Author Archives: medievalartresearch

Call for Papers: Moving Violence: Transgressing the Boundaries of Experience in Medieval Imagery, Tel Aviv University, 11-13/12/2018 (Deadline 18/06/2018)

irish-axe-menViolence imagery in medieval art reveals a parade of brutal acts: various stages of decapitation, splitting skulls, amputating limbs, enucleating eyes, yanking teeth, cutting off breasts, and other repugnant horrors. Often stripped of direct devotional context and thus presented as violence inflicted upon the imagined bodies of the depicted saints, these portrayals also attacked the body and mind of the viewers, accumulating into a physically and emotionally moving violence: the images incorporate time, space, and motion through movement in the staging of the scenes, which, in turn, stimulated both emotional and bodily reactions in the viewers. It also encouraged the audience to move with and around the images. Suggesting an imaginative somatic experience to the beholders, these images negotiate discourses on the nature of violence, bodily integrity, and the self, and transgress the boundaries between object and subject, representation and viewers, past and present, imagination and historicism.

This conference seeks to explore the complex of rhetoric and response forms to violence imagery, whether in devotional, liturgical, or secular contexts: namely, in the juridical, moral, and ethical discourses. It also seeks to explore how the changing definition of the term violence, whether in textual or visual sources, constitutes the watershed of a given culture, civilization, and their notion of individuality.

We invite papers on any medieval discipline or region that engages with issues of: Continue reading

Call for Papers: Der Akt der Bildwerdung. Kreativität und Schöpfungskraft zwischen 1430 und 1530, Cologne 2-3/11/2018 (Deadline 29/04/2018)

an00146423_001_lDas Werkstattgespräch wird sich inhaltlich mit Produktions- und Rezeptionsmechanismen innerhalb von Bildmedien des 15. und frühen 16. Jahrhunderts beschäftigen. Zentrales Thema ist der Prozess der Bildwerdung, also die Frage, wie die Idee und die inventio des Künstlers ins Bild übertragen werden und vor allem, wie sich dieser Übertragungsprozess im Bild nachvollziehen lässt. Dieser Frage wollen wir im Rahmen des Werkstattgesprächs nachgehen und dabei untersuchen, welchen besonderen Stellenwert die Künstler dem kreativen Schaffensprozess und dessen Sichtbarmachung einräumen.

Schon Plinius d. Ä. hatte im 35. Buch der Naturgeschichte postuliert, dass man die unvollendeten Werke der Künstler deshalb mehr bewundert würde, „weil man in ihnen die zurückgelassenen Skizzen [liniamenta] und selbst die Überlegungen [cogitations] der Künstler sieht und weil der Schmerz über die Hand, die während des Schaffens erstarrte, zu höherer Beachtung anreizt.“ Dies zeigt sich etwa in den Vorzeichnungen und Unterzeichnungen, die dem Künstler die Möglichkeit boten unbefangen zu arbeiten, zu experimentieren und das Konzept des Bildes zu verändern, da er nicht erwartete, dass diese Zeichnungen wieder sichtbar werden, nachdem verschiedene Schichten Farbe darüber aufgetragen wurden. Durch Infrarotreflektographien können wir die Intentionen und Gedanken der Werkgenese heute nachvollziehen und für Fragestellungen zum Verhältnis von materieller Form und Invention des Künstlers fruchtbar machen.
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Call for Papers: Mary of Guelders – Her Life and Prayer Book (ca. 1400) – Nijmegen, 23-24/11/2018 (Deadline 30/03/2018)

Mary of Guelders’ richly illuminated prayer book, written by Helmich die Lewe and completed in 1415, is extraordinary for several reasons: it originally consisted of more than 600 folia, it is richly illuminated, it was written in the Lower Rhine vernacular, and it contains an unusual compilation of prayers, hours and components of a breviary. These past few years the book has been the focus of a research project spearheaded by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and Radboud University in Nijmegen. Their hard work has yielded enough noteworthy results to deserve its own exhibition which will open in Museum Het Valkhof on 13 October 2018 and will run until 6 January 2019. It will feature the research’s findings on the comprehensive and complex prayer book, the life of Mary, Duchess of Jülich and Guelders, and cultural developments in the duchies of Guelders, Jülich and Berg. To mark the occasion of the exhibition entitled ‘I, Mary of Guelders. The duchess and her extraordinary prayer book’ Radboud University is organising a two-day conference in Nijmegen together with Museum Het Valkhof and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.

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Publication: ‘San Michele in Monte Laureto a Putignano. La grotta dell’Angelo e la cultura pittorica angioina nel meridione barese’ by Marcello Mignozzi


A new book on the theme of Angevin Art in Southern Italy has just been published.
In San Michele in Monte Laureto a Putignano. La grotta dell’Angelo e la cultura pittorica angioina nel meridione barese, Marcello Mignozzi reconstructs the history of the rupestrian church of Saint Michael in Monte Laureto in Putignano (Apulia), Italy, investigating its historiographical, historical, and artistic aspects. The cross analysis of archival and artistic data allows the author to understand the value of an almost forgotten Medieval Sanctuary. The magnificent fourteenth-century fresco with the Crucifixion, made by two artists from Apulia influenced by Neapolitan art, is finally included in the pictorial context of the Angevin region. In this regard a lot of space is dedicated not only to examine the theme of the Crucifixion in the painting of the entire region, but also to frescoes, many of them unpublished, in Polignano, Mola di Bari, Monopoli, Noci, Conversano, Rutigliano, Capurso, Triggiano. Part of the work is then dedicated to the events of the rock church in the Modern Age, to the sculptures of Stefano da Putignano, and to the Contemporary Age. Finally, the study of road networks during the Middle Ages allows the reconstruction of the complex system of pilgrimages, but also of political and artistic relations between Putignano and the Angevin Principality of Taranto.

For more information on this publication, see

Call for Papers: ‘On Monumentality’, Acropolis Museum, Athens, 4-6 of April, 2019 (Deadline 15/06/2018)

on monumentality

A century separates us from the “rupture of history” and the historical ambiguities that the early heroic modernism introduced in the urban space, and eighty years from the destruction of the European monumental deposit from the bombings of WWII, a defining moment for the introduction of new kinds of monumentality alongside the old ones. Yet, monumentality still emerges as a major spatial, aesthetic, symbolic, architectural and archaeological phenomenon. In a climate of pessimism in present day western cities, which are dealing with an increasingly precarious present, due to  economic and other forms of instability, the durability of monumentality as “urban permanence” (the famous Aldo Rossi concept), appears to be among the few remaining symbolic and spatial rocks and as such is needed, maintained, enhanced, landscaped and even invented.

The international conference “On Monumentality”, organised by the Module Art-Architecture-Urban Planning, Hellenic Open University, to be held in the Acropolis Museum, Athens, 4-6 of April, 2019, will explore the following relevant dimensions of monumentality and the monumental both in the European urban and peripheral space and also of cities/countries globally:  Continue reading

Funding and Scholarship: PhD studentship, Norwich/London (Deadline 07/05/2018)

PhD FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: AHRC CHASE Collaborative Doctoral Award


Is a broken artwork useless?
What can only a fragment of something tell us about the past?

The University of East Anglia, in partnership with the Museum of London, invites applications from suitably qualified UK/EU candidates for a full-time or part-time Collaborative Doctoral Award, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council through the CHASE doctoral training partnership, to conduct research as part of the Beautiful Fragments Project.

This Collaborative Doctoral Award will support PhD research into the role played by fragmentary objects in understanding the art and visual culture of the later Middle Ages (c.1000-1500).
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Conference: Gothic Arts: An Interdisciplinary Symposium (Philadelphia, 23-24/03/2018)

gothic artGothic Arts: An Interdisciplinary Symposium

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion
Van Pelt Library
University of Pennsylvania

March 23rd-24th, 2018

Mary Caldwell, Department of Music
Sarah M. Guérin, Department of the History of Art
Ada Kuskowski, Department of History

In a passage from Thomas Aquinas’s treatise on good governance, a text written for the Cypriot king around 1267, the angelic doctor wrote: “Art is the imitation of nature. Works of art are successful to the extent that they achieve a likeness of nature.” This passage would seem to be the perfect explanation for the exceptionally life-like Adam sculpted for the south transept at the Parisian Notre-Dame, completed a handful of years earlier and possibly seen by Thomas before he left Paris for his Italian sojourn. However, by “ars” Aquinas meant not our “fine arts,” but technique and, even more broadly, human endeavor. The passage comes not from a discussion of the visual arts, but from a justification of benign kingship as opposed to democracy—the former being more akin to nature.

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