Tag Archives: miniature

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

image-1024x745The 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)


CFP: Edited volume: Illuminating Metalwork: Metal, Object, and Image in Medieval Manuscripts

ca7dc72aa646b86adac774b20222768d-medieval-times-medieval-artCall 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.

Please direct all inquiries and submissions to Joseph Ackley (jackley@barnard.edu) and/or Shannon Wearing (slwearing@gmail.com).

CFP: Pictor/Miniator: Working across media, 1250–1500, 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 10-13, 2018

michelino_molinari_da_besozzo_-_st-_luke_painting_the_virgin_-_google_art_projectCall for Papers: Pictor/Miniator: Working across media, 1250–1500, Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies Sponsored Session at the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 10-13, 2018
Deadline: 20 September 2017

The multimedia fluidity of artists and artisans in the later Middle Ages is an area ripe for investigation. Across diverse regions in Europe and beyond, many illuminators, both named and anonymous, engaged in forms of art-making in addition to the decoration of manuscript books. Some painted frescoes, panels, and ephemera, while others provided designs and supervised the production of stained glass, enamels, tapestries, and other objects. With some frequency, those who specialized in other media were in turn called upon to illuminate books. While modern studies have focused on individual examples of such multi-media talent, the broader implications of this intermedial fluency remain obscure: within the wider art-historical canon, manuscript illumination as an art form is largely seen as derivative or prone to influence from large-scale media.
This session seeks to re-examine the relationship between manuscript illumination and other fields of artistic endeavor in the later Middle Ages. How did artists themselves consider the differing characteristics and ontologies of these varied supports? How did painters adapt their style and working method when engaging with other media and other categories of object? Did the presence of local guild regulations curtail or encourage multi-media practice, and how did this compare region-to-region or to contexts outside of Western Europe? Beyond evident differences in scale, pricing, and technique, interesting issues arise regarding patronage and audience: how different was the clientele for manuscripts compared to that for painting, for example? How did the relative accessibility and visibility of differing art forms affect the visual solutions achieved? Is a book-bound image “freer” or more experimental than a publically visible one?
The session asks these and other questions relevant to those studying the social contexts of art production, the dynamics of reception, materiality, and the technical characteristics of objects. It seeks to be open-minded in terms of methodological approach, and aims to bring together scholars working on diverse material, in order to initiate a larger conversation that can impact the discipline of art history as a whole.
Please send proposals with a one-page abstract and a completed Participant Information Form (http://www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to Nicholas Herman (hermanni@upenn.edu) by 20 September 2017.

Call for Papers: Microarchitecture and Miniaturized Representation of Buildings (Paris 2014)

Call for Papers:
Microarchitecture and Miniaturized Representations of Buildings: Different Scales for Different Materials? 
Paris, Institut national d’histoire de l’art, 8-10 December 2014
Deadline: May 1, 2014

reimsFor more than forty years, since the publication of François Bucher’s work, historians and art historians have taken an interest in miniaturized representations of architecture. These microarchitectures, staged in actual buildings and incorporated into metalwork, have been
at the center of numerous noteworthy studies, which have resulted in the creation of reliable typologies and an accepted chronology for the architectural syntax of these miniature buildings. For example, Peter Kurmann highlighted the 1240s as a turning point in the Île-de-France, noting the importance of the façades of Notre-Dame’s transept for a contemporary architectural syntax that began to spread in microarchitecture constructions. For her part, Marie-Thérèse Gousset demonstrated how the miniaturized architectural decoration of Romanesque censers referred to heavenly Jerusalem, thus bearing symbolic value and religious significance. Following the work of
Richard Krautheimer, several studies of more recent periods have begun to draw the outlines of what can be called an architectural iconology. This diversity of issues and interests were not only raised during a major symposium in Nuremberg in 2005, but also addressed by recent and
current PhD dissertations and several established researchers, such as Achim Timmermann and Ethan Matt Kavaler.

Most recently, Paul Binski has begun to criticize Bucher’s definition of microarchitecture, instead focusing on associations with monumental architecture (whether ancient, contemporary, or imagined). This symposium aims to engage with this shifting of the field, focusing on the examination of new corpuses of material and, therefore, new issues. For example, the production of seals will be highlighted, since they constitute a considerable body of objects that art historians have generally disregarded, ignoring their visual language that often includes architecture and sheltered figures. The shifting of scale involved in production of microarchitectural artifacts in metal, glass, stone, wood or ivory also constitutes an important point of investigation, these technical challenges belonging to Alfred Gell’s notion of “technologies of enchantment.” To understand these virtuoso pieces of microarchitecture, one should not only consider their relationship to monumental syntax, but also realize the part they
played as a captatio benevolentiae meant to capture and bewitch the spectator with their minifiscence.

The symposium, co-organized by the Institut national d’histoire de l’art, the Université de Nantes, the Institut Universitaire de France, and the Archives nationales, aims to deal with issues related to the representation of miniaturized architecture through new approaches and
perspectives. Art historians have already underlined the phenomenon of “architecturation,” wherein architectural vocabulary spread and proliferated during the Middle Ages in different artistic media. This phenomenon, however, can only be fully understood if we take into
account the transformations that changes in scale forced on production and reception of these artifacts.

Proposals should deal directly with the questions raised by the representation of architecture. While they need to interrogate the relevance of the concept of microarchitecture, equally important is a focus on the practical consequences of miniaturization, and how the choice of materials could affect this process. Papers should take this opportunity to raise questions about the spatiality of small-scale objects and the status of figures in these spaces. By expanding the
field beyond the types of artistic production the discipline usually deals with, we hope to ameliorate our understanding of how medieval craftsmen and artists succeeded in building spatial coherence for these miniature buildings. It is our hope that these observations could lead to a reevaluation of how forms and significations were transferred from actual monumental buildings to small-scale constructions, a series of transmissions that could have consequences for spiritual and symbolic meaning. By considering microarchitecturized artifacts, this symposium aims to understand the miniaturization process itself, its constraints and its consequences.

Papers proposals must not exceed 3.000 characters and should be sent by
May 1st, 2014 with a short CV (less than 2 pages) to:

Ambre Vilain de Bruyne (IRHIS et INHA)

Jean-Marie Guillouët (université de Nantes et IUF)

Clément Blanc-Riehl (Archives nationales)