Pippa Salonius will speak on ‘Authority, Nature and the Image’:
Medieval culture has been described as a ‘culture of authority’. Kings, princes, and city-states all sought to establish themselves as central figures of authority. The pope, as the earthly representative of divine authority and justice, strived to remain their point of reference. As the ultimate authority, God’s work could be cited in words from the Bible or as images of the natural world. In a society where the word of God reigned supreme, visual reminders of this chain of command were of vital importance. Images, after all, were the lingua franca of medieval Christendom, but given the abstract nature of the message, how was its meaning best conveyed?
All this term’s seminars take place in the History of Art Department at Birkbeck (43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD) in Room 106 at 5pm. Talks finish by 5.30pm (allowing those with other commitments to leave) and are then followed by discussion and refreshments.