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.
Illuminierte Urkunden. Beiträge aus Diplomatik, Kunstgeschichte und Digital Humanities/Illuminated Charters. Essays from Diplomatic, Art History and Digital Humanities
2018, Ca. 520 S.
116 s/w- und 75 farb. Abb.
23.5 x 15.5 cm
Preis: ca. € 70.00 [D] | ca. € 70.00 [A]
Illuminierte Urkunden sind lange Zeit als Stiefkinder der Forschung behandelt worden. Nicht zuletzt durch den Einsatz digitaler Hilfsmittel sind sie im vergangenen Jahrzehnt zunehmend in das Licht der Öffentlichkeit getreten. Das neu geweckte Forschungsinteresse konzentriert sich auf die veränderte Performativität von Urkunden durch den Zusatz von Schmuckelementen. Der reich bebilderte Band präsentiert Aufsätze von Forscherinnen und Forschern aus elf Ländern, die illuminierte Urkunden aus den unterschiedlichen Blickwinkeln ihrer Disziplinen untersuchen.
The book is an interdisciplinary work in diplomatics and art history, focusing on the form and function of illumination in historical documents, notably charters. The contributions in German and English are based on the conference papers delivered at the international conference on Illuminated Charters as part of the Illuminierte Urkunden project conducted at the University of Graz.
#OTD: St Gregory the Great is Elected as Pope
St Gregory, Miracles Stories, and the Circulation of Late Medieval Imagery
On this day in 590, Gregory, the son of a Roman senator, was elected as Pope at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Often called Gregory the Great because of his many influential writings and liturgical reforms of the Mass, Gregory is often considered to be the first medieval pope. The last of the Latin Fathers, he was responsible for sending St Augustine of Canterbury to England in 597. Upon his death in 604, he was almost immediately made a saint of the Church. Up until 1969, his feast day was celebrated on 12 March (the day of his death). Due to scheduling issues with the Lenten liturgy, his feast day was moved to 3 September, the day it is said he was elected pope.
Gold Against the Body: Gold Surfaces and Their Limits, Medieval to Early Modern
Alison Wright, UCL
5:00pm, 43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD
For the last Murray Seminar of the year, Alison Wright of UCL presents a paper entitled Gold against the Body: gold surfaces and their limits, medieval to early modern.
The myth, famously invoked in Goldfinger, of the human body suffocated by being coated in gold exemplifies the fascination and danger attached to the idea of an ‘excess’ of gold, especially in respect to human skin. In this lecture the slippery boundaries of when, where and for whom gold surfaces might be deemed excessive will be explored in relation to European art, especially Italian, of the 14th to early 16th centuries. The discussion of gold in representation is generally dominated for this period by Alberti’s overturning of the value of gilding on the painted surface. This talk will argue rather for the multiple economies of gold in art with reference to broader visual and material traditions, and focus especially on gold’s complex relation to the human body.
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.
The Murray Seminar series will continue next autumn term.
Thursday 28th of June
11.00 Reception, talks, and manuscript display at the University Library’s Centre for Research Collections (CRC). Venue: 5th floor of the Main Library building, George Square.
Welcome by Rachel Hosker, Deputy Head of Special Collections (CRC).
Presentation by Aline Brodin, “From the Scriptorium to the Screen. Exploring medieval manuscripts in the digital age”.
Talks by Giulia Sagliardi, Emma Trivett and Manuel de Zubiria Rueda.
NB. A priori this event is only open to speakers and chairs (additional places will be subject to space availability).
14.00 Lunch break
15.00-15.30 General Registration. Venue: Hunter Building at Edinburgh College of Art (Lauriston Place, Ground floor)
Welcome and initial remarks (Venue: Lecture Theatre, Hunter Building)
15.30-17.00. Session I. Manuscripts in the Christian East. Chaired by Niels Gaul.
Elijah Hixson (Edinburgh), “The lost miniatures in Codex Sinopensis(Paris, BnF, supplément grec 1286), a sixth-century copy of the Gospel of Matthew”
Ketevan Mamasakhlisi (Tbilisi), “A few theological issues from the teachings of St. Amun”
Courtney Tomaselli (Harvard), “Teach me Good Judgement and Knowledge. King David as Spiritual Father in a Byzantine Book of Psalms”
Irma Mamasakhlisi (Tbilisi), “Healing miracles of Christ from the Gelati Gospels”
17.00-18.00 Keynote I. Dr Felicity Harley-McGowan (Yale).
“Models of Suffering: The Passion miniatures of the St Augustine Gospels and their iconographic sources”
20.00 Conference dinner
Friday 29th of June
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Hunter Building at ECA (Lauriston Place).
10.00-11.15 Session II. The Insular World I. Chaired by Heather Pulliam.
Jane Geddes (Aberdeen), “The earliest portrait of St Columba: his presence at St Gallen”
Christine Kemmerich (Bonn), “The Evangelist symbols in early medieval book illumination: the Book of Durrow in context”
Tina Bawden (Berlin), “Illuminating the elements”
11.30-13.00 Session III. Carolingian Europe and Ottonian Germany. Chaired by Jesús Rodríguez Viejo.
David Ganz (Berlin), “The initials in Berlin Philips 1741”
Ivana Jakovljevic-Lemcool (Belgrade), “Zodiacal imagery in early medieval manuscripts: appropriation and transmission of the Classical motif”
Jean-Louis Walther (Independent, Switzerland), “Les Tituli de la Bible de Moutier-Grandval”
Katharina Theil (Zurich), “Interplay between Figuration and Abstraction, Inside and Outside: The Abstract Goldsmith Cover of the Reichenau Gospels”
13.00 Lunch break
15.00-16.00 Keynote II. Prof. Michele Bacci (Fribourg).
“Dynamics of Artistic Interaction in the Mediterranean World After Antiquity: A Typological Approach”
16.15-17.10 Session IV. The Insular World II. Chaired by Heather Pulliam.
Colleen Curran (Oxford), “Fair words and fairer forms: the poetic function of the illustrations in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Junius 11”
Stephanie McGucken (Edinburgh), “Illuminating the woman in Late Anglo-Saxon England: Images of Femininity and the Female body”
17.15-18.30 Session V. The Iberian Peninsula. Chaired by Jesús Rodríguez Viejo.
Roger Collins (Edinburgh), “The Beatus Problem”
Soledad de Silva y Verástegui (Basque Country), “Bibles, the Beatus Commentary and canonic collections: Three great illustrated manuscripts from tenth-century Hispania”
Jessica Sponsler (Pennsylvania College of A&D), “In the Pure Womb of the River: The Baptism of Christ in the Girona Beatus and theological dilemmas of tenth-century Iberia”
18.30 Concluding remarks and acknowledgments.
The end of term is in sight and the days are getting longer. And that means we’re all daydreaming of summer. Whether your summer plans call for research or relaxation, take advantage of some stellar temporary exhibitions happening around the globe that are highlighting the production, context, and craftsmanship of medieval art. These exhibitions are pushing boundaries, considering new contexts, and boasting bold feats—several of these exhibitions present artworks on view in North America and Europe for the first time. Let us know your favourites by sharing your thoughts in the comments below. Happy Summer!