Category Archives: Lecture series

Murray Seminars at Birkbeck, Autumn 2019

16 October, Lisa Monnas

Vestments and Textiles in Hans Memling’s ‘God with Singing and Music-making Angels 

Three large panels in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, painted by Hans Memling in the 1480’s, represent a heavenly scene framed by clouds, which part to reveal the central figure of God attended by sixteen singing and music-making angels. Thye once formed the top of the high altarpiece of the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria la Réal in Nájera, in Spain. In the central panel, God is depicted vested as priest and ruler, and the angels in this and in the flanking scenes wear clerical dress. The work has been interpreted as relating to the Good Friday liturgy and the Exaltation of the Cross, but since the panels originally formed the top of an altarpiece whose main subject was the Assumption of the Virgin, this is open to doubt. This paper will re-examine the vestments and textiles in the newly conserved panels, assessing their ‘realism’ and their contribution to the heavenly scene. It will also consider them in the wider context of some of Memling’s other works.

14 November, Jana Gajdosova

Sculpted Genealogies: The Effigies of Bohemian rulers in Prague Cathedral

With the death of Wenceslas III, the Přemyslid dynasty, which had ruled Bohemia for over four centuries, came to an end. The murder of the young king created chaos in the kingdom for several decades; however, after the marriage of Elizabeth of Přemyslid and John of Luxembourg and the subsequent birth of Charles IV (1316 – 1378), Bohemia reached the height of its political and cultural power in Europe. Charles IV saw himself as a bridge between two Bohemian dynasties – the Přemyslids of the past and the Luxembourgs of his envisioned future. This link was communicated with painted genealogies in at least three of Charles’ castles, and with staged genealogies across Prague. The fascination that Charles had with re-imagining and visualizing his role within the dynastic shift that occurred also found expression in the sculpted genealogies which are the subject of this paper—specifically the effigies of Přemyslids rulers commissioned by Charles IV for Prague Cathedral, which were made to communicate these ideas in sculpture and across real space.

5 December, Marie-Louise Lillywhite 

Blood is Thicker than Water: Artists, Friends and Family Alliances in Seventeenth-Century Venice

How did Venetian artists forge alliances to advance their interests and ensure the continuation of their workshops? Focusing on the painter Palma il Giovane, this paper explores his concerted efforts to continue his family name through strategic marriages, and safeguard his success through advantageous friendships. This study will demonstrate how these potentially positive relationships impacted artistic production in Venice for better, or indeed worse.

All this term’s seminars take place in the History of Art Department at Birkbeck (43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD) in Room 114 (The Keynes Library) at 5pm.  Talks finish by 5.50pm (allowing those with other commitments to leave) and are then followed by discussion and refreshments.  We hope to see you there.

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Coll & Cortes Medieval Spain Seminar Series: Images, devotion and emotion in 13th- and 14th-century Castile (18 April 2018)

toro-santa-clara-600x600What was the role of images in the religious experience of Castilian people of the 13th and 14th centuries? There is no clear answer, and the scarcity of written evidence has prompted much problematic speculation. However, on the basis of the images themselves and of relevant literary sources, including the well-known Cantigas de Santa María and works by 14th-century authors such as Juan Ruiz and Juan Manuel, it is possible to explore a number of key issues. The talk will be divided into three sections. One focuses on the 13th century: ‘Active images: the Cantigas de Santa María and their aftermath’. Another looks to the 14th century: ‘Passive images: the reception and dissemination of the Crucifixus dolorosus in Castile’. And it concludes by looking ‘beyond’ Art History. In the 1960s a Spanish politician coined the (in)famous tourist slog, ‘Spain is different’. His aim was to encourage foreigners to visit Spain, but the slogan is representative of a commonplace that has been repeated time and again since the Romantic era. Ultimately, my talk offers an invitation to reconsider whether Castilian and Spanish devotional practices are really so very different from those recorded elsewhere in medieval western Europe. Continue reading

Lecture: “Structuring the Sacred”: Considering Framing, Space and Place on the Easby Cross, Institute for Historical Research, 27/02/2018

Easby Cross

NOW CANCELLED DUE TO INDUSTRIAL ACTION!

 

The London Society for Medieval Studies is hosting the following lecture on Tuesday 27th February at 7pm:

Meg Boulton, speaking on ‘”Structuring the Sacred”: Considering Framing, Space and Place on the Easby Cross.

Location: Institute of Historical Research, Wolfson Room NB01, Senate House (located on Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU).

All those who are interested in Medieval Studies are very welcome to attend!

Upcoming Lectures at the British Archaeological Association 07/03/2018, 04/04/2018, 02/05/2018

BAA

The British Archaeological Association is delighted to announce our upcoming lectures:

7 March – ‘Awake thou that sleepest: The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene in Central Europe’ by Dr Zoe Opacic
4 April – ‘Bridgwater Friary: A provincial town and the Franciscan friars in late medieval Somerset’ by Dr Hannah Wesyt
2 May – ‘ Inventing Vaults in the Twelfth Century: Salamanca, Al-Andalus and France’ by Dr Tom Nickson

All lectures take place at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House (Piccadilly) at 5.00 pm. Tea is available from 4.30 pm.

Further information about the BAA, the lectures and past events can be found on our website https://thebaa.org/

Lecture Emmanuele Lugli “Chasing Absence: The Body of Christ and the Measures to Enter in Touch with it” 17:00 13/02/2018 Birkbeck

Mensura Christi Talk
This talk focuses on the singular devotion for the ‘mensura Christi,’ or the act of praying with objects that reproduced the height of Christ. It explores the reasons for its phenomenal success, from its diffusion in the twelfth century up to its ban in the seventeenth, and the motives for its marginalization in historical accounts today. The talk asks questions about what turns an orthodox veneration into a mere superstition, an inversion that is all the more puzzling given that the ‘mensura Christi’ relies on measuring, one of the methods to fight credulity. The lecture thus reconsiders the relationships of measuring practices, visual belief, and religious orders, thus contributing to discussions on representations, faith, and material studies.
 
All this term’s seminars take place in the History of Art Department at Birkbeck (43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD) in Room 114 (The Keynes Library) at 5pm.  Talks finish by 5.50pm (allowing those with other commitments to leave) and are then followed by discussion and refreshments.  We hope to see you there.

Lecture: Un trésor de l’Arsenal : la Bible de Saint-Jean d’Acre

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6 février 2018 – 18h15-19h30

Galerie Colbert, auditorium
Institut national d’histoire de l’art
2, rue Vivienne ou 6 rue des Petits Champs
75002 Paris

Lorsque Saint Louis s’installe à Saint-Jean d’Acre entre 1250 et 1254, la cité cosmopolite où se côtoient chrétiens, juifs et musulmans, est la ville la plus florissante du Royaume latin de Jérusalem. Mais c’est sans doute sous l’impulsion du roi de France qu’un scriptorium y est fondé et qu’une production de manuscrits richement enluminés y prend naissance. Cette Bible, commanditée, sans doute, par Saint Louis qui l’aurait ensuite rapportée en France, présente une intéressante tentative de traduction de la Bible en langue vernaculaire et un important cycle d’enluminures où se mêlent style français et iconographie byzantine, reflet du creuset de cultures qu’est alors Saint-Jean d’Acre. Ce manuscrit est entré au XVIIIe siècle dans la collection du fondateur de l’Arsenal, le marquis de Paulmy. Continue reading

Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern (London, 31 Jan-27 Jun 18)

Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB, January 31 – June 27, 2018

Re-opening the Workshop: Medieval to Early Modern

e986ba7faa2ca55eff27486400168447--leather-apron-workshop-designWorkshop and workshop practices represent a core and dynamic research strand in the history of art. This strand encompasses the study of canonical artists but equally of the anonymous producers whose activities can be deduced from the surviving art objects, thanks to ever developing research questions and methodologies. This topic helps us to think about the agents and their networks (artists, patrons and other market consumers), objects and socio-economic factors (making, buying and trading) as well as the broader cultural issues of the transmission of skills and ideas (the movement of artists, objects and imagery). Our lecture series brings together leading experts in medieval and early modern historical periods in and beyond Europe, particular highpoints for the study of workshop practices, and also those researching workshop continuities and changes in later centuries, including digital mediation.

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