IMC 2005: Sessions

Session 618: Ages in Art

Tuesday 12 July 2005, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Madeline H. Caviness, Department of Art & Art History, Tufts University, Massachusetts
Paper 618-aYouth and Age in the Stone Sculpture of Scottish Dalriada
(Language: English)
Pamela O'Neill, Department of History, University of Melbourne
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Art History - Sculpture, Ecclesiastical History
Paper 618-bBeardless Youths and Grizzled Geezers: Beards on 13th-Century Gothic Sculpture
(Language: English)
Ann Montgomery Jones, Sarum Seminar, California
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Art History - Sculpture, Hagiography, Social History
Paper 618-dStages of Life Visualized in Russian Art: From Bartholemeus to St Sergius of Radonezh
(Language: English)
Inge Wierda, School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Hagiography, Monasticism, Religious Life

Abstract Paper a) The stone sculpture of Scottish Dalriada is primarily ecclesiastical and includes such masterpieces as the high crosses of Iona and Islay. The figural sculpture on these monuments incorporates representations of various biblical family groupings, such as the Virgin and Child, Abraham and Isaac, and Cain and Abel. This paper examines the ways in which the youth or age of the figures is represented, and seeks to contextualise these representations in the world of Scottish Dalriada and its neighbours.

Paper b) In gothic sculpture, youth and age is indicated by absence or presence of beards. This is one of many rules on the usage of beards which everyone ‘knows.’ Does reality match this perception? Are there indeed rules with no known exceptions? Are there regional variations? Does sculpture follow fashion in facial hair? Does usage of beards depend on type of sculpture or its location? Major thirteenth century sculpture programs across Western Christendom are surveyed to establish the actual usage of beards. Analysis of several thousand individual sculptured heads and figures demonstrates what exists, and adds to what we ‘know.’

Paper c) The present paper aims to revise some concepts of modern-age art historians about the dating of sculptures based on the relation between the phase of professional development of a medieval artist, his presumed age, a work of art and its dating, and the age of a historical person represented by the artwork.
The competition between the concepts of the ‘generational history of art’, burdened by biologically based prejudices and the ‘formalist art history’ with its concept of stylistic evolution is shown in selected case studies. They concern sculptural portraits of the members of the Hapsburg and Luxemburg families in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna and in the St. Vitus’ Cathedral in Prague.

Paper d) In 1314 a Russian boy called Bartholemeus was born in Rostov the Great. He died in 1398 in Sergey Posad, in the Trinity monastery of which he was the founder. Although few facts about his life are known, his biographer, Epiphanius the Wise, revealed several telling episodes about his master’s youth and old age. After his canonization in 1449 scenes of his childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age have been visualised by many iconographers and artists. They serve as an inspirational example of spiritual development for the religious believer.