Category Archives: Publications

Why Put Artwork All Over Your Document? Querying Illuminated Charters

Why would you want to insert penworked letters, gold-leaf and illuminations on your legal document: company statues, a contract, a grant of land or even an indulgence? This may seem like a waste of time in the modern business context, but in the medieval culture visuals carried their own significance. The messages could be multiple. Look, it’s important, because whoever ordered or produced this document put extra time and materials into it! This document won’t get thrown away, because it’s so beautiful! It’s so rich, it must be authentic. Not to mention the visual shorthand the illuminations would generate for the document’s content. All of which, of course, could be highly misleading, because a forgery can get illuminated just as easily as an original, which I learned through my study of medieval Livonian charters.

Illuminated indulgence at the State Archives in Vienna

Illuminated indulgence at the State Archives in Vienna

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Society for Court Studies research and publication bursaries, deadline 15 March

Munich crownThe Society for Court Studies is launching biannual research and publication bursaries worth £250 each. The bursaries are available to all postgraduate and early career (within six years of PhD award) researchers working in the field of court studies. The deadline for applying is Friday 15 March. To apply for an award please send a statement of up to 250 words outlining your research, and the use to which you would put the award, to Joanna Tinworth (jtinworth@soane.org.uk). For more information, please click here.

New Book: Cut in Alabaster: A Material of Sculpture and its European Traditions, 1330-1530

Cut in Alabaster: A Material of Sculpture and its European Traditions 1330-1530

By Kim Woods

ISBN 978-1-909400-26-9

Cut in Alabaster is the first comprehensive study of alabaster sculpture in Westernk.-wood-book-cover Europe during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance.

While marble is associated with Renaissance Italy, alabaster was the material commonly used elsewhere in Europe and has its own properties, traditions and meanings. It enjoyed particular popularity as a sculptural material during the two centuries 1330-1530, when alabaster sculpture was produced both for indigenous consumption and for export. Focussing especially on England, the Burgundian Netherlands and Spain,  three territories closely linked through trade routes, diplomacy and cultural exchange, this book explores and compares the material practice and visual culture of alabaster sculpture in late medieval Europe. Cut in Alabaster charts sculpture from quarry to contexts of use, exploring practitioners, markets and functions as well as issues of consumption, display and material meanings. It provides detailed examination of tombs, altarpieces and both elite and popular sculpture, ranging from high status bespoke commissions to small, low-cost carvings produced commercially for a more popular clientele.

Kim Woods is a senior lecturer in Art History at the Open University, and a specialist in northern European late Gothic sculpture. She combines an object-based approach with an interest in materials and cultural exchange. Her single-authored book, Imported Images (Donington, 2007), focussed on wood sculpture. Since then she has been working on alabaster. Her Open University distance learning materials include the Renaissance Art Reconsidered volumes (Yale, 2007) and Medieval to Renaissance (Tate publishing, 2012).

Publication – Ambre Vilain, « Imago urbis. Les sceaux de villes au Moyen Âge »

sealsAmbre Vilain, Imago urbis. Les sceaux de villes au Moyen Âge, Paris, Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques, 2018 (L’Art et l’essai, 18). 360 p. | 16,5 × 22 cm | ill. | br. ISBN : ISBN 978-2-7355-0860-0. Prix : 38 euros.

Lorsque, dans la seconde moitié du XIIe siècle, les villes d’Europe septentrionale acquièrent un statut juridique, elles se dotent d’un sceau et doivent choisir une image pour définir leur identité. Parmi les nombreuses représentations auxquelles les villes ont recours, l’architecture tient une place majeure. Le vocabulaire formel utilisé remonte parfois à l’Antiquité, mais dans certains cas les graveurs sont capables de mettre au point des portraits urbains singuliers répondant efficacement à un programme. Ce dernier met en images des concepts comme l’identité collective, les rapports d’autorité ou même la liberté communale. L’auteur entreprend ici de replacer le sceau de ville dans le contexte de sa création, qu’il soit politique, artistique ou sociologique.

CTHS – Imago urbis

CFP: Litany in the Arts and Culture, An Edited Volume

Scholars representing various disciplines are kindly encouraged to submit paper proposals focusing on litanies and their forms and representations in different spheres of culture, including liturgy, literature, music, the visual arts, spirituality, and philosophy. The book Litany in the Arts and Culture edited by Witold Sadowski (University of Warsaw) and Francesco Marsciani (University of Bologna) and composed of selected best papers will be proposed for publication to the editorial board of the Brepols series: Studia Traditionis Theologiae Explorations in Early and Medieval Theology.

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Publication: “The Idea of the Gothic Cathedral. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Meanings of the Medieval Edifice in the Modern Period” By Stephanie a. Glaser (ed.)

RITUS_9The essays in this book focus on various social, political, cultural, and aesthetic meanings ascribed to Gothic cathedrals in Europe in the post-medieval period.

Central to many medieval ritual traditions both sacred and secular, the Gothic cathedral holds a privileged place within the European cultural imagination and experience. Due to the burgeoning historical interest in the medieval past, in connection with the medieval revival in literature, visual arts, and architecture that began in the late seventeenth century and culminated in the nineteenth, the Gothic cathedral took centre stage in numerous ideological discourses. These discourses imposed contemporary political and aesthetic connotations upon the cathedral that were often far removed from its original meaning and ritual use.

This volume presents interdisciplinary perspectives on the resignification of the Gothic cathedral in the post-medieval period. Its contributors, literary scholars and historians of art and architecture, investigate the dynamics of national and cultural movements that turned Gothic cathedrals into symbols of the modern nation-state, highlight the political uses of the edifice in literature and the arts, and underscore the importance of subjectivity in literary and visual representations of Gothic architecture. Contributing to scholarship in historiography, cultural history, intermedial and interdisciplinary studies, as well as traditional disciplines, the volume resonates with wider perspectives, especially relating to the reuse of artefacts to serve particular ideological ends.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Medieval Edifice in the Modern Period — STEPHANIE A. GLASER

Part I — The Cathedral and the Nation

The Moorish-Gothic Cathedral: Invention, Reality, or Weapon? — MATILDE MATEO

Acting Medieval, Thinking Modern, Feeling German — MICHAEL J. LEWIS

L’Histoire d’une cathédrale: Viollet-le-Duc’s Nationalist Pedagogy — ELIZABETH EMERY

The Gothic Cathedral and Historiographies of Space — KEVIN D. MURPHY

Part II — The Cathedral between Art and Politics

The Anarchist Cathedral — MAYLIS CURIE

L’Imaginaire de la cathédrale à l’épreuve de la Grande Guerre — JOËLLE PRUNGNAUD

Church, Nation, and ‘The Stones of France’ — RONALD R. BERNIER

Part III — The Cathedral in the Arts

Patterns of Behaviour  Architectural Representation in the Romantic Period — KLAUS NIEHR

Frozen Music and Symphonies in Stone. Gothic Architecture and the Musical Analogy: Intersecting Trajectories in German and French Thought from the Eighteenth through the Nineteenth Centuries — STEPHANIE A. GLASER

Délires opiomanes et gothicomanes de Thomas De Quincey à Wilfred Sätty — JEAN-MICHEL LENIAUD

The Cathedral as Time Machine: Art, Architecture, and Religion — RICHARD UTZ

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Index