Les Enluminures will present a special exhibition and catalogue at Les Enluminures New York from October 17 to 23, 2018. It consists of four books that are remarkable survivals of what people read in the Middle Ages – the finest of medieval Bibles (the greatest text of Western civilization), one of the oldest Books of Hours (the most famous medieval manuscripts of all), biography (the unique legend of an Anglo-Saxon princess), and the history of Troy (the oldest chivalric story in European history).
These are all manuscripts unknown on the market for at least eighty years. One of the four was last described in print in 1588; the others were last catalogued for sale in 1909, 1932 and 1938 respectively. All are richly illustrated, with a total of 133 miniatures between them, as well as hundreds of borders and illuminated animals and grotesques. Some of the finest artists of the period were responsible for the miniatures, and at least two of them likely issue directly from the greatest of European courts.
The exhibition will debut at Les Enluminures New York, from October 17 to 23.
Following this, the display will be the highlight of our booth at TEFAF New York Fall (October 27 – 31) and then travel to Paris for exhibition at Fine Art Paris (November 7 – 11)
A lavishly illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition, with Introduction and Catalogue by prize-winning author Christopher de Hamel, and Preface by Founder and President of Les Enluminures Sandra Hindman.
CFP for International Medieval Congress 2019 at the University of Leeds, July 1-4 2019
The session proposes a fresh look at carpet pages in manuscript books across the medieval world including examples from Jewish, Muslim, and Christian contexts. We seek papers examining the sources for and functions of particular carpet pages as well as papers questioning the paradigm of the “carpet page” as it developed in the scholarly literature.
Please submit a working title and a 250-word proposal for a 20 minute paper by September 10.
Mary of Guelders’ richly illuminated prayer book, written by Helmich die Lewe and completed in 1415, is extraordinary for several reasons: it originally consisted of more than 600 folia, it is richly illuminated, it was written in the Lower Rhine vernacular, and it contains an unusual compilation of prayers, hours and components of a breviary. These past few years the book has been the focus of a research project spearheaded by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and Radboud University in Nijmegen. Their hard work has yielded enough noteworthy results to deserve its own exhibition which will open in Museum Het Valkhof on 13 October 2018 and will run until 6 January 2019. It will feature the research’s findings on the comprehensive and complex prayer book, the life of Mary, Duchess of Jülich and Guelders, and cultural developments in the duchies of Guelders, Jülich and Berg. To mark the occasion of the exhibition entitled ‘I, Mary of Guelders. The duchess and her extraordinary prayer book’ Radboud University is organising a two-day conference in Nijmegen together with Museum Het Valkhof and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.
Call for Submissions: Edited volume: Illuminating Metalwork: Metal, Object, and Image in Medieval ManuscriptsDeadline
Deadline: December 1, 2017
Edited volume: Illuminating Metalwork: Metal, Object, and Image in Medieval Manuscripts
Volume editors: Joseph Salvatore Ackley and Shannon L. Wearing
Deadline for submitting a proposal (500 words) and brief bio: 1 December 2017
Notification of submission status: 15 December 2017
Anticipated submission of completed texts: 1 October 2018
Historians of Western medieval, Byzantine, and Islamic art are invited to contribute essays to a volume on the representation of precious metalwork in medieval manuscripts.
The makers of medieval manuscripts frequently placed special emphasis on the depiction of precious-metal objects, both sacred and secular, including chalices, reliquaries, crosses, tableware, and figural sculpture. Artists typically rendered these objects using gold, silver, and metal alloys, “medium-specific” materials that richly and pointedly contrasted with the surrounding color pigments. The visual characteristics of these depicted metal things—lustrous yet flat, almost anti-representational—could dazzle, but perhaps also disorient: they grab the eye while creating a fertile tension between the representation of an object and the presentation of a precious stuff, between the pictorial and the material. A gold-leaf chalice signals its referent both iconically, via its shape, and indexically, via its metal material—a semiotic duality unavailable to the remainder of the painted miniature—and such images might accrue additional complexities when intended to represent known real-world objects.
This volume of essays will take inventory of how manuscript illuminators chose to depict precious metalwork and how these depictions generated meaning. The prominent application of metal leaf is one of the most distinguishing features of medieval manuscript illumination (only those books thus decorated technically merit the designation “illuminated”), and yet, despite its hallmark status, it has rarely served as a central subject of scholarly scrutiny and critique. In addressing both the use of metal leaf and the representation of precious-metal objects (via metallic and non-metallic media alike), Illuminating Metalwork seeks to remedy this lacuna. This volume will enhance traditionally fruitful approaches to medieval manuscript illumination, such as those analyzing text/image dynamics, pictorial mimesis, or public vs. private reception, by considering issues of materiality, preciousness, and presence. By focusing on the representation of precious metalwork, these studies will introduce new paths of inquiry beyond the depiction of actual objects and incorporate analyses of the use and simulation of metallic preciousness more broadly.
We invite essays that represent the full temporal and geographic scope of medieval manuscript painting—from Late Antiquity into the early modern era, from the Latin West to the Byzantine and Islamic East—in order to foster trans-historical and cross-cultural analysis. Possible themes include: chronological/geographical specificities in the representation of metalwork in manuscript illuminations; depictions of precious-metal figural sculpture, including idols; artistic technique and technical analysis (e.g. pigment vs. leaf, and the alloys used therein); the semiotics of metal on parchment; the phenomenology of the encounter; and whether we can speak of “portraits” of particular objects and/or visual “inventories” of specific collections.