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Conference: Scaling the Middle Ages: Size and Scale in Medieval Art, The Courtauld Institute, London, 8 February 2019

image-1024x745The Courtauld Institute of Art 24th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Student Colloquium 

Scaling the Middle Ages: Size and scale in medieval art 

10:00–18:00 Friday 8 February 2019 (with registration from 9:30) 

Lecture Theatre 1, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, London WC1X 9EW 

Size mattered in medieval art. Whether building a grand gothic cathedral or carving a minute boxwood prayer bead, precisely how big to make it was a principal concern for medieval artists, their patrons, and audiences. 

Examples of simple one-upmanship between the castles and palaces of lords and kings and the churches and cathedrals of abbots and bishops are numerous. How big to make it was a principal concern for both patrons and makers of medieval art. 

Scale could be manipulated to dramatic effect in the manufacture of manuscripts and the relative disposition of elements within their decorative programmes. Divine proportions – of the Temple of Solomon or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – were evoked in the specific measurements and configuration of contemporary buildings and decisions were made based on concern with numbers and number sequences. 

Left: North elevation (detail), Sainte Chapelle, Paris (1239-1248). Right: Reliquary of Saints Maxien, Lucien, and Julien (Paris, 1261-1262) Musée nationale du Moyen Âge, Paris. 

In our age of viewing through digital surrogates, the Courtauld Institute of Art’s 24th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Student Colloquium invites its speakers to consider new approaches to issues of size and relative scale in relation to the making, meanings, and study of medieval art. 

The Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium offers the opportunity for research students at all levels from universities across the UK and abroad to present and promote their research. 

Organised by Teresa Lane (The Courtauld Institute of Art) and Oliver Mitchell (The Courtauld Institute of Art) with the generous support of Michael Carter and the Consortium for Arts and Humanities in South-East England.

Programme: Scaling the Middle Ages: Size and scale in medieval art 

9:30-10:00 Registration – Front hall 

10:00-10:10 Welcome – Teresa Lane & Oliver Mitchell (The Courtauld Institute of Art) 

SESSION 1: ARCHITECTURAL MINIATURES Chaired by Giosue Fabiano (The Courtauld Institute of Art) 

10:10-10:30 Sylvia Alvares-Correa (University of Oxford): The use of architecture in a 15th century panorama of the Passion of Christ in Jerusalem: structuring composition or ideology? 

10:30-10:50 Niko Munz (University of York): Architectural ventriloquism in pre-Eyckian panel painting 

10:50-11:10 Antonella Ventura (Independent scholar) Playing with scales: Relationships between monumental architectures and reliquary structures in Umbria and Apulia in the fourteenth century 

11:10-11:30 Discussion 

11:30-12:00 Tea & coffee break (Research Forum Seminar Room, Floor 2) 

SESSION 2: SCALE MODELS Chaired by Bella Radenovic (The Courtauld Institute of Art) 

12:00-12:20 Angela Websdale (University of Kent): Replication and Reproduction: Evoking the Cult of St Edward the Confessor and the Visual Culture of Westminster Abbey and Palace at St Mary’s Church, Faversham 

12:20-12:40 Francesco Capitummino (Independent scholar): The ambo of the Capella Palatina in Palermo, a reduced scale of the Cefalù prototype 

12:40-13:00 Discussion 

13:00-14:00 Lunch (provided for speakers and chairs – Seminar Room 9, Floor 2) 

SESSION 3: THE SCALE OF DEVOTION Chaired by Chloe Kellow (The Courtauld Institute of Art) 

14:00-14:20 Sheridan Zabel Rawlings (University of Manchester): Scale matters: The intentional use of size to depict Christ in John Rylands Library’s Latin MS 344 

14:20-14:40 Matko Marušić (University of Zagreb): Medieval crosses: Scale, typology, materials 

14:40-15:00 Harry Prance (The Courtauld Institute of Art): Miniature materials/ concrete connections: The spaces of Byzantine liturgical objects 

15:00-15:20 Discussion 

15:20-15:50 Tea & coffee break 

SESSION 4: AMPLIFICATION & DISSEMINATION Chaired by Laura Melin (The Courtauld Institute of Art) 

15:50-16:10 Charlotte Wytema (The Courtauld Institute of Art), From abstract idea to scaled-up image: The case of the Virgin with fifteen symbols 

16:10-16:30 Nicolas Flory (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Scaling Patronage in the Duchy of Burgundy: Isabella of Portugal and her Carthusian donations 

16:30-16:50 Discussion 

16:50-17:00 Closing remarks by Professor Joanna Cannon (The Courtauld Institute of Art) 

17:00 Reception With special thanks to Michael Carter for his generous support 

 

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CFP: Scaling the Middle Ages: Size and Scale in Medieval Art, 24th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, February 8, 2019

The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 24th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium invites speakers to consider issues and opportunities encountered by medieval artists and viewers in relation to size and scale.

Deadline: 16 November 2018

From micro-architectural reliquaries and minute boxwood prayer beads to colossal sculpture and the built spaces of grand cathedrals and civic structures, size mattered in medieval art. Examples of simple one-upmanship between the castles and palaces of lords and kings and the churches and cathedrals of abbots and bishops are numerous. How big to make it was a principal concern for both patrons and makers of medieval art. Scale could be manipulated to dramatic effect in the manufacture of manuscripts and the relative disposition of elements within their decorative programmes. Divine proportions – of the Temple of Solomon or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – were evoked in the specific measurements and configuration of contemporary buildings and decisions were made based on concern with numbers and number sequences.

Inspired by the ‘Russian doll’ relationship between the Sainte Chapelle in Paris and its micro-architectural miniature in the form of a gilded reliquary in the Musée de Cluny, Scaling the Middle Ages seeks to explore a range of questions surrounding proportion, scale, size, and measurement in relation to medieval art and architecture. The Sainte Chapelle, built by the saint-king of France Louis IX to house the relics of Christ’s Passion, is itself often described as an over-sized reliquary turned inside-out. The Cluny reliquary – made to house relics of Saints Maxien, Lucien, and Julien held within the chapel – both complicates and compliments that comparison, at once shrinking the chapel back down to size through close architectural quotation of its form in miniature and pointing the viewer’s attention back to that same, larger space. The relationship between these two artefacts raises a host of questions, including:

Scale and making

  • How were ideas about size and scale communicated between patrons, architects, craftspeople, and artists? In an age without universal standardised units of measurement, how did craftsmen negotiate problems of scale and proportion?
  • How were the measurements of a medieval building determined? What techniques did architects, masons, and artists use to determine the scale of their work?

Scale and meaning

  • What effects were achieved and what responses evoked by the manipulation of scale, from the minute to the massive, in medieval art?
  • What was the role of proportion and scale in architectural ‘copies’ or quotations?
  • What representational problems were encountered by artists approaching out-sized subjects, such as giants?
  • How was scale manipulated in order to communicate hierarchy or relative importance in medieval art?
  • How did size and scale function in competition between patrons or communities in their artistic commissions and built environments?

Problems of scale

  • What, if anything, happened when something was the wrong size? When was something too big, or too small? And how were such problems solved by patrons and makers?
  • How does the disembodied viewing of medieval art through digital surrogates distort or assist in our perception of scale?
  • How can modern measuring techniques and digital technology enhance our understanding of medieval objects and buildings?

Applicants to the colloquium are encouraged to explore these and related issues from a diverse range of methodologies, analysing buildings and objects from across the Middle Ages (broadly understood in geographical and chronological terms). The Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium offers an opportunity for research students at all levels from universities across the UK and abroad to present, discuss and promote their research.

To apply, please send a proposal of up to 250 words for a 20-minute paper, together with a CV, to teresa.lane@courtauld.ac.uk and oliver.mitchell@courtauld.ac.uk no later than 16 November 2018.

Organised by Oliver Mitchell and Teresa Lane (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Click here for more information:

CFP: 2 sessions at the AAH Annual Conference, Courtauld Institute of Art and King’s College London, 5 – 7 April 2018

350px-hispanomoresqueCall for Papers: Medieval Eurabia: Religious Crosspollinations in Architecture, Art and Material Culture during the High and Late Middle Ages (1000-1600)
Deadline: November 1, 2017

The coexistence of Christianity and Islam in the Medieval Mediterranean led to a transfer of knowledge in architecture and material culture which went well beyond religious and geographical boundaries. The use of Islamic objects in Christian contexts, the conversion of churches into mosques and the mobility of craftsmen are only some manifestations of this process. Although studies beginning with Avinoam Shalem’s Islam Christianized (1996), have dealt extensively with Islamic influence in the West and European influence in the Islamic Mediterranean, sacred objects, and material culture more generally, have been relatively neglected. From crosses found in Mosques, to European-Christian coins with pseudo/-shahada inscriptions, medieval material culture is rife with visual evidence of the two faiths co-existing in both individual objects and monuments.
This panel invites papers from scholars working on intercultural exchange in art, architecture and material culture. We particularly welcome contributions that focus on sacred objects that have been diverted or ‘converted’ to a new purpose, whether inside or outside an explicitly religious context.
Papers should present original research, which expands the boundaries of knowledge and which the scholars would like to be considered for publication. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words long. Panel organised by Sami De Giosa, Oxford University and Nikolaos Vryzidis, British School at Athens. Email: aahchristianmuslimpanel2018@gmail.com

maesta700CFP: Art and Law: Objects and Spaces as Legal Actors
DeadlineNovember 6, 2017

Art history has long investigated the role of the law, from issues of visual evidence and legal aesthetics to ideas of artistic originality and authorship. But recent scholarship has increasingly drawn attention to the ways in which art can participate in the law’s actual operation. This session aims to broaden these investigations by tracing the long history of artistic intrusions into legal life, focusing on moments when the objects and spaces of art and architecture, broadly defined, have functioned as legal actors in their own right.
The session promises to explore these ideas through interdisciplinary and cross-chronological case studies from researchers, artists, and practitioners both in art history and in parallel fields such as law, journalism, and the social sciences. How have aesthetic objects past and present actively shaped the production and execution of the law as witnesses or juridical subjects in themselves? How have artists approached the courtroom as a site of artistic production and intervention? And in what ways has aesthetic production sought to short-circuit legal structures or forward alternative, even utopian, legal systems? Such questions have taken on new urgency in light of recent political and constitutional crises worldwide.

Papers might address, amongst other topics:
– historical and contemporary objects that dispense justice
– signs, emblems, or inscriptions that enforced legal boundaries or enacted legal codes
– artworks framed as legal victims, or which have been tried in absentia of criminals
– objects and theories of legal proof
– architectural actors as part of the fabric of legal drama
– art historical or theoretical texts investigating legal production and evidence-gathering and witnessing as forms of aesthetic production and research

Proposals of 250 words, accompanied by a short academic CV, should be sent to the two session organisers no later than 6 November 2017:
Dr Jack Hartnell (University of East Anglia, UK)
j.hartnell@uea.ac.uk
Dr Kevin Lotery (Sarah Lawrence College, USA)
klotery@sarahlawrence.edu

BBC’s The Essay on medieval Islamic architecture

This major essay series continues as leading thinkers and practitioners share their knowledge and passion for the Golden Age of Islam. Dr. Sussan Babaie from the Courtauld Institute is an expert in Islamic architecture. She turns the spotlight on two significant monuments of the early medieval period in the Islamic world: the 10th century royal mausoleaum of the Samanid dynasty in Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan and the 11th to 12th century developments in the great congregational mosque of Isfahan, in central Iran, built under the patronage of the Seljuq dynasty.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03t0dc0