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The Tour Guide in the Middle Ages: Guide Culture and the Mediation of Public Art

This study investigates the medieval “tour guide” or, perhaps better, it investigates guide culture.  Toward this end, I ask such questions as was there a “tour guide” in the Middle Ages, that is, is there evidence for an artistic component within medieval guide culture?

Uncovering the mysteries of England’s Bayeux Tapestry and its connections to Charlemagne

A team of academics, led by the University of Bristol, are hoping to raise awareness of a unique, but little-known, medieval fresco which depicts fighting knights on the wall of a village church in Shropshire.

Voyagers in the Vault of Heaven: The Phenomenon of Ships in the Sky in Medieval Ireland and Beyond

This paper explores the phenomenon of ships voyaging in the sky. Such fantastical sightings are considered primarily in an early medieval Irish context, but evidence from places as widely separated in time and place as thirteenth-century England and eighteenth-century Canada is also addressed.

The Architectural Setting of English Romanesque Sculpture

Malcolm Thurlby considers English Romanesque sculpture in the context of its architectural matrix, focusing on specific carved elements such as portals, tympana, capitals, and figural reliefs.

How forgetting about medieval treasures saved them

One of Scandinavia’s finest collections of church art from the Middle Ages lay hidden and forgotten in Norwegian churches for centuries. Indeed, this long forgetting is precisely what preserved the unique church art.

History from the Bottom Up

Betsy Dominguez shares her story of uncovering profane artwork in a sacred space, and explores its meaning, raising questions about modern censorship and the ever-growing divide between “high” and “low” concepts.

Image and Art on Medieval Coinage

There is no question that coinage was a major part of the visual material world of the Middle Ages. Whether that qualifies it as a major art form, or an art form at all, begs the distinction between material culture and art.

Medieval Bodies: Life, Death and Art in the Middle Ages

In Medieval Bodies, art historian Jack Hartnell uncovers the complex and fascinating ways in which the people of the Middle Ages thought about, explored and experienced their physical selves.

Architecture in medieval Persian painting: fact or fantasy?

Robert Hillenbrand looks at how Persian painters tackled depicting architecture while also showing the process of construction, and how they operated within what to a Western eye might seem like constricting conventions.

New Light on the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Manuscript: Multispectral Imaging and the Cotton Nero A.x. Illustrations

Among the striking features of the modest manuscript, London, British Library, MS Cotton Nero A.x., are ten full-page illustrations of the poems and a further two taking up most of their pages.

Quiz: The Art of Renaissance Florence

Here are twelve works of art from Florence between the 13th and 16th centuries. Do you know which artist created them?

The painting career of Piero di Cosimo (1462-1522)

The Florentine painter has historically proven to be among the most elusive artists of the Italian Renaissance and yet acted as a seminal figure in the artistic transitions occurring from the close of the fifteenth century.

The Four Portraits of Het‘um II: New Observations Regarding the Royal Portrait of the Lectionary of 1286

The subject of this paper is one of the most mysterious characters in the history of the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia – King Het’um II – and his four surviving portraits.

Evoking Tales in a Medieval Ceiling: Sulayman’s / Solomon’s Birds in the Capella Palatina of Palermo

A great multitude of birds populate the painted ceilings sheltering the palatine chapel of Palermo, constructed for King Roger of Sicily; these birds appear to shelter and rest in the great ceiling. As ceilings were often made to represent the sky, thee pictorial associations of birds and ceilings is only logical.

Color in the Middle Ages

Here are five colorful facts about color in the Middle Ages, courtesy the research of French historian Michel Pastoureau.

The Drosten Stone, St Vigeans: A cultural hybrid

The inscriptions on the Drosten Stone have inspired extensive scholarship, but little study has been devoted to the possible meanings behind the Pictish art depicted on the stone.

Woven Words in the Lindisfarne Gospels

This dissertation investigates the meanings and function of the five ornamental pages that decorate the Lindisfarne Gospels, a Gospel book produced in the British Isles, most likely in the Isle of Lindisfarne, around 720 CE.

Rock, Paper, Chisel, 3D Printer: Teaching Medieval Art with Technology

Teaching medieval art requires an invocation of students’ imaginations. The majority of the art we study has been decontextualized, removed from the portal, altar, or window for which it was made.

How Much Do You Know About Leonardo da Vinci?

Leonardo da Vinci’s “lost” painting, Salvator Mundi recently sold for a record breaking 450 million dollars! How much do you really know about the famous Renaissance man? Take this quiz to find out!

Exhibition of Medieval Manuscripts Opening at the Art Institute of Chicago

From January 27-May 28, 2018, the Art Institute of Chicago will present a collection of manuscript illuminations spanning four hundred years of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance from countries across Western Europe.

The Battle of Culloden in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery – Part 2: The Battle and Aftermath

This lady’s story is one of courage and Jacobite patriotism; without her, the Prince may never succeed in making his voyage to Skye, which inspired the folk song quoted in the beginning.

The Battle of Culloden in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery – Part 1: Prelude

When day dawned on April 16th, 1746, what would be the final pitched battle on the British soil took place on the field of Culloden near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands.

The Inverse Perspective in Byzantine Painting

The inverse perspective is a method of representing spatial depth used only in Byzantine painting. It is different from Renaissance perspective. The inverse perspective, with two-dimensional axonometric representations, is more complex, offering multiple possibilities of symbolization.

Beard Pulling in Medieval Christian Art: Various Interpretations of a Scene

Christian iconography contains a lot of subjects with unclear interpretation. More difficult are the cases where unclear subjects could have several possible interpretations. That is the case of the scene where one man is pulling out the beard of another one.

Herod the Great in Medieval Art and Literature

This thesis follows the treatment of Herod the Great in the art and literature of 1500 years, concentrating especially on the iconographic detail and distinctive literary developments of this paradoxical king of the Jews.

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