Monthly Archives: December 2014

Call for papers: Ninth International Conference of Iconographic Studies: Icons and iconology (June 1-4, 11-13 2015, Rijeka, Croatia and Clinton, MA)

1304240671_theotokosicons0001[1]Deadline for paper proposals: February 15, 2015

University of Rijeka, Center for Iconographic Studies (Croatia) Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton, MA (USA) The American University of Rome (Italy) The Institute for the Study of Culture and Christianity, Belgrade (Serbia) in cooperation with Harvard University (USA)  Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) Gregorian Pontifical University Rome (Italy)  are pleased to announce a  CALL FOR PAPERS  for the Ninth International Conference of Iconographic Studies  ICONS & ICONOLOGY 

It is a two-part trans-continental conference that will be held in Rijeka (Croatia), June 01 – 04, 2015 and in Clinton (Massachusetts),  June 11 – 13, 2015.

UPDATE: Full programme

Tuesday, 02.06.2015.
09:30  Opening of the Conference
Greetings and introductory speeches

10:00 – 11:00
Communications – invited speakers (anticipated time for each paper is
30 minutes)

Maria Vassilaki  (University of Thessaly, Greece)
Painting Icons in Venetian Crete at the Time of the Council of
Ferrara-Florence (1438/1439)

Elena Draghici-Vasilescu  (University of Oxford, UK)
Twentieth Century Developments in European Icon-Painting

Alexei Lidov  (Lomonosov State University, Moscow, Russia)
Iconicity as Spatial Notion.  A New Vision of Icons in Contemporary Art


11:45  BREAK


Olga Gratsiou  (University of Crete and Institute of Mediterranean
Studies, Greece)
From Heaven to Earth. Perceptions of Reality in Icon Painting

Davor Džalto  (The American University of Rome, Italy)
Icon as Image and Word: Modes of Representation or Modes of Being?

Ding Ning  (School of Arts, Peking University, China)
Re-reading Li Gonglin’s Country Retreat at Villa I Tatti


14:00  LUNCH

Izlaganja (predvieno vrijeme svakog izlaganja je 20 minuta)
Communications (anticipated time for each paper is 20 minutes)

16:00 – 17:00
Jelena Erdeljan – Branka Vraneševi (University of Belgrade, Serbia)
Eikon and Magic: Solomon’s Knot on Floor Mosaic in Herakleia Lynkestis

Maria Cristina Carile (University of Bologna, Italy)
Imperial Icons in Late Antiquity and Byzantium: the Iconic Image of the
Emperor(s) between Representation and Presence

Maria Lidova (British Museum / Oxford University, UK)
Empress, Virgin, Ecclesia. On the Perception of the Icon of St. Maria
in Trastevere
in the Early Byzantine Context


17:15 BREAK

17:30 – 18:30
Gaetano Curzi (University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy)
The Two Triclinia of Pope Leo III as “Icons of Power”

Sotiria Kordi  (University of Leeds, UK)
Corporeal Perceptions of the Immaterial: Agency and Rhythm in
Palaeologan Monumental Painting


19:00 Presentation of the Eighth Volume of the Conference of
Iconographic Studies of 2014 – IKON 8

Wednesday,    03.06.2015.

Communications (anticipated time for each paper is 20 minutes)

9:30 – 10:30
Zoraida Demori Stanicic (Croatian Conservation Institute, Zagreb,
Miracle Performing Icons in Dalmatia

Valentina Živkovic (Institute for Balkan Studies, Belgrade, Serbia)
Icons as Mental Images at the Deathbed. The Preparations for a Good
Death in the Late Medieval Devotional Practices of Kotor (Montenegro)

Snežana Filipova  (University of Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, Republic
of Macedonia)
Examples of Icons with Western Influences in Iconography in the Art of


10:45  BREAK

11:00 – 11:45
Liv Deborah Walberg  (Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Religious Propaganda and Manipulation of Tradition in the Madonna della
Pace, Venice, Italy

Giuseppe Capriotti  (University of Macerata, Italija)
Defining the Boundaries of the Lawful Cult. History of an Adriatic Icon


12:00  BREAK

12:15 – 13:15
Claudia Cieri Via (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)
The Invisible in the Visible. The Annunciation by Antonello da Messina
from Narrative to Icon

Lasse Hodne (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim,
Aeiparthenos. Icons and the Iconography of the Annunciation in the
First Decades of the 15th Century

Donald Ostrowski (Harvard University, USA)
Iconographic Influences on the Litsevoi Letopisnyi Svod (Illustrated
Chronicle Compilation) of the Sixteenth Century


14:00  LUNCH

15:30 – 16:15
Laura Stagno (University of Genoa, Italy)
Embedding Byzantine Icons in Baroque Splendour: Reception and
Celebration of Eastern Cult Images in the Republic of Genoa, 17th-18th

Yvonne zu Dohna (Pontifical University Gregoriana, Rome, Italy)
Saint Ignatius and Jean Luc Marion: Two Dialogical Views


16:30  BREAK

16:45 – 17:45
Elena Kashina (University of York, UK)
The Iconography of the Folk Icon in Russia in the 18th and 19th

Branka Gugolj – Danijela Tešic-Radovanovic (University of Kosovska
Mitrovica, Serbia)
The Žica Altar Screen Icons

Ana Šeparovic (Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography, Zagreb,
Icons and Croatian Painting in the Early Twentieth Century


18:00  BREAK

18:15 – 19:15
Charlotte Gill (Durham University, UK)
A “Direct Perception of Life”: How the Russian Avant-Garde Utilised the
Icon Tradition to Form a Powerful Modern Aesthetic

Zvonko Makovic (University of Zagreb, Croatia)
Icons of Power: Constructing and Deconstructing the Icon of V. I. Lenin

Karen von Veh (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
Contemporary Iconoclasm in South Africa: Transgressive Images of the
Madonna and Christ in Response to Social Politics


Closing remarks


Thursday,   04.06.2015

09:30 – 13:30

Half-day tour of Rijeka (visit to the Orthodox church St Nicholas in
Rijeka and its icons collection, medieval castle, the Franciscan
monastery and town center).

Icons, iconography and iconology represent some of the most prominent concepts and research topics of art history. They refer both to a particular artistic practice, to liturgical objects, and to methods of art historical interpretations. Given this multitude of meanings and functions that the concepts of icon, iconic, iconography and iconology imply, it is not surprising that all of them have been interpreted as objects of theological reflection, didactic instruments, media of transmitting visual, aesthetic and metaphysical content, and, finally, as artworks in the modern sense of the word.  The conference seeks to explore and discuss recent development in the dialogue between theology, art history, philosophy and cultural theory concerning the ways we can perceive and interpret icons, iconography and iconology. It is also our objective to offer an insight into the development of iconographic studies and related disciplines, and to reflect upon their future development in the broader context of the humanities. We welcome academic papers that will approach icons, iconography and iconology in an interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse way. The themes and subjects can include the following:
• Icons, iconography and iconology: “Western” and “Eastern” perspectives
• Sacred and profane icons
• Reverse perspective: formal and metaphysical dimensions
• Icons as a medium and metaphor
• Icons of power, icons as power
• Icon and modern culture
• Icons and film and digital media
• Icons and the “canon” of modern art • Modern and contemporary icon painting
• Theological and philosophical reception of icons
• Iconoclasm(s)

Paper proposals should be submitted for both parts of the conference electronically to

Contact person: Petra Predoević Center for Iconographic Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Rijeka Sveucilisna avenija 4 51 000 Rijeka Croatia E-mail:
A paper proposal should contain:  1. full name, institution, affiliation, address, phone number(s), e-mail address 2. title  3. abstract (maximum 2 pages – 500 words)

Deadline: February 15,  2015

Fees for conference:
RIJEKA – there will be NO registration fee  CLINTON – there will be a 100 USD fee  Administration and organizational costs, working materials, lunch and coffee breaks during conference as well as all organized visits are covered by the organizers. All presented papers will be published in the thematic issue of the IKON journal in May 2016.
Please contact us for any additional information.
web page:

Call for Papers: The Influences of the Dominican Order in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 10-12 September 2015)

Traini - St Dominic altarpiece, 1344-5, Pisa, Museo di San Matteo

Traini – St Dominic altarpiece, 1344-5, Pisa, Museo di San Matteo

CFP DEADLINE: 1st March 2015

From the modest group of St Dominic and his sixteen followers, the Dominican Order grew rapidly in the first century of its existence, establishing itself across Europe as a learned Order of Preachers. This interdisciplinary conference will seek to explore the influences of the Dominican Order on all aspects of medieval life. The conference theme of ‘influence’ can be interpreted in its broadest sense, encompassing the large-scale influences of the Order and the legacy of its prominent figures, or can be examined on the personal level, such as the impact that the Order had on those that came into contact with it, both within and outside the Order.

Papers might address topics such as:

  • how the Dominican Order influenced other religious orders and medieval life more generally (papers may consider this influence with regard to art, architecture, universities and education, book-making, theology, liturgy, legislation, or other relevant disciplines);
  • influential Dominicans, such as St Dominic, Humbert of Romans and Thomas Aquinas, and their legacy to the Dominican Order or the use of their teachings outside of the Order;
  • preaching and other means by which Dominicans sought to influence the local populations they encountered;
  • controversies resulting from Dominican influence (e.g., in the universities, in ecclesiastical government, etc.);
  • Dominican education and the training of novices: the shaping of the Dominican religious life. The conference will be held at Lincoln College, Oxford and Blackfriars, Oxford from Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th September 2015. This conference is interdisciplinary and open to scholars working in any field of medieval studies. Papers of 20 minutes are welcomed, although other formats may be considered. Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, and include with it your paper title, name and affiliation (if any), contact email, AV requirements, and a short biography (this has no bearing on the evaluation; it is simply for distribution to chairs). All abstracts should be submitted by 1st March 2015. All enquiries and proposals should be sent to Eleanor Giraud:

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

Search for “microarchitecture conference” on Google, and you will mostly be returned results concerning gatherings of computer programmers. This would doubtless make the concept of a conference on medieval microarchitecture entertaining to many. Even ignoring this parallel nomenclature, the sort of microarchitecture art historians are interested in is not an easy concept to explain, and perhaps one of the primary goals of the conference held at the Institut Nationale d’Historie d’Art in Paris was to actually work out what we had all come together for. I doubt wasn’t the only one who wondered whether my own material actually qualified.

Professor Timmermann with his pocket cathedral

Professor Timmermann with his pocket cathedral

Achim Timmermann (University of Michigan), a man who could indeed be dubbed “Mr. Microarchitecture”, gave an exciting overview of the concept in Early, High and Late Middle Ages, so epic in its scope of fantastic structures that the screen ought to have expanded into Imax proportions. His account demonstrated how microarchitecture transformed from the idea of a “pocket cathedral” into such an isolated ontological sphere that it crossed into convolute monstrosity with its self-mimesis by the late fifteenth century. An alternative and quite staggeringly rich oration, based on his new book Gothic Wonder, was given by Paul Binski among the medieval statuary in the ancient Roman baths of the Museé de Cluny. For Paul, the medieval intellectual aesthetic condensed great and small, magnificent and minificent, into an idea characterised by a single playfulness of embellishing surface with ornament. A more formal account, jointly delivered by Javier ibàñez Fernandez (Universidad de Zaragozza) and Arturo Zaragozá Catalán (Universidad de Valencia), introduced a 7-part taxonomy of microarchitecture in Spain: from functional maquettes to decorative miniaturisation of large-scale forms.

Sebastian Fitzner and some extraordinary medieval tile ovens

Sebastian Fitzner and some extraordinary medieval tile ovens

In this framework of ideas of categorisation, many new genres of object were introduced to the conference room. The present writer, of course, had packed a selection of sedilia, which by now I am certain always prove novel to continental audiences. But we also had stone tile ovens like traceried office blocks from Sebastian Fitzner (LudwigMaximilians-Universität München), Orthodox chivots for Eucharist reservation that mimic the forms of their parent building from Anita Paolicchi (Università di Pisa) and Renaissance elevation drawings that were originally intended to be folded and constructed into paper models from Giovanni Santucci (Università di Pisa).
These models are sort of things we would love to have more evidence for in the Middle Ages to explain the transmission of ideas, but alas, even presentation drawings and plans are difficult to come by. The miniaturisation of large forms into the decorative or representational was covered in papers by Sabine Berger (Sorbonne) on votive churches in the hands of donor statues and Peter Kurmann (ETH, Zurich) on relationship of tabernacle canopies to the geometry and form of great chevets.

Matthew Sillence with cardinals' seals

Matthew Sillence with cardinals’ seals


Final panel with Alexander Collins, Julian Gardner (chair), Sophie Cloart-Pawlak and Sarah Guérin

There was also consideration of the desirability of microarchitecture and its meaning beyond the artists’ play with novel forms. Matt Ethan Kalaver’s (University of Toronto) account of the earliest transmission of classical forms into the Netherlands by the high nobility on their tombs was reflected in the earlier centuries considered by Julian Gardner (University of Warwick) and Matthew Sillence (University of East Anglia). Their papers both focused on how influential medieval prelates and cardinals were for spreading new forms on their seals, which, quite thankfully, was a big part of my paper where also bishops seem the first to stick pointy gables over sedilia in chantry chapels they have endowed.
Perhaps one drawback about the novelty of much of the material is that it is only in retrospect to draw many of these parallels across sessions. One panel however that held together very well that at the end of the final day, between Sophie Cloart-Pawlak (IRHiS, Lille), Alexander Collins (University of Edinburgh) and Sarah Guérin (University of Montréal) who all explored the function and symbolism of microarchitecture on the spectator.
This was my first international conference, and it was a highly convivial experience with high-quality papers throughout. There was a healthy mix of postgraduates, early career researchers, established scholars and some legendary old hands. It is planned that the proceedings will be published, and therefore it should provide a much-needed general framework for the minificent microcosm of the fiddliest bits of the decorative arts.

The international conference Micro-architecture et figures du bâti au Moyen-Âge: l’échelle à l’épreuve de la matière was at the Institut Nationale d’Historie d’Art from the 8-10 Dec 2015. Here is our original post of the call for papers, the full programme and the INHA’s official page.

We also had a bit of fun tweeting the conference because we’re so Web 3.0.

Funding: Sophia Research Studentship in Byzantine Studies

Jesus-Christ-from-Hagia-Sophia[1]Deadline: 1 April 2015

Thanks to the generosity of the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, the Hellenic Foundation, and an anonymous donor, the Centre for Hellenic Studies is pleased to announce a studentship in the field of Byzantine Studies, tenable in any department of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at King’s College London for up to 2 years from 1 October 2015.

The studentship will take the form of remission of tuition fees for a PhD student up to a maximum of £4,500 per annum. Renewal for a second year is conditional on satisfactory progress throughout year 1.The studentship is open to any student who has been offered a place on a PhD programme at King’s College London in Byzantine studies or a closely related field, or who is already enrolled on such a programme.

Letters of application should include a full research proposal and the names of two academic referees, and should be addressed to the Director of the Centre, not later than 1 April 2015: and copied to

Newberry Library–John Rylands Research Institute Exchange Fellowship for 2015/6

St Matthew shown writing his Gospel, from a 15th-century French Book of Hours from the John Rylands Library. JRL Latin MS 164, f.26r.

This new fellowship provides two months of support—one for work at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois, and one for work at the John Rylands Research Institute (at The John Rylands Library) in Manchester, England. The proposed project must incorporate the collections from both libraries. Applicants should set aside two consecutive months for this fellowship, to ensure continuity of
research. All application materials will be submitted to the Newberry, but applications will be reviewed by both institutions. The stipend will be $2,500 per month at the Newberry, £1,500 at the John RylandsResearch Institute, plus an additional $1,000 (or the equivalent in English pounds) for travel.

The Newberry-Rylands Fellowships are available to postdoctoral scholars, PhD candidates, and those whohold other terminal degrees. This fellowship is restricted to scholars who live and work outside the ChicagoMetro area and are external to the University of Manchester. This fellowship will be awarded for one continuous month in residence at the Newberry and a contiguous month in residence and The John Rylands Library. Applicants must demonstrate a specific need for each collection. All applicants mustfollow the instructions listed on the Newberry’s How to Apply webpage.

We are now accepting applications for the 2015-16 academic year. For more information abouthow to apply, please visit our website:

All applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the Newberry’s and the Rylands’ online catalogs and collection guidesbefore applying:

Application Deadline for Short-Term Fellowships: January 15, 2015

Office of Research and Academic Programs The Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street Chicago, IL 60610

Call for Papers: The Fifteenth-Century Conference (University of Kent, Canterbury 10-12 September 2015)

Canterbury Cathedral 2012Call for Papers
The annual Fifteenth Century Conference has been the UK’s premier academic conference for late medieval historians for more than forty years. Submissions for papers are now invited for the 2015 Conference which will be held at the University of Kent. Papers concerned with any aspect of fifteenth-century studies are welcome, but those that relate to England’s relationship (diplomatic, military and cultural) with continental Europe and those that take a multi-disciplinary approach (exploring the literary, cultural and material history of the fifteenth century) are especially welcome.

Proposals for both 40-minute and 20-minute papers are welcome, as are proposals for themed sessions of three papers. Proposals should reach the conference organisers by 1 February 2015. Please contact Dr David Grummitt (, Dr Phil
Slavin ( or Jon-Mark Grussenmeyer ( for further
Proposals for papers (including an abstract of 100-200 words) should be
submitted to by 1 February 2015.

Conference review: Commemoration of the Dead: new approaches, new perspectives, new material (15 November 2014)

There was a packed conference room in the newly-refurbished Institute of Historical Research at Senate House, as eager members of the Church Monuments and Monumental Brass Societies gathered to hear about new approaches to incised brass memorials. As a sequel of sorts to a conference reconsidering approaches to funerary monuments on the half-centenary of Panofsky’s Tomb Sculpture held at the Courtauld Institute in July, the stakes were high for a day on one of the potentially less-colourful genres of late medieval art production. However, the conference proved that brasses could also produce many novel and intellectually profitable methodologies, rather than inward-looking and basically descriptive case studies.

Heythrop, Oxfordshire

Stained glass commemorating John Ashfield (d. 1521), Heythrop parish church, Oxfordshire – via Flickr Martin Beek

Richard Marks (‘Brass and Glass’: the medieval tomb-window) began the day with some pearls he had discovered in his relentless trawling of late medieval parochial wills, and that “brass and glass” was more than just a rhyme: many church windows acted as surrogate funerary monuments. Without the wills, there would be no way of knowing that the fragments of stained glass were patronised by the memorialised person under our feet. The use of documents to consider individual agency was also explored by Jessica Knowles on All Saints North Street in York (’Controlling the Past’: the Medieval Brasses of All Saints North Street, York), and at the end of the day by Christian Steer on the brasses in the lost London convent of the Friars Minor (’A Melting Pot of Death’: Burials and Brasses in the London Grey Friars). This veritable carpet of memory raised the intriguing questions of why the Franciscans were so popular among well-to-do Londoners, and how the friars themselves – supposedly unable to own property – bought their own brasses.

Brügge, Sint-Jakobsplein, Sint-Jakobskerk, Kupfergrabplatte der Katheline d'Ault (St. James's Church, tomb cover of Catherine d'Ault)

Brass of Catherine d’Ault d.1451, St James, Bruges – via Flickr HEN-magonza

The idea of the importance of patrons’ agency in the design of memorials was raised in the paper by Matthew Ward discussing Chellaston alabaster workshops (Late Medieval Style: the Role of Agency and the Workshop). Michael Carter then showed how an alleged London Type-B brass in Fountains Abbey was almost certainly later than the usual timespan of that workshop; instead the evidence of the iconographical motif of raising a mitre to show off a cleric’s doctoral credentials gave us the identity of the commemorated abbot (The Mysterious Mitre on the Monument). Looking outside of the constraints of the medium continued: Harriette Peel (Women, Children and Guardian Angeles in Late Medieval Flemish Funerary Art) also used novel iconographical analysis to show that a Flemish brass commemorating a young girl may be making appeal to female hagiography through its inclusion of a guardian angel. Sanne Frequin brought colour to proceedings with some technical findings of the polychromy of Tournai Marble monuments: supposedly a “pure” medium like brass (Tournai Stone: an investigation of materiality).

Nijmegen, Sint Stevenskerk

Tomb of Catherine Bourboun (d.1465), St Stephen, Nijmegen – via Flickr Stewie1980

It is often forgotten that England, with its religious rather than social revolution, has a much richer corpus of funerary monuments than much of Europe. Ann Adams used the English corpus of tomb chest-top brasses to creatively illuminate the apparently peculiar choice of the genre over sculpted effigies by some Flemish nobles (‘Revealed and Concealed’: Monumental Brasses on Tomb Chests – the examples of John I, Duke of Cleves and Catherine of Bourbon). Robert Marcoux (The Social Meaning and Artistic Potential of a Medium: Brass and the Medieval Tombs of the Gaignières Collection) reminded us of the importance of the Gaignières collection in the absence of the physical objects, and demonstrated its statistical potential in mapping aesthetic tastes over time. The varied papers, coupled with a lively, knowledgeable and generous audience, made for a day that proved that the humble brass lurking under the carpet in many a parish church can prove a lucrative genre for the modern art historian’s inquiry.

This review was originally published in Medieval Memorial Research newsletter, a free biannual summary on current developments concerning research in memoria of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period (till circa 1600), and is part of Medieval Memoria Online.