New publication: ‘Illuminating Metalwork. Metal, Object, and Image in Medieval Manuscripts’, edited by Joseph Salvatore Ackley and Shannon L. Wearing

The presence of gold, silver, and other metals is a hallmark of decorated manuscripts, the very characteristic that makes them “illuminated.” Medieval artists often used metal pigment and leaf to depict metal objects both real and imagined, such as chalices, crosses, tableware, and even idols; the luminosity of these representations contrasted pointedly with the surrounding paints, enriching the page and dazzling the viewer. To elucidate this key artistic tradition, this volume represents the first in-depth scholarly assessment of the depiction of precious-metal objects in manuscripts and the media used to conjure them.

From Paris to the Abbasid caliphate, and from Ethiopia to Bruges, the case studies gathered here forge novel approaches to the materiality and pictoriality of illumination. In exploring the semiotic, material, iconographic, and technical dimensions of these manuscripts, the authors reveal the canny ways in which painters generated metallic presence on the page. Illuminating Metalwork is a landmark contribution to the study of the medieval book and its visual and embodied reception, and is poised to be a staple of research in art history and manuscript studies, accessible to undergraduates and specialists alike

Author information: Joseph Salvatore Ackley, Wesleyan Univ., Middletown, USA; Shannon L. Wearing, Pontifical Inst. of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto, Canada.

Published by De Gruyter, 2022. Volume 4 in the series Sense, Matter, and Medium

For more information and for the contents visit the De Gruyter website.

Image: Vision of the Son of Man, The Cloisters Apocalypse, ca. 1330, f.3v. Metropolitan Museum

Published by Dr Julia Faiers

Julia Faiers has recently been awarded her PhD from the University of St Andrews. She wrote her thesis on the art patronage of Louis d’Amboise, bishop of Albi from 1474 to 1503, under the supervision of Professor Kathryn Rudy. Julia gained a First Class Honours degree in art history at the University of St Andrews (1995). She took a year off to learn German in Berlin, and then won a British Academy Award to study for her MA in German Expressionism at The Courtauld under the supervision of Dr Shulamith Behr (1997). Julia spent almost twenty years working as a journalist before returning to academia in 2016.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: