CfP: The Goldene Tafel from Lüneburg in context: Investigations on technology, shape and significance of altarpieces in northern Europe around 1400 (Hanover, 7-9 April 2016)


One of the highlights of Hanover’s Landesgalerie is the so-called
Goldene Tafel, which once adorned the high altar of the Benedictine
Abbey S. Michaelis in Lüneburg. Four wings house an extensive
sculptural programme and valuable paintings which constitute important
examples of the International Gothic around 1400. The shrine –
unfortunately not preserved – is known to have contained the
gold-covered wooden antependium of the high middle ages which gave its
name to the altarpiece. The central panel was surrounded by
reliquaries, of which some are preserved in the Museum August Kestner.
Others, which fell victim to theft during the seventeenth century, can
still be documented through secondary sources. The altarpiece can be
considered one of the best documented and especially multiformed of its

Since 2012 the Goldene Tafel is the subject of an interdisciplinary
research project, sponsored by the VolkswagenStiftung, the
Klosterkammer Hanover and the FAMA-Kunststiftung. In collaboration with
the Gemäldegalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt and the Hochschule für angewandte
Wissenschaft und Kunst Hildesheim, conservators, art historians and
historians analyze the altarpiece. As well as subjecting the retable to
a full technical examination, the project also investigates its origin,
history, style and use.

Further more an up to date and sustainable way of conservation and
presentation of the four altar wings is developed.
This conference will present the research team‘s findings and place
these in a wider context.

We therefore invite papers as well as posters that present related
research projects, monographic investigations on comparable objects.
Especially welcome are contributions which focus on recent advances in
the field of technical examination and papers addressing the question
of museological display of similar works.

Suggested sections may include:
– Monumental architecture as princely commemoration? The construction
of Lüneburg’s St. Michael’s Abbey, its furnishings and its functions
– Commemoration and Representation: Charting the commemorative culture
of the Guelph dynasty
– Inclusion and representation. Relics and the purpose of “spoils” in
altarpieces of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
– Evidences of manufacture: tool marks, underdrawings, transfer of
motifs and forms of ornamentation. What the results of technical
examination can tell us about the production of major carved and
painted retables.
– North German, Central German, West German or Low Lands? Defining,
producing and disseminating sculpted and painted retables during the
fifteenth century.
– Ways of Seeing – Presenting the medieval retable in the museum

Proposals for 30-minute papers or 5-minute poster presentations should
be forwarded to until the 30th of
September. Requested are the title and a brief summary (max. 2000
characters) in German, English or French.

Lectures and posters are intended for publication as part of the
Niederdeutsche Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte.


Published by James Alexander Cameron

I am an art historian working primarily on medieval parish church architecture. I completed my doctorate on sedilia in medieval England in 2015 at The Courtauld Institute of Art.

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