Session Title

Pictor/Miniator: Working across Media, 1250–1500

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies

Organizer Name

Nicholas Herman

Organizer Affiliation

Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libraries

Presider Name

Nicholas Herman

Paper Title 1

The Miniaturist Tendency: Trecento Painter-Illuminators at the Badia a Settimo in Florence

Presenter 1 Name

Bryan Keene

Presenter 1 Affiliation

J. Paul Getty Museum

Paper Title 2

The Painter/Illuminator in the Fifteenth Century: Art Technical Knowledge and Communities of Practice

Presenter 2 Name

Nancy Turner

Presenter 2 Affiliation

J. Paul Getty Museum

Paper Title 3

Mixed Media: Simon Bening and the Art of Illumination in the Age of Panel Painting

Presenter 3 Name

Lynn Ransom

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libraries

Start Date

12-5-2018 10:00 AM

Session Location

Fetzer 2020

Description

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.

Nicholas Herman

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May 12th, 10:00 AM

Pictor/Miniator: Working across Media, 1250–1500

Fetzer 2020

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.

Nicholas Herman