Conference programme: VIII colloquium Ars Mediaevalis: Memory: Monument and Image in the Middle Ages (Aguilar de Campoo (Palencia) May 4th-6th 2018)

VIII colloquium Ars Mediaevalis: Memory: Monument and Image in the Middle Ages

Conference programme: VIII colloquium Ars Mediaevalis: Memory: Monument and Image in the Middle Ages

Date and Location: Aguilar de Campoo (Palencia), May 4th-6th 2018

Memory is a psychological faculty and an intellectual power that found its expression in the foundational and oft-repeated phrase of the Eucharistic celebration heard by all believers: “do this in remembrance of me”. Memory is projected onto ritual commemorations of the dead, funeral processions, anniversaries, liturgical celebrations and concerns all of the deceased, from the humblest to those who hold eminent institutional, religious or administrative positions, and, of course, the “special dead”, namely, the saints. It is not restricted to commemorating the deceased, whose presence is invoked by naming them in obituaries and in the objects associated with them. The latter were movable (liturgical vessels, manuscripts, ritual vestments, portable altars, trophies, objects associated with reliquaries and artistic patrons) or the fixed furnishings of buildings (reredoses, mural paintings, stained-glass windows, heraldic sculpture and, in particular, epigraphs and funerary monuments). By extension, the term memory was used in reference to the buildings or altars (e.g. cella memoriae) that sheltered these objects of such high sacred value.


Memory is at the heart of Augustinian epistemology, which believed that human reason is nourished by intelligence, love and memory. In the secular domain, memory played a central role in underpinning laws and institutions whose legitimacy depended on established customs. To establish the legal foundation of the present and future, lawmakers had to express the past and the certainty of the past.


This colloquium intends to analyze social memory as the process that enables society to renew and reform its understanding of the past so that it can be incorporated into the present, thus establishing a historical analogy in the narrative of the passing of time. Social memory includes liturgical memory, historiography, genealogy, oral tradition and other forms of cultural production and reproduction. Therefore, the colloquium’s aim, in particular, is to revisit the concept of cathedral memory, which includes all of those works, activities and uses of space that transmit over time the memory of important bishops, clerical dignitaries and laypeople and the origins and historical episodes in which they had played leading roles.


However, in each cathedral, the promotion of memory was incorporated into a communal setting in use over a long period of time and thus fostered diverse dynamics in terms of the interactions and intersections between the memory of the individual and/or the cooperative memory of social groups. Furthermore, mnemotechnic resources played a highly important role in adopting, storing, connecting, activating, modelling and reinventing the information and visual expressions received at a given moment in the past.


Memory, as contemporary psychology shows, is a dynamic process that transforms the past to such an extent that it creates new pasts. In fact, operative and dynamic memory is an exercise not so much in recognizing the past as an immutable reality but rather in reorganizing that past to the point of imagining it. Remembering always means connecting new stimuli (images, logical sequences, references, stories, etc.) that awaken this recollection with earlier information that has already been taken on board but stored away.Without the analogous links that adapt memories, it is impossible to integrate new events into a historical sequence. How did such assumptions affect the way in which images functioned during the Middle Ages? Where and when were architectural spaces composed to promote the gestation or remodelling of individual or institutional memories? This colloquium will provide a forum for analysis and debate regarding these fundamental questions of visual culture and medieval art.


May 4th Location: Fundacion Sta. Maria la Real
09.45 h.: Colloquium Ars Mediaevalis Opening
10.00 h.: Beat BRENK / UNIVERSIT€T BASEL, The Mosaics of Cefalù revisited: innovation and memory
10.45 h: Discussion
11.30 h.: César GARCÍA DE CASTRO VALDÉS / MUSEO ARQUEOLÓGICO DE ASTURIAS, Variaciones sobre el tema del Salvador y el colegio apostólico en la Catedral de Oviedo. Aventuras ydesventuras de una advocación
12.15 h.: Montserrat JORBA, Ritos funerarios en el arte románico catalàn: a propósito de la lápida sepulcralde Sant Miquel de Fontfreda (Maçanet de Cabrenys) 
12.30 h: Javier CASTIÑEIRAS, La memoria dumiense en las empresas escultóricas de Mondoñedo y Braga afinales del siglo XI 
12.45 h: Ma Teresa CHICOTE, Adaptar un Panteón a la Memoria del Linaje: La Colegiata de Belmonte y los Marqueses de Villena
13.00 h: Discussion
16.00 h.:
Marta CENDÓN FERNÁNDEZ / UNIVERSIDADE SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Memoria y privilegio: las capillas funerarias episcopales en las catedrales castellanas bajomedievales 
Memoria per corporis sensum combibit anima. Relato hist—rico en la catedral de Tarragona: presencia ysecuencia de escenarios de memorias arzobispales
17.30 h.: Discussion
18.00 h.: Round table: Objects and Remembrance Objetos recuerdo
 – Herbert L. KESSLER
19.00 h.: Public presentation of the new book of editorial line “ARS MEDIAEVALIS. Estudios de arte medieval”

May 5th (Location: Palencia. Diputación Provincial)

09.45 h.: Ma Elvira MOCHOLÍ, La Virgen de la Seo y otros iconos reales en la ciudad de Valencia
10.00 h.: José Alberto MORAIS MORAN / UNIVERSIDAD DE LEÓN, Memento in mente habete: storiae y monumentos de memoria en el reino de León. De Magio (968) a Florencio (1138)
11.30 h.: Amadeo SERRA DESFILIS / UNIVERSIDAD DE VALENCIA, Memoria de reyes y memorias de la ciudad. Valencia entre la conquista cristiana y las Germanías
12.15 h.: Diana LUCÍA GÓMEZ-CHACÓN / CSDMM-UNIVERSIDAD POLITÉCNICA DE MADRID, Contemplar con la mirada del alma: arte, memoria y observancia a fines de la Edad Media
13.00 h.: Discussion
16.00 h.: Academic visit: Becerril de Campos and Paredes de Nava

May 6th (Location: Monasterio Sta. María la Real, Aguilar de Campoo)


09.30 h.: Cynthia HAHN / CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, Reliquaries and Commemoration: Saint, Patron, Artist
10.15 h.: María J. SÁNCHEZ, La métrica de la memoria en la ciudad Alto Medieval: consecratio, monumentum aedificationis y dedicatio en Hispania

10.30 h: Elena MUÑOZ, Memorias de una muerte esperada. Técnicas narrativas en el sepulcro del Doctor Grado

10.45 h: Sonia MORALES, La memoria póstuma del caballero en la diócesis de Sigüenza-Guadalajara

11.00h: Discussion

11.45 h.: Felipe PEREDA ESPEJO / HARVARD UNIVERSITY, Imagen y olvido. Imagen del lamento fúnebre entre la Antigüedad y la Reforma católica

12:30 h.: Discussion

13.00 h: Conclusions and perspectives

13.15 h.: Closing ceremony

PLACE: Fundación Santa María la Real – Aguilar de Campo (SPAIN) FEES: Regular 140 € / Reduced 95 € / Special (students) 60 € /

ENROLLMENT: Fundación Santa María la Real del Patrimonio Histórico: Avda. Ronda, 1-3
34800 – Aguilar de Campoo (Spain)
Tel. (+34) 979 125 000 Fax: (+34) 979 125 680




Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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