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On the ideal explanation of the city street around the 12th century: Misconceptions about the ‘renaissance’ in urban planning
In the general historiography of town planning, there is an old and outdated idea which remains to be generally adhered to. This idea, which in essence dates from the 19th century, tells that the straight street and the orthogonal town-plan are typical aspects of 'renaissance town planning', while '...
Blazing “The Way” Arthur Kingsley Porter’s First Trip to Northern Spain (1920)
In 1923, the American medievalist Arthur Kingsley Porter (1883-1933) published his tenvolume book on Romanesque Sculpture of the Pilgrimage Roads. This article analyzes and contextualizes Porter’s first trip to northern Spain in 1920. This was his only journey to Santiago de Compostela prior to the...
Max Dvořák and the History of Medieval Art
The intellectual development of Max Dvořák (1874-1921), one of the protagonists of the ‘Vienna School of Art History’, was characterized by a constant process of methodological self-criticism. His changing views on Medieval Art are known above all by two texts: The Enigma of the Art of the Van Eyck...
African arts between curios, antiquities, and avant-garde at the Maison Brummer, Paris (1908-1914)
Before World War I, Hungarian-born art dealer Joseph Brummer (1883-1947) developed in Paris an extensive trade network through talented salesmanship and brilliant art selections. Helped by his brothers Imre (1889-1928) and Ernest (1891-1964), he promoted original art-forms that were not previously i...
Formal values and the essence of art
Review of: Paul van den Akker, Looking for Lines. Theories on the Essence of Art and the Problem of Mannerism, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 2010. The problem of the categorical definition of the nature of art was often regarded as the central challenge of art history. Paul van den Akker exa...
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A lengthy process in defining the sources of medieval art: ancient art as a reference for Roman sculpture
O presente artigo reflecte sobre os principais contributos historiográficos que se vêm desenvolvendo no âmbito do estudo do legado antigo, presente na escultura românica. Desde o surgimento do termo "Românico", criado por Charles de Gerville, em 1818, até à publicação, em 1960, da obra Renascimento...
Jesus Christ, Heavenly Bodies, and Catholic Imaginations
The exhibition Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination was on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Cloisters from 10 May to 8 October 2018. Some 200 garments and ornaments dating from the nineteenth through the twenty-first century were shown, as were some 40 (from th...
Otto Pächt and Albert Kutal: Methodological Parallels
In 1971 on the 50th anniversary of the death of Max Dvořák, outstanding Czech medievalist Albert Kutal expressed the opinion that Dvořák’s work was not only highly relevant for its conception of art history as the history of ideas but also for its early formal evolutionary approach. Three years late...
‘Locality, nation and the “primitive” – notions about the identities of late medieval non-professional wall painters in Finnish historiography from 1880 to 1940’
The article examines a group of medieval wall paintings and how they have been dealt with in the Finnish research history during the period from 1880 to 1940. The paintings have long been referred to ‘primitive paintings’ and thought to have been executed by local men. This interpretation has been i...
Looking for Colour on Greek and Roman Sculpture
Review of: Vinzenz Brinkmann, Oliver Primavesi, Max Hollein, (eds), Circumlitio. The Polychromy of Antique and Medieval Sculpture. Liebighaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt am Main, 2010. New scientific methods now being applied to the analysis of traces of pigments and gilding on ancient Greek and R...
‘Studying Islamic Architecture: Challenges and Perspectives’, Architectural History, 46, 2003. Reproduced by permission of the author and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain
This article examines how the study of medieval Islamic architecture is currently being practised. It explores the multiple implications of the much greater volume of scholarship devoted to Western architecture, which extend from library provision to job opportunities, from richer resources to a gre...
Chronology, periodicity, polychrony: times in the history of medieval art
Die Chronologie der Werke ist einer der ersten Inhalte der Kunstgeschichte. Im Allgemeinen kann man für das Mittelalter feststellen, dass der Mangel an Schriftquellen das Bildwerk in den Mittelpunkt historischer Forschung gestellt hat, dank dessen dokumentarische Daten (Inschriften, Wappen, Epigraph...
Interpreting an anomaly: the encounter of Olga Alice Nygren and Carl Axel Nordman with the crowned Saint Anne
The article concentrates on two Finnish medievalists, Carl Axel Nordman (1892–1972) and Olga Alice Nygren (1898–1981), and their interpretations of a late-medieval polychrome wood sculpture depicting the crowned Saint Anne with the Virgin and Child. The former was a distinguished scholar and State A...
‘Travelling Artists in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: An Introduction’
This collection of articles draws from papers presented at the session on Travelling Artists at the annual conference of the Association of Art Historians in 2012. They question the reasons that caused artists to expand their activity beyond their city, and the consequences that ensued, the change o...
Interactions between dramaturgy and image design in the Middle Ages.
With the help of Emile Mâle’s (1862-1954) pioneer researches on art history, our knowledge about western medieval images has improved during the last century thanks to the interesting study of dramaturgy (xith-xvith centuries). Since the 1920’s, the iconography of the apparition of Christ in Emmaus...
L’art almohade fut-il révolutionnaire ?
Die Bildung eines visuellen Vokabulars und einer übergreifenden künstlerischen Formensprache im Reich der Almohaden (1147-1269) zählt zu den Schlüsselmomenten in der Geschichte der Künste des westlichen Islams. Im Anschluss an die Vorstellung der wesentlichen Merkmale des umfangreichen Korpus dieser...
‘ITA quod Aaror viva non remaneat’: devastation of the territory and oxidative practice in Italy of the municipalities ‘Ita quod Aaror viva non remaneat’: devastation of the land and siege practice in communal Italy
E’ noto come le devastazioni sistematiche del territorio e delle risorse economiche dell’avversario assumessero, durante i conflitti armati tra comuni dell’Italia centro settentrionale, un ruolo di primo piano. A dispetto di simile constatazione, tuttavia, la storiografia disponibile sull’argomento...
A Search for the Hidden King: Messianism, Prophecies and Royal Epiphanies of the Kings of Aragon (circa 1250-1520)
Modern historiography has studied the influence of messianic and millennialist ideas in the Crown of Aragon extensively and, more particularly, how they were linked to the Aragonese monarchy. Meanwhile, thus far, research in the field of art history has mainly considered royal iconography from a dif...
L’art et le théâtre au Moyen Âge : jalons et perspectives
It returns to Émile Mâle to have underlined the relations between the figurative arts and the theater. Highlighting certainly the written documents and thinking the artistic production in term of ancestry or hierarchy, this great thinker was nevertheless attentive to the evolution of the ideas and t...
Ernst Gombrich and Western representations of the sacred art of India
Lecture at the Institut für Kunstgeschichte, University of Vienna, 16 May 2012 on western representations of ancient Indian art aims at explaining the author’s relationship with his teacher E. H. Gombrich, and the intellectual inspiration behind his work, Much Maligned Monsters: History of Western R...
Saxl and Boll
We know of Aby Warburg being Fritz Saxl’s mentor. What is less known is that Saxl had a second mentor, equally important for his research development, Franz Boll, the celebrated classical philologist. The article charts Boll’s involvement in Saxl’s research activities upon leaving university.
Recension: History and identity. Responses to Medieval Carmelite Culture, Jens Röhrkasten, Coralie Zermatten (eds), Münster, LIT Verlag, 2017, 206 p. (Vita Regularis, Orders and Deutions of Religious Life in the Middle Ages, Art 68), Revue Mabillon, vol. 30
Revue Mabillon, vol. 30
3) some cases of reutilisation and reprocessing of medieval sculptures during the modern age in Central and Southern Italy
Il reimpiego di un'opera d'arte nel corso dei secoli successivi, in funzioni analoghe a quelle originarie o del tutto inedite, veicola talvolta significati profondi, in quanto specchio di dinamiche politiche, sociali e culturali molto precise. Nel caso in cui il pezzo venga anche rilavorato, a quest...
John Ruskin and the Savage Gothic
John Ruskin’s provocative theories concerning Gothic art and architecture bear serious consideration in light of the formative debates concerning “primitive” art and its relation to modern European society. Like many primitivists, Ruskin’s advocacy for the medieval was motivated by a reformist zeal...
The Arch in earlier medieval buildings of the north-west area of the Mediterranean basin : A study in History and Architectural History
This study focusses, in façade and in plan, on the horseshoe arch, the hallmark of architecture in the first flowering of the Middle Ages, and on the recessed arch on piers, its more or less unrecognised contemporary. The geographical extent of the occurrence of these two types of arch has been defi...