session grouped by Nancy Wu (7/11/03):
Abstract paper -a:
Mosaic pavements were laid between the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 13th century in many churches in Piedmont, Lombardy and Emilia Romagna. It seems that most of them share a common and unique feature. To the devout they display Man’s actual life on earth, both the physical as well as spiritual aspect thereof.This lecture will examine these works of art in relation to the geographic layout of the churches in which they were laid, along the pilgrimage roads in Northern Italy. The intrinsic meaning of Man’s life portrayed in the mosaics is intensified by their presence along the actual road traveled by the believer who experiences a real as well as a moral journey.
Abstract paper -b:
A liturgical drama re-enacting the Journey and Adoration of the Magi was performed in the streets of Milan in 1336, an event recorded by the learned Dominican theologian and chronicler Galvano Fiamma. The paper considers the possible impact this festa had on the arts of the city, in particular a carved marble altarpiece of 1347 showing episodes from the legend of the Magi in the Dominican church of Sant’Eustorgio, Milan. It will be argued that there is visual evidence that the series of narrative images on the altarpiece, the details of costume, gestures and composition, reflect and preserve elements of this liturgical performance.