Session Title

Light and Darkness in Medieval Art, 1200-1450 I

Sponsoring Organization(s)

International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA)

Organizer Name

Stefania Gerevini, Tom Nickson

Organizer Affiliation

Bocconi Univ., Courtauld Institute of Art

Presider Name

Nancy Thompson

Presider Affiliation

St. Olaf College

Paper Title 1

Darkened by the Light: Black Madonnas Illuminated

Presenter 1 Name

Elisa A. Foster

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Henry Moore Institute

Paper Title 2

"Sculpture Subtiles": Light, Optics, and the Aesthetics of Relief

Presenter 2 Name

Christopher R. Lakey

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Johns Hopkins Univ.

Paper Title 3

The Thomas Aquinas Panel in Pisa and the Light of Truth

Presenter 3 Name

Martin Schwarz

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Chicago

Start Date

13-5-2017 1:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1360

Description

Specialists of Christian, Islamic and Jewish art and culture are invited to explore how perceptions of light and darkness informed the ways in which art across Europe and the Mediterranean was produced, viewed and understood in the period 1200–1450. Our double session will investigate the correlations between theories of optics, theologies of light, practices of illumination, and modes of viewing in the Middle Ages, as well as the ways in which different religious or cultural communities conceptualized light and used it in everyday life or ritual settings. Papers will also address such broad methodological questions as: can the investigation of light prompt reconsideration of well-established periodizations and interpretative paradigms of art history? How was the dramatic interplay between light and obscurity exploited in the secular and religious architecture of Europe and the medieval Mediterranean? How carefully were light effects taken into account in the display of images and portable objects, and how does consideration of luminosity, shadow and darkness hone our understanding of the agency of medieval objects? Finally, to what extent is light’s ephemeral and fleeting nature disguised by changing fashions of display and technologies of reproduction, and how do these affect our ability to apprehend and explain medieval approaches to light?

Stefania Gerevini

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May 13th, 1:30 PM

Light and Darkness in Medieval Art, 1200-1450 I

Schneider 1360

Specialists of Christian, Islamic and Jewish art and culture are invited to explore how perceptions of light and darkness informed the ways in which art across Europe and the Mediterranean was produced, viewed and understood in the period 1200–1450. Our double session will investigate the correlations between theories of optics, theologies of light, practices of illumination, and modes of viewing in the Middle Ages, as well as the ways in which different religious or cultural communities conceptualized light and used it in everyday life or ritual settings. Papers will also address such broad methodological questions as: can the investigation of light prompt reconsideration of well-established periodizations and interpretative paradigms of art history? How was the dramatic interplay between light and obscurity exploited in the secular and religious architecture of Europe and the medieval Mediterranean? How carefully were light effects taken into account in the display of images and portable objects, and how does consideration of luminosity, shadow and darkness hone our understanding of the agency of medieval objects? Finally, to what extent is light’s ephemeral and fleeting nature disguised by changing fashions of display and technologies of reproduction, and how do these affect our ability to apprehend and explain medieval approaches to light?

Stefania Gerevini