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Conference: The Profane within the Sacred in Medieval Art, Aguilar de Campoo, Sept 29th – Oct 1st 2017 (VII Colloquium Ars Mediaevalis)

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Conference: The Profane within the Sacred in Medieval Art, Fundación Santa Maria la Real – Aguilar de Campo (SPAIN), Sept 29th – Oct 1st 2017.

CFP for 20-minute ‘free papers’ open until 30 June 2017
How to apply:
send an email with name, Academic institution, 1 page abstract and main bibliography to plhuerta@santamarialareal.org

How to enrol in the conference: email: plhuerta@santamarialareal.org
Price:
Regular 125 € Reduced 90 € Special (students) 60 €

In his The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, the sociologist Émile Durkheim formulated the idea that the division of the world into two domains is the distinctive feature of religious thought, one containing the sacred and the other all that is profane. Durkheim’s distinction cannot be applied to medieval art, however, in which the mixing of secular motifs in religious objects, images, and architecture was characteristic –at least not without complicating the theoretical notion. The senmurf on the eleventh-century reliquary of St. Matthew in SS. Cosma e Damiano in Rome, the figure copied from Orestes on the ancient Husillos sarcophagus above the altar at Fromista, a fragment of victory killing a barbarian from a consular diptych re-used on a 11th/12th century book cover, and the incorporation of diagrams and motifs from natural science in the “aula gotica” in SS. Quattro Coronati in Rome are among myriad examples that document why this is the case.

In one of the best-known texts related to medieval art, Bernard of Clairvaux railed against the imaginative variety of profane art displayed in twelfth-century Cluniac monasteries, which he considered to be a subversion of the moral order of monastic life. Bernard’s diatribe not only confirms the fact that linking the two realms was common but also raises the question of audience and hence also spatiality. As the anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard postulated, sacredness (and therefore the profane) might be considered as situational, in a chronological as well as in a spatial sense. An object considered sacred in a given period may be considered profane or magical in a different time and/or space; decontextualization and reuse are thus also important issues related to the topic. Profane does not always imply anti-sacred. Indeed, given the fact that profanus means “in front of the consecrated enclosure,” the inclusion of secular elements within sacred domains suggests a dynamic interweaving that extends beyond the mere incorporation of motifs and objects. Sometimes the contacts between the two domains was regulated by rites that provided the conditions within which the relationship was made possible (i.e. consecration); other times, as when natural science was assimilated into the choice and manufacture of materials, the overlapping of sacred and profane underlies the processes of art.

In recent decades, historians have explored the uses of subversive elements in sacred art –from marginalia in illuminated manuscripts to coin-imagery and stamping incorporated in Eucharistic hosts. The conference Ars Mediaevalis 2017 sets out to assess the results of the advances made by the new art historiography and, more important, to open up still-unmapped paths for future study of the profane within the sacred during the Middle Ages.

Programme:

Friday, 29th September
Aguilar de Campoo

09.45h : Colloquium Ars Mediaevalis Opening
Chair: Francesca Español UB

10.00h Michele Bacci, Université de Fribourg – Intrusos en los iconos: perspectivas comparativas sobre los retratos individuales en la iconografia sagrada
10.45h Discussion

11.45h Philippe Cordez, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – Le repentir d’un magicien ? Les camées de la statuette de David à la cathédrale de Bâle (vers 1320)
12.30h Free paper
12.50h Discussion

16.00h Fernado Villansenor, Universidad de Cantabria – Lo profano y sus espacios: discursos marginales en la Castilla tardogótica
16.45h Javier Docampo, Biblioteca Nacional de España – Las representaciones de los trabajos de los meses en libros de horas: la construcción de un imaginario social
17.15 Discussion

17.45 Round table. “Profano: perímetros espaciales, iconicos y semanticos en el arte medieval / Profane: spatial, iconic, and semantic edges in medieval art” Gerardo Boto.

18.45 Public presentation of the new editorial series “Ars Mediaevalis. Estudios de arte medieval”

Saturday, 30th September
Palencia

(Chair: Fernando Gutiérrez Baños UVA)

10.00h Kathrin Müller, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main Subversive – Devices: Cosmological Diagrams and the Problem of the Sacred
10.45h Free paper
11.05h Discussion

12.00h Beate Fricke, Universität Bern – Representing the Cosmos’ Origins, illuminating cosmological thoughts
12.45h Free paper
13.05h Discussion
16.00h Academic visit: Burgos: Santa María de las Huelgas Reales; Cartuja de Miraflores

Sunday, October 1st
Agilar de Campoo

(Chair: Javier Martínez Aguirre UCM)

09.15h Milagros Guardia, Universitat de Barcelona – Las pinturas murales de Sant Joan de Boi: de como contextualizar la iconografia profana
10.00h Free paper
10.20h Discussion
11.20h Free paper

11.40h Herbert L. Kessler, Johns Hopkins University / Masaryk University – From Vanitas to Veritas: the Profane as a Fifth Mode of Seeing
12.20h Discussion

13.00h Conclusions and perspectives
13.15h Closing ceremony

 

Monumental Brass Society visit to Newark (17 Oct 2015)

Newark, Nottinghamshire, St Mary MagdaleneMonumental Brass Society: Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire

Saturday, 17th October 2015 at 2.00p.m.

The church of St Mary Magdalene, Newark-on-Trent, is a product of the ‘building boom’ of the 14th and 15th centuries. The townsmen and their families were the principal benefactors of the church paying for the reconstruction, providing its furnishings and establishing personal chantries and memorials to aid their way to salvation. The earliest surviving brass is the magnificent Flemish brass for the merchant Adam Fleming (1361) one of the foremost merchant monuments of the fourteenth century.

Brasses for other townsmen John Boston (1540) and William Phyllpott (1557) are to be found in the south choir aisle. To the south of the high altar is the Chantry Chapel for the Robert Markham complete with early sixteenth century panels depicting ‘The Dance of Death’ complete with a dancing skeleton.

Programme:

2.00p.m.          Welcome
by Martin Stuchfield, President of the Monumental Brass Society

2.05p.m.          The Church of St Mary Magdalene Newark
by Philip Dixon

2.30p.m.          ‘Tis the sheep have paid for all’: Merchant Commemoration in Late Medieval Newark
by John Lee

3.00p.m.          Adam Fleming and his Brass: Context and Meaning
by Paul Cockerham

Members will have an opportunity to view the church and its monuments before. Tea will be available at the conclusion of the day with donations going towards the maintenance and running of the church.

The Church will be open prior to the meeting.

This meeting is free for members and non-members of the Society but registration is required by contacting the Hon. Secretary, Christian Steer, 8 Shefford Lodge, Link Road, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 7LR (e: christianosteer@yahoo.co.uk).

The church dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene is located in Church Walk in the centre of Newark. The postcode for satellite navigation is NG24 1JS. The nearest station is Newark North Gate (served from London: Kings Cross) with a walking distance of 0.6 miles (12 minutes).

Study day: Monumental Brass Society at Battle, East Sussex (28 March 2015)

John Wythines, S.T.D., born at Chester, fellow of Brasenose College, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, Dean of Battle for 42 years, 1615, aged 84, in cap, gown and scarf holding a book. Reproduced by permission of the Monumental Brass Society

John Wythines, S.T.D., born at Chester, fellow of Brasenose College, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, Dean of Battle for 42 years, 1615, aged 84, in cap, gown and scarf holding a book. Reproduced by permission of the Monumental Brass Society

The church of St Mary the Virgin, Battle, was established by Abbot Ralph c. 1115 on the battlefield of 1066. The church includes a magnificent transitional nave, a rare wall painting of St Margaret of Antioch of c.1300 and the gilded and painted alabaster tomb of Sir Anthony Browne (1548) who acquired the abbey at the Dissolution. The earliest surviving brass is for Sir John Lowe (1426) with a distinctive memento mori inscription

Brasses for the deans of Battle; Robert Clere, engraved c.1430, and John Wythines, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and Dean of Battle for 42 years, who died in 1615 are to be found north and south area of the sanctuary respectively.

This meeting, on Saturday 28th March 2015, is free for members and non-members of the Society.

Programme:

2.00p.m. Welcome
by Martin Stuchfield, President of the Monumental Brass Society

2.05p.m. St Mary’s Church Battle
by Clifford Braybrooke

2.30p.m. The Brasses of Battle Church
by Robert Hutchinson

3.00p.m. The Monument to Sir Anthony Browne and his wife, Alice Gage
by Nigel Llewellyn

3.30p.m. Tour of the church and viewing of the brasses and monuments led by Pat Roberts

4.15 Tea

The Church will be open prior to the meeting.

St Mary’s Church is located in Upper Lake in the centre of Battle with ample parking in the vicinity. The postcode for satellite navigation is TN33 0AN. The nearest station is Battle (served from London: London Bridge).

Courtauld Tomb Raiders visit to the Temple church, 30th October

London TempleThe Courtauld’s medieval research group with a special interest in funerary monuments, Tomb Raiders, invite all to a visit to the Temple Church just off the Strand on the morning of the 30th October. The student rate will be £2. The church is open 11-1, so once everyone has arrived we shall gather about 11:15 in the Round nave to tour the church together.

The day will be most generously lead by Catherine Hundley, Kress Fellow at the Warburg, who is writing her dissertation on twelfth-century Round Churches.

The church, built for the order of the Knights Templar and now hidden away in the Inner Temple betwen the Strand and the Thames, was built in two stages, the mid-twelfth century and early thirteenth, resulting in two very important examples of English Gothic architecture. It is also famous for its array of knightly monuments. Since the supression of the Templar order in the fourteenth century, the church has gone through much change and restoration, not least the terrible incendiary bombs of 1941, all which add to its remarkable history. The morning will be geared towards open discussion, but I would be happy if anyone would like to volunteer to give introductions to the choir, the effigies or the nineteenth-century embellishment and post-war reconstruction.

Booking is not essential but please do email me at james.cameron@courtauld.ac.uk if you intend to come or would like to give an introduction to any feature. Also numbers are not limited so please feel free to invite anyone who you think may be interested.

Afterwards we shall return to the Courtauld for lunch in the cafe. At 3pm is the Student Work in Progress round-table seminar in the Research Forum. For more information on the latter, please contact Anna.Koopstra@courtauld.ac.uk.