Tag Archives: book publication

New Book: Flamboyant Architecture and Medieval Technicality: The Rise of Artistic Consciousness at the End of Middle Ages (c. 1400 – c. 1530), Jean-Marie Guillouët

Flamboyant Architecture and Medieval Technicality: The Rise of Artistic Consciousness at the End of Middle Ages (c. 1400 – c. 1530)

By Jean-Marie Guillouët

xviii + 200 p., 70 b/w ills, 43 colour ill., 216 x 280 mm, 2019

ISBN 978-2-503-57729-6

More Info: http://bit.ly/2lB7Y76

This book seeks to further our understanding of the socio-genesis of artistic modernity by turning to microhistory. It explores a late-medieval decorative procedure that emerged and spread in northern and central France from the early fifteenth century to the start of the following century. Using the well-known miniature, the Building of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem from the fifteenth-century codex of Les Antiquités judaïques as a starting point, this study deals with architecture and technical knowledge of builders. This investigation unpacks and reveals many aspects of the technical and visual culture of late medieval craftsmen and artists. The virtuosic skills these artisans displayed are worthy of inclusion in the development of technical practices of Flamboyant Gothic architecture. They also reflect broader cultural and social configurations, which go far beyond the history of building. This micro-historical perspective on what can be called “hyper-technical” Gothic contributes to our appreciation of the role of technical mastery in establishing social hierarchies and artistic individuation processes during the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern period.

Jean-Marie Guillouët was trained at the Sorbonne (Paris-IV) where he began his teaching career. Since 2002, he is a professor at the University of Nantes and was also in charge of the Medieval Studies section of the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), between 2008 and 2012. His principal field is fourteenth- and fifteenth-century sculpture and architecture in France and Portugal, but he also works on artistic and cultural interchanges in Gothic Europe. He has recently published several studies relating to microarchitecture in flamboyant Gothic and late medieval construction techniques as well as several books and papers on artistic production of the Late Middle Ages with a particular focus on sculpture and architecture. He is currently working on the social and cultural history of the technical gesture in late medieval craftsmanship. Since 2016, he is the scientific secretary of the Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA).

Table of Contents


  1. TechnicalSavoir-Faireas Historical Topic
    Observations on a well-known Illumination
    Nantes, Tours and the Master of the Munich Boccaccio
    Representation of a technical Gesture and Jean Fouquet’s Heritage
    A French 15th-Century sculptural savoir-faire
    Late Medieval Gothic Building Sites and Technical Innovations
    First Conclusions
  2. Slate Inlay: A Technical History
    Functional Constraints
    Hollowed out blocks for Inlay
    The Practice of Preparatory Tracing
    Installation in the Archivolts
    An Operational Change at the Beginning of the 15th Century
    An Interruption in the History of Technique: Auxerre
    The Consequences of a new stereotomic System
    Choices of Stone Types
    Conclusions on Implementation
  3. Social History of a Skill
    Traces and Remains of a Valued Procedure
    The Practical Geometry of a Building Site at the End of the Middle Ages and its Tools
    The Tools and their Uses
    The Prevalence of the Square
    The insignological Uses of the Compass
    The Incisions at Tours and Rouen as Illustrations of Construction Practices
    Workers with Stone: social History of a Technique
    Masons and Sculptors
    Stone-cutters and Carvers of Images
    The Socio-Professional Distinction of the Creators of the Canopies – the Case of Bourges
    Technical One-upmanship and Informal Hierarchies at a Building Site
  4. Microarchitecture and Represented Space
    Architecture and Represented Space
    Towards 1400 in Central/Middle France: a Rupture
    Microarchitecture as a Locus
    Slate Inlay and the Depth of Fictive Space
    Baldachins, Canopies and Late-Medieval Sacral Regimes
    Monumental Syntax toward “Architectural Wit”
  5. Virtuosity,Varietasand Captatio benevolentiae
    Slate or Glass Insertion, Admiratio and Varietas
    Material and Colour Contrasts during the Late Middle Ages
    An Incunabula of c. 1400
    Slate Inlay as a “Technology of Enchantment”
    Late Gothic Art: A Hyper-Technical Cultural Regime
  6. Conclusion


Colour Plates

New Books: ‘Il Maestro di Nola’ and ‘Medieval manuscripts: Ghent University Library’

Il Maestro di Nola. Un vertice impareggiabile del tardogotico a Napoli e in Campania, by EMANUELE ZAPPASOD

ISBN: 978-8874613465

En los últimos años se ha puesto de manifiesto, cada vez con más claridad, que el patrimonio artístico del sur de Italia puede compararse, por la calidad, importancia y carga poética, de igual a igual con las obras producidas por otros centros cuyo valor ha sido ponderado desde hace mucho tiempo por una larga tradición histórica.

La Galería Sarti siempre ha mantenido vivo el enfoque en el arte de esta tierra llena de creatividad, que en la época medieval y renacentista constituyó un animado cruce de diferentes culturas y el centro de una espesa circulación mediterránea que incluía Sicilia, Cerdeña, Liguria, pero también Francia y España. Una similar pluralidad de influencias que se mezclan con la tradición local ha fomentado el nacimiento de un lenguaje fascinante, rico de una abrumadora expresividad y, al mismo tiempo, de una elegancia refinada.

El libro -con el estudio específico de Emanuele Zappasodi y el de Virginia Caramico sobre el contexto artístico del Reino de Nápoles entre los siglos XIV y XV – presenta el redescubrimiento de una hermosa pintura, hasta ahora desconocida, del pintor conocido como Maestro di Nola, un raro artífice que, a juzgar por la alta calidad de sus obras, supuso realmente la cumbre incomparable del gótico tardío en Nápoles y Campania.

El volumen -destinado a ser en el futuro un valioso punto de referencia para futuros estudios- permite dibujar con mayor claridad la trayectoria del artista y arrojar nueva luz sobre algunos episodios importantes de la pintura a finales del gótico en Campania.

More information here.


Medieval manuscripts. Ghent University Library

Medieval manuscripts: Ghent University Library, by Albert Derolez
ISBN: 9789461613813 ISBN-13: 9789461613813


This is the first catalogue to provide metadata on all medieval manuscripts in the collection of Ghent University Library. The catalogue offers full descriptions of texts and provides codicological data for all handwritten books and archival documents on parchment or paper, including fragments, dating prior to c. 1530. Giving all the essential information in a nutshell and in a uniform way opens numerous ways to new research with these unique relics. Albert Derolez (1934) is Curator emeritus of Manuscripts and Early Printed Books at Ghent University Library. He taught for many years palaeography and codicology at the Free Universities of Brussels and at several American universities. President of the Comité International de Paléographie Latine 1995-2005. Editor-in-Chief of the series Corpus Catalogorum Belgii. The Medieval Booklists of the Southern Low Countries (1994-2016). Editor of the Liber Floridus of Lambert of Saint-Omer (1968), the Liber divinorum operum of Hildegard of Bingen (1996), and other medieval texts. Author of books on medieval libraries, codicology and palaeography.

More information here.

Book roundup: New titles in English

9781472457813.jpgLYNN F. JACOBS. Thresholds and Boundaries: Liminality in Netherlandish Art (1385-1530)Routledge, 2017, 256 p.
ISBN: 978-1472457813

lthough liminality has been studied by scholars of medieval and seventeenth-century art, the role of the threshold motif in Netherlandish art of the late fourteenth, fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries — this late medieval/early ‘early modern’ period — has been much less fully investigated.  Thresholds and Boundaries: Liminality in Netherlandish Art (1385-1550) addresses this issue through a focus on key case studies (Sluter’s portal of the Chartreuse de Champmol and the calendar pages of the Limbourg Brothers’ Très Riches Heures), and on important formats (altarpieces and illuminated manuscripts).  Lynn F. Jacobs examines how the visual thresholds established within Netherlandish paintings, sculptures, and manuscript illuminations become sites where artists could address relations between life and death, aristocrat and peasant, holy and profane, and man and God—and where artists could exploit the “betwixt and between” nature of the threshold to communicate, paradoxically, both connections and divisions between these different states and different worlds. Building on literary and anthropological interpretations of liminality, this book demonstrates how the exploration of boundaries in Netherlandish art infused the works with greater meaning.  The book’s probing of the — often ignored –meanings of the threshold motif casts new light on key works of Netherlandish art.


manuscrits-illuminats-la-tardor-de-l-edat-mitjana-i-els-inicis-del-renaixementJOSEFINA PLANAS BADENAS (ed.). Manuscrits il·luminats. La tardor de l’Edat Mitjana i els inicis del RenaixementUniversitat de Lleida, 2017, 204 p.
ISBN: 978-8491440086

L’interès d’aquesta recopilació d’estudis recau en el fet d’analitzar l’elaboració del llibre miniat durant un període cronològic, que inclou les darreres manifestacions gòtiques i els primers còdexs elaborats, d’acord amb les pautes formals del Renaixement. La línia divisòria que separa els dos períodes esmentats no es regeix per una cronologia estricta, sinó que en funció de la situació particular de cada un dels estats europeus es manifesta la persistència de la tradició gòtica o es percep la oració del nou llenguatge formal creat a la Toscana. Aquesta exibilitat ha permès reconstruir la creació de manuscrits il·luminats al llarg del segle XV i principis del XVI, ponderant la varietat de propostes estètiques que van conviure entre si, durant aquest període. L’anàlisi de diversos centres de producció artística i del paper protagonista dut a terme per destacats promotors de l’envergadura de la reialesa, l’aristocràcia castellana o la cúria papal, enriqueixen aquesta visió de conjunt. Finalment, l’estudi dels manuscrits elaborats a Roma, durant el Duecento, planteja una reflexió sobre la reinterpretació del món clàssic, amb totes les connotacions iconogràfiques i ideològiques que va implicar la recuperació d’aquest llegat en una fase prèvia a la gran eclosió del Renaixement.


9789042934153C. CURRIE. Van Eyck Studies: Papers Presented at the Eighteenth Symposium for the Study of Underdrawing and Technology in PaintingPeeters, 2017, 598 p.
ISBN: 978-9042934153

Since Paul Coreman’s ground-breaking L’Agneau mystique au laboratoire in 1953, the Ghent Altarpiece, masterwork of the Van Eyck brothers, has been a major focus of research at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA, Brussels). Some sixty years later, in the wake of a new conservation campaign in which KIK-IRPA is again playing the leading role, the art of Hubert and Jan van Eyck took centre stage at the Symposium XVIII for the Study of Underdrawing and Technology in Painting (Brussels, 19-21 September 2012). The event was organised by the KIK-IRPA and the Centre for the Study of the Flemish Primitives in collaboration with the Laboratoire d’étude des œuvres d’art par des méthodes scientifiques (Université catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve), and Illuminare – Centre for the Study of Medieval Art (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven).

The Ghent Altarpiece and the oeuvre of Jan van Eyck continue to captivate modern viewers and still arouse tremendous interest among art historians. The fascination with Eyckian art, with all its dazzling illusionistic effects and iconographic finesse, is every bit as fresh and challenging as it was six centuries ago.

During three days of presentations and intense discussions, eminent specialists from all over the world attempted to fanthom the secrets of Van Eyck’s success. They debated the issues from a variety of different standpoints, and shed new light on thorny topics such as attribution, iconography and painting technique.

This book captures the variety of thirty-seven papers presented at the symposium and provides state-of-the-art knowledge on one of the most significant painters of all time. It should be read in conjunction with the widely acclaimed website “Closer to Van Eyck”, which offers the scientific imagery of the Ghent Altarpiece in glorious high resolution.

Book roundup: New items in English, French, Dutch and Italian

Monstres-medievaux_couv_c-300x400DAMIEN KEMPF, MARIA KEMPF. Monstres médiévauxIntervalles, 2017, 95 p.
ISBN: 978-2369560616

Plus de 100 illustrations, dont de nombreuses inédites, tirées des fonds prodigieux de la British Library et du J. Paul Getty Museum.

Les monstres envahissent nos rêves : effrayants, laids, narquois ou sympathiques, ils peuplent notre inconscient. Même s’ils appartiennent à un monde différent, ils ne cessent de nous rendre visite, de se tenir à nos côtés.
L’engouement de plusieurs générations pour Star WarsHarry Potter ou pour toutes les épopées qui reviennent en force dans les romans, les films de science-fiction ou la bande dessinée témoigne que ces créatures qui ont donné lieu à des œuvres d’une richesse inouïe et d’une imagination débordante au Moyen Âge continuent à fasciner, à nourrir notre soif de fantastique.
Les manuscrits médiévaux regorgent d’enluminures prodigieuses où les artistes ont donné libre cours à leur créativité pour donner corps à ces êtres légendaires, dragons, hommes à tête de chiens, licornes, sirènes et autres démons. Ces œuvres nous apportent un éclairage précieux sur la société médiévale – sa conception de la nature et du monde, de la religion et des mœurs, et son imaginaire, dans lequel les monstres occupent un rôle de premier plan.
Il était grand temps de faire sortir de bibliothèques parfois inaccessibles au public toutes ces images de monstres qui ont fait partie intégrante de la culture médiévale, où se mêlaient crainte de Dieu, peur de l’enfer, mais aussi un goût pour le surnaturel et pour des mondes inconnus. Doit-on vraiment s’étonner que nombre d’entre eux nous paraissent étrangement familiers ?


foto01PIETER ROELOFS. Johan Maelwael, NAI Publishers, 2017, 126 p.
ISBN: 978-9462083790

Johan Maelwael (ca. 1370-1415) is de eerst bekende Nederlandse schilder. Ruim zeshonderd jaar geleden was hij een van de meest succesvolle kunstenaars in West-Europa. Maelwael groeide op in Nijmegen, de oudste stad van Nederland, gelegen in het hertogdom Gelre. Rond 1400 vierde hij zijn hoogtijdagen in Dijon, een belangrijk artistiek centrum in Europa. Als geliefd hofschilder en kamerdienaar van de machtige Bourgondische hertogen Filips de Stoute en Jan zonder Vrees bouwde hij daar aan een breed oeuvre. .

Deze publicatie beschrijft Maelwaels leven, zijn werk en zijn plaats in de geschiedenis en biedt hiermee een eerste introductie aan liefhebbers en nieuwe inzichten aan specialisten. De met Maelwael in verband gebrachte schilderijen worden getoond samen met een rijkdom aan laatmiddeleeuwse kunstschatten: schilderijen, rijkgedecoreerde handschriften, edelsmeedwerk en sculpturen van getalenteerde tijdgenoten onder wie zijn neven de gebroeders Van Limburg, Jean de Beaumetz, André Beauneveu, Henri Bellechose, Colart de Laon, Claes Sluter en Claes de Werve. Zo ontstaat een beeld van de veelzijdige artistieke praktijk waarbinnen Maelwael werkzaam was. De schoonheid en de mystieke betekenis van deze eeuwenoude objecten zullen de moderne lezer nog steeds verwonderen en intrigeren.


lorenzetti ambrogio mono_190A. BAGNOLI, R. BARTALINI. Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Catalogo della mostraSilvana, 2017, 512 p.
ISBN: 978-8836637287

Ambrogio Lorenzetti (Siena, notizie dal 1319 al 1348) fu uno degli artisti più importanti nell’intera Europa tardo-medievale e grazie ai Commentarii di Lorenzo Ghiberti divenne presto famoso presso gli scrittori d’arte.
È universalmente celebre in virtù degli affreschi nel Palazzo Pubblico di Siena, con le allegorie e gli effetti del Buono e del Cattivo Governo. Ma Ambrogio non è solo l’autore di quell’eccezionale capolavoro: gli si devono, infatti, anche straordinari dipinti su tavola e altri cicli di affreschi che non hanno goduto della stessa considerazione.
Il volume affronta l’intera vicenda artistica del pittore: le opere conservate e quelle perdute, il loro linguaggio figurativo e i programmi iconografici, la destinazione e la funzione dei dipinti, la loro conservazione, la loro fortuna storiografica.


Call for Essays: Melusine’s Footprint: Tracing the Legacy of a Medieval Myth (edited volume)

Call for Essays:
Melusine’s Footprint: Tracing the Legacy of a Medieval Myth
Deadline: 6 January 2015

Mélusine_allaitant_BnF_Français_24383_fol._30While the late 14th c French prose romance by Jean d’Arras arguably remains the earliest and most-translated version of the story of Melusine—in which he envisions her as a foundress of the powerful Lusignan family—the figure of the fairy woman cursed with a half-human, half-serpent form traveled widely through the legends of medieval and early modern Europe. From Thüring von Ringoltingen’s German iteration of 1456, which gave rise to the popular chapbook, and related folktales that brought Melusine decisively to the European medieval imaginary, Melusine’s variants surface in countries and centuries beyond. One finds her entwined in the ancestry of several noble houses across Europe; a Melisende ruled as Queen of Jerusalem; and the philosopher Paracelsus writes of melusines as water sprites in search of a soul by means of human marriage. Regal serpent women proliferate in carvings and paintings decorating churches, castles, villas, and public buildings throughout Europe, and a cri de Mélusine, in the story the signal of her castle’s changing fortunes, entered the language as a common phrase. Today one finds Melusine in film, novels, comic books, the Starbucks logo, and as a character in the video game Final Fantasy. In short, the figure of Melusine, often compared to ancient goddesses and other fantastic creatures with serpentine forms, was and remains a powerful, multivalent symbol condensing the fears, myths, and cultural fantasies of a historical  period into a potent visual image.

We seek to assemble a volume of essays that examine the impact and legacy of the figure of Melusine in art, history, literature, and fields beyond. We envision a collection that charts the evolution of and investigates the many representative instances of this figure over time and space, with analyses that give consideration, in whole or in part, to the following questions:

  • What particular valence does the figure of the half-serpent Melusine hold for the time, place, and media in which she appears? How has the figure changed over time, and what forces have contributed to these changes?
  • How does the particular venue in which Melusine appears articulate a cultural approach to and embodiment of female power and its exercise?
  • How do the various installations of Melusine deal with the transgressiveness of her hybrid form, and the transformations which are an integral part of her story?
  • What about this figure resonates across time and space, and what meanings herald a particular historical moment?
  • What can Melusine teach us about reading history (or art, or indeed any sort of cultural artifact) and remaining open to the ways in which readers continually recreate meaning each time a  story is retold?

While any and all analyses that focus on Melusine will be given full consideration, essays that approach Melusines outside the work of Jean d’Arras are particularly welcome. We invite methodologies that are historically researched or theoretically grounded as well as descriptive in nature. Please send a proposal, including a short list  of projected sources, of 500-800 words along with a very brief CV to Misty Urban atmru4@cornell.edu by January 6, 2015. Final essays of 6-25 pages will be expected by December 31, 2015.

Call for Chapter Proposals: Singing Death (edited book volume)

Call for Chapter Proposals:
Singing Death (edited volume)
Deadline: 30 September (submission of abstracts)

Chapter proposals are invited for an edited volume entitled ‘Singing Death’. The editors are in preliminary negotiations with Ashgate Press for a collection of essays provisionally entitled ‘Singing Death’ and we would like to invite chapter proposals for this project. ‘Singing Death’ arises out of a day-long symposium and concert combined, generously supported by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. This took place at the University of Melbourne, 17th August, 2013: http://www.historyofemotions.org.au/media/89722/singing-death_poster_web.pdf  

The program alRequiem Mass Initialternated academic papers on the music, art and literature of death with performances of some of the music associated with it. The editors would like to extend the work of the symposium with a collection of essays focussing on death and music. We want to offer readers an encounter with music as a distinct discourse of death, another way of speaking death; the collection will be accompanied by a recording of the music involved with each of its chapters. We aim, most of all, to bring into focus how death figures through music for the living and the dying, how it taps into the experience of all those for whom death comes close.

Death is an unanswerable question for humanity, literally the question that always remains unanswered (although so many answers are offered). It is ‘the question of questions’ as Federico García Lorca put it, since it lies beyond human experience. The music of death represents one of the most profound ways in which, nevertheless, we struggle to accommodate death within the scope of the living by giving a voice to death and the dead. We want the book to engage with the profound disturbance that death presents to the living and how music expresses and/or responds to that disturbance.

The field of enquiry is very broad. We welcome proposals from any intellectual discipline that can engage with the nexus of music and death. Musicological expertise is not essential. Music, like poetry, operates in a different way from ordinary discourse; it acts as well as speaks and it can have profound and complex effects for listeners. We want our collection to address the difference that music, vocal and instrumental, makes to all those confronted with death. We also welcome proposals from those practically involved with the question, for instance music therapists involved in palliative care or grief counselling, or those who organise or perform music associated with death in some way.

Below are some possible topics for research. The list is far from exhaustive, nor is it intended to be exclusive. Each topic could also be subdivided many times:

  • music and suicide (some songs have been blamed for causing suicide, some songs commemorate a death by suicide)
  • music and murder
  • music and the dying
  • music and mourning
  • music and spiritualism (some people believe that the dead are communicating with them through music)
  • music and the afterlife
  • music, death and religion
  • music, death and the law
  • music and the revenant (ghosts, vampires, zombies, etc.)
  • death in various musical genres, for instance opera, death metal, folk music.
  • music in palliative care

Proposals should include:

  1. An abstract no longer than 500 words
  2. 3-10 keywords
  3. short CV, no more than 10 lines which can include a link to a website

Please indicate to the editors what music you wish to accompany your contribution and whether you can provide it. Recordings can be of live music or of pre-recorded music (permissions will be required when chapter is submitted). Please send to Helen Dell and Helen Hickey. See email addresses below.

Important dates:

  • 30th September—submission of abstracts
  • 30th October—notification of acceptance or otherwise
  • 30th January—deadline for submission of paper
  • 30th May—notification of acceptance of paper
  • 30th June—submission of revised version

Editors: Dr. Helen Dell and Dr. Helen Hickey, University of Melbourne, Australia, 3052. Y6h


Helen Dell:
Helen Dell’s research is in the fields of music and literature, especially when joined together as song. Her PhD thesis, on desire in French medieval song was published in 2008 as Desire by Gender and Genre in Trouvère Song, by Boydell and Brewer. Since then Helen has been conducting research into recent receptions and inventions of medieval music. She has now finished a second book, for Cambria Press, entitled: Music and the Medievalism of Nostalgia: Fantasies of Medieval Music in the English-speaking World, 1945 to 2010. Recent research has centred on the music of death, from which last year’s symposium, ‘Singing Death’ and the current planned collection have sprung. More on Helen’s research can be seen at her website: http://www.helendell.com
Email: helendell@internode.on.net

Helen Hickey:
Helen Hickey completed her PhD thesis on the Everyday in early fifteenth-century English literature. She is interested in the ways history and literature intersect with medicine and materiality. Her most recent publication is an article in an edited collection, Theorising Legal Personhood in Pre-modern England (Brill) on the Inquisitions of Insanity and medieval literature. She is a member of the International Health Humanities Network.
Email: helenhickey@bigpond.com