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IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 1103: Emotions in the Face and Body

Wednesday 12 July 2006, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Meredith Cohen, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds / University of Oxford
Paper 1103-aSmiling: Display of Emotions in Late Romanesque Sculpture
(Language: English)
Claudia Rückert, Kunstgeschichtliches Seminar, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin
Index terms: Art History - General, Art History - Sculpture, Social History
Paper 1103-bEmotion and Gesture in Byzantine Art of the Comnenian Period
(Language: English)
Olga Ovcharova, Independent Scholar, Tula
Index terms: Art History - General, Byzantine Studies
Paper 1103-cBeaming or Screaming: Emotion and Gesture in Images of the Last Judgment
(Language: English)
Ann Montgomery Jones, Sarum Seminar, California
Index terms: Art History - General, Art History - Painting, Art History - Sculpture

Abstract paper -a: In publications of medieval art history, the topic of laughter is often illustrated by famous sculptures of the first half of the 13th century, like the west portals of the Cathedral at Reims (France) or the Fürstenportal of the Cathedral at Bamberg (Germany). In this respect, the figures of the Pórtico de la Gloria in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), around 1188, which show emotions of ecstasies much earlier, are never considered. In fact it seems that the formula for the earliest sculptural representations of smiling were invented in Spain. The paper will focus on some examples for the new facial emotions in late romanesque art, which hark back to antique sculpture stylistically, and the reasons why this innovation occured under seemingly peripheral circumstances.

Abstract paper -b: According to a statement made by Henry Maguire, 'it was in the depiction of emotion that Byzantine artists made some of their most influential and lasting contributions to the history of art'. In a number of important studies this scholar singled out a series of specific devices which were used by Byzantine artists to convey the emotions of their personages. These devices pertain mostly to the realm of iconography. My purpose is to study the depiction of emotion in Byzantine art of the late 11th and 12th centuries from the point of view of style. I intend to show how differently were treated emotions in works belonging to different stylistic tendencies of the period.

Abstract paper -c: Medieval eschatology foretells extremes of experience. A trumpeting angel summons people awkwardly clambering from graves in a glass medallion now in the Cluny. A man sitting on his open tomb in a tympanum at Freiburg earerly puts on his boots. A friar, king, pope, and deacon joyfully follow a beckoning angel climbing a ladder in a French ivory. Men being dragged off by demons in the Trinity Apocalypse show utter despair. These and many other scenes from a variety of media and regions are examined. Images of the Last Judgment comprise a treasure trove of emotion and gesture.