session grouped by Nancy Wu (7/11/03):
Abstract paper -a:
The Romanesque cathedral in Ruvo di Puglia, erected between the end of the 12th and the first half of the 13th century, boasts a vast sculptural programme situated both inside and outside the edifice.This lecture will discuss the subject matters displayed on the cathedral’s porch portal as a visual manifestation of the political and social atmosphere in Apulia during the first quarter of the 13th century. This sculptural display was meant to promote the process of unifying the Byzantine and Latin communities in Ruvo and to manifest the ambition of the local Norman lords to establish the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
Abstract paper -b:
The urban, architectural and sculptural texts of the thirteenth century French town of Cordes-sur-Ciel offer us a rich reading of cultural conflict and idealism. At their most basic they record the efforts of a shrinking dynasty to maintain its autonomy in the face of a threatening alliance between papacy and monarchy. At deeper levels, the iconographical text attests to the collective memory of religious conflict and philosophical idealism, the architectural text reflects economical and political conflicts, and the urban text signals an economic ideal that became the model for many new towns of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
Abstract paper -c:
Recent scholarship in medieval art history and narratology has demonstrated that there has been a rich cross-fertilization in these two areas. The purpose of this paper is to consider the different strains of narrative and how they are woven together on the reverse facade of Reims Cathedral. It is my contention that the phraseology of the sculpted figures obeys some of the same laws of 13th century rhetoric and composition as those observed in poetria nova and in the deployment of biblical history in the stained glass of the Ste.-Chapelle. Further, the biblical flashbacks at Reims serve to underscore the thematic highlights of the program, urging the king to heed the signposts of salvation.