemenschneider: His Life and Work by Justus Bier, University Press of Kentucky.

In the hauntingly beautiful sculptures of Tilmann Riemenschneider, the Late Gothic art of Germany achieved its highest expression. Now, for the first time in English, the eminent art historian Justus Bier accords Riemenschneider the extended attention he so richly deserves.

Riemenschneider (ca. 1460-1531) holds a pivotal place in the development of German art. Rejecting the anonymous soulfulness of earlier Gothic sculpture, he created a style reflecting the deeply spiritual character of his time, yet one that also anticipated the humanism of the Italian Renaissance so soon to revolutionize European art.

Bier crowns a lifelong study with this reconsideration of Reimenschneider’s life and work, with emphasis on works in North American museums. More than 140 photographs illustrate 46 of the artist’s major sculptures.



Thanks to Publicaciones sobre Arte Medieval for alerting us to many of these books.

Call for papers: Artists, Avarice and Ambition in Europe, 1300 -1600 (AAH Annual Conference 2015)

Diana Scultori (Mantovana) (1547–1612)
Diana Scultori (Mantovana) (1547–1612)

This is a call for presenters in a panel at the Association of Art Historians annual conference, which is taking place at the University of East Anglia, Norwich 9th – 11th April 2015.

Artists, Avarice and Ambition in Europe, 1300 -1600

Co-convenors: Jill Harrison, Open University

Vicky Ley, Open University

 In Trecento Italy Giotto di Bondone was working on major commissions in Florence whilst buying property and conducting complex business transactions in the rural Mugello. Michelangelo, as recently published documents show, also accumulated wealth from a variety of sources in addition to his art. In sixteenth century Northern Europe Dürer exemplified the spirit of commercial enterprise by employing agents to sell his engravings and find new markets for his works all over the Netherlands. Less commonly women artists made economic contributions to family workshops. The commercial astuteness of the engraver and printmaker Diana Scultori, who held a Papal Privilege allowing her to sign and market her work, is a notable example. Artists were ambitious and money mattered. The economic interaction between artists, patrons, institutions and ideologies in Europe 1300 -1600 is the focus of ongoing critical study, including recent exhibitions exploring the influence of bankers, merchants and international trade on art and artists. This session encourages a multidisciplinary approach to debate the idea of the artist as businessman or woman. It will consider the ways in which artists were developing and exploiting networks of wealthy patrons and producing works which engaged with changing and often controversial economic discourse.

Papers will be welcomed which explore any of these issues. There is also the chance the proceedingss will be published.

Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words, and should be sent to the session organizers along with a short CV (max 2 pages) and a biographical note and sent by November 10th 2014.

Twelfth-century Belgian church consumed by serious fire

© André Joose via Twitter.
© André Joose via Twitter.

A fire in the church of Sint-Jan de Doper in Anzegem, Belgian has caused serious damage to the building, some of which is around 800 years old. The cause of the blaze, which broke out on the 16th October was apparently a faulty heating system.

The fire started in the nave (this video captures the collapse of its roof) but unfortunately fire crews could not stop it spreading to the east end of the church (collapse of the spire).

Although many reports have been that the church has been “completely destroyed”, it is clear that this is not the case. The town council are looking for options for its restoration as a centre with more diverse community functions.

Indeed, you can see from the videos that the blaze has completely burnt off the roofs of the building, but the outer aisle walls and arcades are still standing. The biggest concern will be consoldating the most significant part of the building, the twelfth-century Romanesque crossing tower.

Helicopter footage which shows the moment the spire collapses (no audio)

Footage from after the blaze which shows the extent of the damage

Main source:

Conference: Society, Rule and Their Representation in Medieval Britain (13-14 November 2014)

v0_master[1]13-14 November 2014

German Historical Institute London • 17 Bloomsbury Square • London WC1A 2NJ


Official page


14:00-14:15 WELCOME


Torben Gebhardt (Münster): Self-Categorisation of Medieval Rulers between 1016-1138 – A Comparison between England and the Holy Roman Empire

Isabelle Chwalka (Mainz): Conception and Perception of England and the Empire in the Twelfth Century

Stephan Bruhn (Kiel): Of Suffering Kings, Unwise Bishops and Violent Abbots – Concepts of Elites in ‘Biographical Writings’

15:45-16:30 COFFEE BREAK


Grischa Vercamer (Berlin): Descriptions of Power and Rulers in the High Middle Ages: English Chronicles in European Context

Bastian Walter-Bogedain (Wuppertal): “I ́ve got him, I  ́ve got him!” Or: How to Capture a King on a Battlefield

Ulla Kypta (Frankfurt): The Power of Routines: The Emergence of the English Exchequer during the 12th Century

Martin Stier (Heidelberg): Barons, Lords, Peers. Rank in the English Baronage

in the 14th Century



Veronika Decker (Vienna): Planting the Vineyard of the Just: The Foundation of New College, Oxford and the Stained Glass of the College Chapel

Julia Crispin (Münster): French Treasures for an English Prince: John of Bedford, Regent of France, and his French Illuminated Books

Antje Fehrmann (Berlin): Courts or Concepts? Cultural Networks and Artistic Exchanges in 15th-Century England and Germany

10:45-11:15 COFFEE BREAK


Franziska Klein (Duisburg-Essen): The King’s Converts – Caritas, Conversion and Control in Late Medieval England

Tanja Skambraks (Mannheim/Rome): Children, Liturgy and Festive Culture in Medieval London

Ute Kühlmann (Mannheim): Celtic Fosterage