Monthly Archives: June 2016

Illuminating Becket?

Canterbury chasse, Met Museum NYOn 7 June 2016 a group of Becket scholars and enthusiasts met for a one day workshop, ‘Illuminating Becket’ at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, which ended with a fascinating public lecture by Rachel Koopmans (York University, Toronto) on the relationships between narratives in the ‘miracle’ windows in Canterbury cathedral’s east end and the structure of contemporary miracle collections. The workshop and lecture are one of a series of events planned in the lead up to 2020, the 800th anniversary of Becket’s translation to a new shrine in Canterbury cathedral (details of an earlier handling session at the British Museum are available here). During the workshop discussants were asked briefly to present one ‘eloquent‘ object, text or space that raised key issues for understanding Becket’s life and cult, and one ‘unexpected‘ object, text or space. You can see their proposals by clicking the links, and new proposals for other ‘eloquent’ or ‘unexpected’ objects, texts or spaces are warmly invited (if you’d like to send an image, just send as an attachment, with a full caption, to!

Event: ICMA Study Days in New York and Baltimore


Date: Sunday 20 November 2016 – Tuesday 22 November 2016

In collaboration with Gerhard Lutz and Forum Medieval Art from Germany, the ICMA is co-sponsoring study days in New York and Baltimore in connection with these two exhibitions:

Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven
New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art

A Sense of Beauty: Medieval Art and the Five Senses
Baltimore: The Walters Art Museum

Each visit will consist of a guided tour to the exhibition with the curator(s) highlighting questions of concept and presentation, and particular objects. The second part will be a tour among ourselves with collaborative discussion of specific highlighted objects and questions.

We expect a great demand for this; only a maximum number of 35 participants can be accommodated.  Although a participation in only one of the two days will be possible, preference will be given to those who would like to attend on both days.

Please see below for the full program. All expenses are to be covered by the individual participant.

To register, please email Ryan Frisinger at with “Study Day Medieval Art” in the subject line and wait for confirmation

SUNDAY November 20 (evening):
New York City
informal dinner

MONDAY November 21
9.30 a.m. – ca. 4:00 p.m.
Jerusalem 1000 – 1400
New York: Metropolitan Museum (main building)

Travel to Baltimore
ca. 8:00 p.m.
informal dinner

TUESDAY November 22
ca. 9:00 a.m. – ca. 4:00 p.m.
Five Senses – Baltimore: Walter Art Museum

CFP: Reconsidering the Concept of Decline and the Arts of the Palaiologan Era (University of Birmingham)

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Deadline: 30 September 2016

One day and a half Symposium & Workshop

24 and 25 February 2017, held at the University of Birmingham

This one day and a half conference combines a symposium and a workshop. The aim is to examine and contextualise the artistic and cultural production of the geopolitical centres that were controlled by or in contact with the late Byzantine Empire, such as the Adriatic and Balkan regions, the major islands of Cyprus and Crete, and the regions surrounding the cities of Constantinople, Thessaloniki, and Mystras. This conference will explore the many intellectual implications that are encoded in the innovative artistic production of the Palaiologan Era often simplified by a rigid understanding of what is Byzantine and what is not.

In its last centuries, the political entity of the Empire of the Romaioi released cultural and artistic energies migrating towards new frontiers of intellectual achievements. The intent is to counter-balance the innovation of these works of art with the notion of decline and the narrative of decay frequently acknowledged for this period; and to promote an understanding of transformation where previous cultural heritages were integrated into new socio-political orders.

The Symposium – hosted on the afternoon of the 24 and the morning of the 25February – will bring together established scholars, early-career scholars, and postgraduate students. Three keynotes will provide the methodological framework for the discussion; while the selected papers will focus solely on the visual expressions and cultural trajectories of the artworks produced during the late Palaiologan Era.

The Workshop, hosted on the afternoon of the 25 February, will offer the opportunity to further the discussion in a more informal setting and for a selected number of Master students to interact and offer brief presentations.

Postgraduate students and early-career scholars are invited to submit proposals for twenty-minute papers on art and architecture history, material culture, visual aspects of palaeography and codicology, and gender studies.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Gift exchange in view of diplomatic missions or dynastic marriages both within the Empire and with its neighbours
  • Visual evidence of the interaction between the Emperor and the Patriarch
  • Innovations in the visual agenda of the Palaiologan dynasty
  • Aspects of religious iconography and visual representations of theological controversies, i.e. Hesychasm
  • Artistic patronage and manuscript production as the outcome of dynastic and institutional interactions
  • Visual and material production as the outcome of political and social circumstances, i.e. the Zealot uprising or the Unionist policy
  • Evidence of artistic exchanges in the depictions of women, men, and children during the Palaiologan Era


Titles of proposed papers, abstracts of 250 words, and a short CV should be sent to Maria Alessia Rossi – and Andrea Mattiello –

Organisers: Andrea Mattiello – University of Birmingham
Maria Alessia Rossi – The Courtauld Institute of Art

Event: Postgraduate Open Day at the Library of Society of Antiquaries of London

unnamedLibrary at Society of Antiquaries of London

Postgraduate Open Day

14 October 2016

The Society of Antiquaries of London has the largest antiquarian library in the country, with a collection spanning items from the 10th century to present day, reflecting 300 years of research and scholarship into the history and material remains of Great Britain and other countries.

Join us for our Open Day to learn about the resources that can help you with your postgraduate studies (aimed at students beginning or currently undertaking postgraduate study). We will strive to tailor the day’s programme to the interests of the students in attendance.

For more information and booking see the event’s website.

CFP: Picturing Death 1200-1600 (Edited Volume)

Deadline: 1 September 2016

Picturing Death 1200-1600
Proposals sought for chapters in a peer-reviewed edited volume

The glut of pictures of and for death has long been associated with the Middle Ages in the popular imagination. In reality, however, these images thrived in Europe in a much more concentrated period of time that straddles the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, as conventionally defined. Macabre artifacts ranging from monumental transi tombs to memento mori baubles, gory depictions of the death and torment of sacred figure as well as of the souls of the lay, gruesome medical and pharmacological illustrations, all proliferate in tandem with less unsettling (and far more widespread) works such as supplicant donor portraits and lavishly endowed chantry chapels, with the shared purpose of mitigating the horrors of death and the post-mortem state. The period in question, 1200-1600, is bracketed by two major moments in European cultural history. At its end is the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation, which altered Europeans’ approach to their own mortality and subsequently also aspects of the visual culture facilitating their practices. The beginning, 1200, is marked by the culmination of a conceptual shift that in a 1981 book Jacques le Goff termed the spatialization, or more famously, birth of Purgatory.

Le Goff observed that in the second half of the twelfth century a hitherto somewhat vague and changing idea about a third place for the dead—neither heaven nor hell—coalesced into a notion of a concrete locale for posthumous penance and spiritual cleansing. Crucially, this fixed “third place”—Purgatory—was subject to the influence of the living. The ability to alleviate purgatorial sentences and torments by prayer, Le Goff observed, profoundly altered the relationship between the living and the dead in Europe, spawning a complex economy of Salvation, which, as most social systems, greatly favored the rich and powerful. While some of his evidence has been called into question, Le Goff undoubtedly traced an accurate trend. First embraced in a 1254 letter by Pope Innocent IV, belief in the efficacy of prayer in addressing the plight of the souls in Purgatory became official Church doctrine at the Council of Lyons in 1274, and was subsequently affirmed, repeatedly, through the Council of Trent (1545-1563). The influence of the Salvation economy on image making is unmistakable. It has been discussed in numerous studies dedicated to various aspects of this phenomenon that have appeared since Erwin Panofsky’s 1964 field-defining work on tomb sculpture, especially in recent decades, as part of a broader surge in visual culture studies.

The purpose of the present volume is to further probe the many open questions still surrounding the logic and purpose of Salvation-industry imagery, and especially to explore connections hitherto obscured by artificial modern divides of periodization, national school, and perceived aesthetic merit. Those include parallels between picturing death north and south of the Alps, continuities between such seemingly disparate objects as the Royaumont Abbey tombs and Early Modern anatomy treatises, and, crucially, the oft-underemphasized connection between macabre and mainstream pictures of and for death. In bringing together essays on death-related artifacts from a broad temporal and geographic scope and purposefully cogitating the macabre and non-macabre novelty imagery, we seek to ultimately raise an ambitious question: Was the new sense of agency in the face of death a major driving force behind the phenomenon now known as the Renaissance?

A great number of images—and image types—from the period 1200-1600 are directly related to this newfound economy of Salvation, likely accounting for a substantial portion of the era’s dramatic quantitative expansion in artistic production across Europe. The qualitative change that followed, from heighted interest in realism to an obsession with affective engagement, likewise seems curiously entwined with that economy. Furthermore, recent studies problematize the popular notion that macabre imagery emerged in response to the plague that ravaged Europe in the mid-fourteenth century; in reality, pictures of decomposing human corpses appear much earlier in the context of medical illustrations, and thus form part of a broader, essentially rational inquiry into human transience. Along with the settling recognition that so many famous Renaissance artifacts were created primarily to mitigate mortality it greatly complicates the (already rather fraught) grand narrative of the disenchantment of the image.

This greater framework begets a host of other questions. Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:
-The inherent tension in luxury artifacts evoking the “memento mori”
-Parallels and disjuncture between literary and pictorial works on death
-Novelty funerary practices, from the embalming of the body to
increasingly lavish ceremonies
-The messages, intended or inadvertent, that viewers received from
images of the afterlife
-The effects of the religious turmoil of the sixteenth century on
earlier imagery and customs

Please send a 500-word abstract and a short CV by September 1, 2016 to
the editors:
Stephen Perkinson
Noa Turel

Chapter deadline: December 1, 2016
Chapter length: c. 4,000 words
Publication, in Brill’s Studies on Art, Art History, and Intellectual
History series (edited by Walter S. Melion), is projected for late 2017

Conference: Zur Typologie liturgischer Bücher des westlichen Mittelalters – Interdisziplinäres Symposium

7–9 July 2016

Large-scale digitization has lent urgency to an old and persistent question: the typology of liturgical books. The inadequacy of both medieval and modern labels to describe complex liturgical book types has rendered their succinct and accurate description in printed and online catalogues and repertories difficult, and this in turn has impeded systematic analysis and comparison of manuscript sources. The problem is not only a matter of scientific nomenclature however:

Focused studies of particular types of content in liturgical books (cycles of readings, calendars, prayer formulae, chant texts, musical notation) have borrowed and developed typologies with little attention to the relationships between different textual elements in single codicological units. Theories regarding the relationship between book types and changes in liturgical performance or ecclesiology have been developed that at times seem to lack a clearly articulated relationship to the material evidence itself, and have rested upon too simple an understanding of the relationship between book design and book use. A lack of clarity (or the imposition of an artificial clarity) about the typology of diverse sources has made it difficult to describe accurately chronological and regional developments in the organization and use of liturgical books as found in extant witnesses. While liturgical books are a fundamental source for the study of liturgical history, we have at times struggled to describe accurately what these books are.

It is to these questions that that the proposed Symposium is addressed. Liturgical scholars and musicologists have been asked to identify problems and questions in the typology of liturgical sources, and to propose new directions in their particular areas of research. Special attention will be paid to composite sources and to the relationship between liturgical and literary tradition.

Donnerstag, 7. 7. 2016

ab 12.30 Uhr
Mittagsimbiss; 14.00 Uhr Eröffnung
Chair: David Hiley

Eröffnungs-Keynote: Susan Rankin, Antiphonarium
Chair: David Ganz

Daniel DiCenso, Karolingische Sakramentar-Antiphonare

Monika Wenz, Hand(liche) Bücher – Liturgische Bücher? Gedanken zu einer möglichen Kategorisierung von karolingischen Priester-Handbüchern

Christopher Lazowski, Merowingische Sakramentare

Diskussion: Frühmittelalterliche Vorsteherbücher

Freitag, 8. 7. 2016

Chair: Harald Buchinger

Peter Jeffery, “Living Literature” in Three Dimensions: The Ordines Romani of the Mass

Reinhard Meßner, Ordines Romani

Hélène Bricout, Amalaire et le commentaire des célébrations selon les sources liturgiques. L‘exemple des jours saints

Jürgen Bärsch, Von den Ordines Romani zu den Libri Ordinarii. Beobachtungen am Beispiel einzelner Elemente der Karfreitagsliturgie.

Chair: Andrew Irving
Diskussion: Ordines

Henry Parkes, What was the Pontifical Romano-Germanique?

Martin Klöckener, Das Pontificale romano-germanicum, eine herausragende Quelle mittelalterlicher Liturgie in neuem Licht. Beobachtungen vor dem Hintergrund des Forschungsbeitrags von Henry Parkes

Hanna Zühlke, Angehängt, integriert oder separiert – Zum Buchtyp des Prozessionale im 10. Jahrhundert

Diskussion: Pontifikalien und verwandte Quellen,
eingeleitet durch Kurzstatements von Harald Buchinger und Christoph Winterer

Samstag, 9. 7. 2016
Chair: Katelijne Schiltz

Andreas Pfisterer, Das Cantatorium im Kontext der liturgischen Gesangbücher

Andreas Haug und Lori Kruckenberg, Tropar/Sequentiar

Diskussion: Gesangsquellen, eingeleitet durch Kurzstatement von Alexander Zerfaß

Chair: Reinhard Meßner
Andrew Irving, Missale

Patrizia Carmassi, Mess-Lektionar

Andreas Odenthal, Liturgische Buchkultur im frühen Protestantismus

Diskussion: Komposite Quellen für die Messe

Weiterführende Perspektiven

For more information, see conference website


25th Colloquium of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar

Conference image 24 and 25 June


The Colloquium of the MHRS takes place biennially (annually in previous years) usually on the last Thursday and Friday of June. Having first taken place in 1989, it brings together scholars from the United Kingdom and further afield working on any aspect of the art, culture, language, literature, and history of the Iberian Peninsula in the Middle Ages.


10.30–11.15 Registration, tea and coffee (The Shield 2, Dawson Hall)

11.15–11.30 Welcome (Rotblat G.05)

11.30–12.30 Plenary session (Rotblat G.05)
MARÍA MORRÁS, Queen Mary, University of London & Universitat
Pompeu Fabra
La querelle des femmes en su contexto histórico (Península Ibérica,

13.45–15.30 Parallel sessions
Session 1a (Rotblat G.05)
JOSEP LLUÍS MARTOS, Universitat d’Alacant
La rima en Joan Rois de Corella
ANTONIO CHAS AGUIÓN, Universidade de Vigo
Linaje, armas y letras en los orígenes de la rama cordobesa de los
Guzmán: Juan [Alfonso] de Guzmán ‘el Póstumo’
Gómez Manrique’s Planto for Santillana: More Than Just an Elegy?

Session 1b (Rotblat G.07)
FRANCISCO A. MARCOS-MARÍN, University of Texas at San Antonio
Romania submersa and the origins of Iberoromance
NICOLÁS ASENSIO JIMÉNEZ, Fundación Ramón Menéndez Pidal
El Romancero del Cid, una labor aun pendiente
MARTA MARFANY, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Jordi de Sant Jordi y Ausiàs March en castellano: traducciones
modernas de clásicos medievales catalanes

16.00–17.45 Parallel sessions
Session 2a (Rotblat G.05)
AINOA CASTRO CORREA, King’s College London
Dating and placing Visigothic script manuscripts
MARÍA TERESA CHICOTE, Warburg Institute & ÁNGEL FUENTES, Universidad
Complutense de Madrid
El Rey Confirma: el valor de la imagen en el privilegio castellano
ESTHER DORADO LADERA, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Arabic Epigraphy in Mudéjar Religious Architecture of Aragon: The
Church-fortresses on the Castilian Frontier

Session 2b (Rotblat G.07)
SILVIA C. MILLÁN GONZÁLEZ, Universitat de València
La amazona Pantasilea en el Silves de la Selva de Pedro de Luján: mito,
norma, desafío e integración
Caballero, magia y sermón: pespuntes culturales en el prólogo del
DANIEL GUTIÉRREZ TRÁPAGA, University of Cambridge
El fracaso de Montalvo: la transformación de Esplandián en el ciclo de


9.30–10.40 Session 3
MARGARITA DEL ROSARIO ANGLERÓ, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
La ‘fabliella’ juanmanuelina y el deleite literario
RUTH MARTÍNEZ ALCORLO, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
‘Remedios para ferida tan entrañable’: literatura consolatoria para
Isabel, primogénita de los Reyes Católicos

11.15–12.25 Session 4
DANIELA SANTONOCITO, Universidad de Zaragoza
La difusión del Conde Lucanor en Reino Unido: la relación entre la
princeps y sus traducciones inglesas
Un gran momento histórico en un pequeño texto narrativo: Perkin
Warbeck en los milagros de Guadalupe

13.45–15.00 Session 5
MARINE ANSQUER, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
La Tragedia fantástica de la gitana Celestina de Alfonso Sastre (1978):
una desacralización del mito literario celestinesco
DOROTHY SEVERIN, University of Liverpool
Cruel Fathers, Weak Mothers in the Fifteenth-Century Castilian
Sentimental Romance, and Role Reversal in Celestina

15.00 Close

For more information, see the Colloquium website.