IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 102: Emotion and National Character in the Historiography of High Medieval Art

Monday 10 July 2006, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:International Center of Medieval Art, New York
Organiser:Nina Rowe, Department of Art History & Music, Fordham University
Moderator/Chair:Nina Rowe, Department of Art History & Music, Fordham University
Paper 102-aNational Character and the Mudejar
(Language: English)
Matilde Mateo, Department of Fine Arts, Syracuse University, New York
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Historiography - Modern Scholarship
Paper 102-bJean Bony and the Frenchness of the English Decorated Style
(Language: English)
Matthew Reeve, Department of History, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Historiography - Modern Scholarship
Abstract

Classic scholarship on high medieval art is often driven by preconceptions about national character – the temperament of a people thought to be legible in the images and architecture they produced. Contemporary scholars of Romanesque sculpture, for example, are familiar with characterizations of pilgrimage-road ensembles exhibiting an essential ‘French-ness’ in their vitality and elegance, when sculptors just as likely may have come from northern Iberia or elsewhere. Likewise, those who study Gothic sculpture regularly grapple with descriptions that insist on the rational French character of a work, its angstful German qualities, or its tempermental Spanish vigor. This session invites papers that interrogate the notions of national character that inform both classic and more recent art historical scholarship, and museum practice. We particularly encourage papers that explore the ways that late 19th- and early 20th-century political conditions, notions of the unconscious, sociology, and anthropology, informed the developing humanistic field of art history.