IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 213: Staging the King

Monday 9 July 2007, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:John J. McGavin, Centre for Antiquity & the Middle Ages, University of Southampton
Paper 213-aStaging Carolingian and Ottonian Kings
(Language: English)
Maria Winter, Independent Scholar, Berlin
Index terms: Anthropology, Architecture - Secular, Mentalities, Political Thought
Paper 213-bThe Architecture of the Porch of Nicosia Cathedral and Its Function within the Context of the 'Sacre' of the Kings of Cyprus
(Language: English)
Michalis Olympios, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London / University of Cyprus
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Crusades
Paper 213-cRe-Interpreting San Julián de los Prados: Regionalism and Royal Foundation
(Language: English)
Flora Ward, Department of Art, University of Toronto / Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid
Index terms: Art History - General, Historiography - Modern Scholarship

Paper a: When a medieval city served as a royal residence, it became the stage for the sovereign’s display of power. How does this staging take place? What are its means, which ideas stand behind it? What is the intended effect on the spectator? Who is the audience? I will especially look at the staging of coronations and the architectural structure of palace buildings and cathedrals, which played a role in these events, ‘stage elements’ like balconies for public appearances etc. and analyse their function in the medieval political system. The focus will be on the Carolingian and Ottonian periods.
Paper b: The aim of this paper is to explore the architectural vocabulary and sources of the porch built at the west end of the cathedral of Saint Sophia in Nicosia, Cyprus and to associate its formal repertoire with its attested function as a backdrop for Lusignan royal coronation ceremonial. It will be shown that this latter function conditioned the architect’s conscious reliance on French architectural models bearing royal connotations (such as the cathedral of Reims and the Sainte Chapelle in Paris), as well as other thirteenth-century northern French edifices. An attempt at identifying the possible origins and training of the workshop(s) involved will also be made.
Paper c: Alfonso II’s foundation San Julián de los Prados has been primarily read through the lens of the chronicles of the reign of Alfonso III and their account of the translation of royal power from Toledo to Oviedo. Helmut Schlunk’s thesis that San Julián’s unparalleled mural paintings derive from a lost model from Visigothic Toledo needs to be reassessed, as do the broad contours of the debate over the origins of early medieval Asturian art. In my paper, I re-read the depictions of churches painted on the walls of San Julián in the context of both the place of the king within the church, and in contrast to the architectural style of the church itself. I suggest that the origins of the paintings in San Julián need to be set in a broader context, particularly that of regional foundations predating the reign of Alfonso II.