Online Conference: Textiles and the Revelation of the Sacred, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and EHESS-CRH, 6th-7th May 2021

Be they part of the composition of an image or gathered around the altar, textiles, as pliable and movable material, played a crucial part in the revelation of the invisible. Since the middle of the thirteenth century, the Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist became physically exalted and devotional images flourished in churches and in domestic interiors. It led to a genuine visual appetence, an intense desire to see the sacred. The image itself, powerful instrument of mediation between the visible and the invisible, is often compared to a veil, as it is able to suggest the presence or the absence of what is represented.

As garments, textiles adorned and transformed bodies. As dossals, they were the backdrop for adoration. As veils, they delineated the frontier between the human and the divine. As lifted curtains, they participated in a visual theophany and emphasized a supranatural presence. By this workshop, we want to explore the roles of textiles – be they real, fictional, material, painted or feigned – in the manifestation of the sacred, understood in its broadest sense, beyond the strictly religious sphere. Their diverse forms, their multiple functions and their metaphorical potential will be the core of our reflections. 

How were textiles seen in a liturgical or devotional context ? What were their roles in the figured or sacramental revelation of the divine ?

To register for this event, please follow this link. After registration, an email will be sent to attendees with more information on how to access the video conference.



6th May 2021

9h00: Accueil et présentation des journées – Juliette Brack, Julie Glodt, Nicolas Sarzeaud

9h30: Conférence inaugurale – Paul Hills (Courtauld Institute of Art)
Textiles and Touch: Depicting the Sacred

10h10: Discussion et pause

Session 1 : Dévoilement et monstration – Unveiling and Exhibiting
Présidence de séance : Alain Rauwel

10h30: Hector Ruiz Soto (Sorbonne Université)
Le retable-machine à l’espagnole : le dévoilement comme fabrique d’images de culte au XVIIe siècle

11h00: Julie Glodt (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Cercle blanc sur fond noir. Le rideau de l’élévation et la visibilité de l’hostie (XIVe-XVIe siècles)

11h30: Nicolas Sarzeaud (EHESS)
On n’en montre jamais trop, jamais assez : exposer les linges du Christ dans la liturgie, le théâtre religieux et les images à la fin du Moyen Âge

12h00: Discussion
12h30: Pause 

Session 2 : Images et ornements – Images and Ornaments 
Présidence de séance : Astrid Castres

14h00: Helen Wyld (National Museums Scotland)
Flesh and Blood: The Fetternear Banner

14h30: Laurent Hablot (EPHE)
Les enseignes vexillaires militaires et le sacré au Moyen Âge

15h00: Discussion et pause

16h00: Evelin Wetter (Abegg-Stiftung, Riggisberg)
Liturgical Visualization and Devotion: Textile Strategies of Pictorial Corporal Cases

16h30: Juliette Calvarin, (Harvard University, Cambridge)
Umbral : L’amict et l’Annonciation au Moyen Âge tardif

17h00: Ralph Dekoninck et Caroline Heering (Université catholique de Louvain)
L’ornementalisation des Ornamenta Sacra dans les anciens Pays-Bas des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles

17h30: Discussion

7th May 2021

9h15: Accueil

Session 3 : Vêture et performance – Clothing and Performance
Présidence de séance : Maximilien Durand et Marlène Albert-Llorca

9h30:  Diana Pereira (University of Porto, CITCEM)
Layered in secrecy and ritual: miraculous sculptures of the Virgin and the clothing of statues in Early Modern Portugal

10h00: Valeria E. Genovese (chercheuse indépendante, Naples)
Statues habillées : corps vivants ou nouvelles icônes ?

10h30: Discussion et pause

11h30: Laura Stefanescu (University of Sheffield)
Habiller les anges dans la Florence du XVe siècle : Des costumes pour le théâtre aux choix iconographiques

12h00: Rembrandt Duits (Warburg Institute, University of London)
Framed in Fabric. Liturgy in the Private Chapel of the Medici

12h30: Discussion
13h00: Pause

Session 4 : Révéler et honorer – Revealing and Glorifying 
Présidence de séance : Ralph Dekoninck

14h30: Lisa Monnas (chercheuse indépendante, Londres)
The Virgin’s veil in Tuscan Painting, 1250-1400

15h00: Victor Schmidt (University of Utrecht)
Curtains sculpted and depicted: the case of the Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal, San Miniato al Monte, Florence

15h30: Discussion et pause

16h30: Juliette Brack (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Le dais marial dans le retable florentin : liturgie et ecclésiologie (XVe-XVIe siècles)

17h00: Valentine Langlais (Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier 3)
Révélation et glorification du Saint-Sacrement : de l’usage du rideau dans l’iconographie flamande de la Cène (XVIe-XVIIe siècles)

17h30: Discussion

18h00: Échanges finaux et conclusion des journées

Responsables scientifiques : Philippe Morel (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, HiCSA-CHAR), Philippe Plagnieux (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, HiCSA), Alain Rauwel (Université de Bourgogne, CéSOR), Étienne Anheim (EHESS-CRH, Ahloma)


Published by Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson holds a First Class Honours in the History of Art from the University of Bristol, with a particular focus on Medieval Florence. In 2020 she achieved a Distinction in her MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialised in the art and architecture of Medieval England under the supervision of Dr Tom Nickson. Her dissertation focussed on an alabaster altarpiece, and its relationship with the cult of St Thomas Becket in France and the Chartreuse de Vauvert. Her current research focusses on the artistic patronage of London’s Livery Companies immediately pre and post-Reformation. Ellie will begin a PhD at the University of York in Autumn 2021 with a WRoCAH studentship, under the supervision of Professor Tim Ayers and Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein.

2 thoughts on “Online Conference: Textiles and the Revelation of the Sacred, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and EHESS-CRH, 6th-7th May 2021

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