Session 512: The Tree as Symbol, Allegory, and Structural Device in Medieval Art and Thought, IV: Trees and Moral, Trees and Knowledge
Tuesday 8 July 2008, 09.00-10.30
|Organiser:||Andrea Worm, Cambridge University Library, University of Cambridge|
|Moderator/Chair:||Ulrike Ilg, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut, Firenze|
|Paper 512-a||Trees of Virtues and Vices|
|Paper 512-b||Visualizing Salvation: The Role of Arboreal Imagery in Manuscripts of the Speculum Humanae Salvationis|
This session, most closely linked to the previous one, is dedicated to the overall phenomenon of shaping knowledge. The visual organisation of the material influenced not only the way it was perceived. It determined at the same time, and more subtly, also its interpretation, especially in the case of the Trees of Virtues and Vices. They sometimes include the imagery of Christ’s ancestors, so that their moralizing qualities are enhanced and expanded. Hence, they function as visual compendia interconnecting in their arboreal shape various branches of knowledge and setting it into the context of the history of salvation as in the widely used late medieval devotional book, the ‘Speculum Humanae Salvationis’ (IV.2). The session concludes with the discussion of an extraordinary example of moralizing arboreal imagery, the late medieval ‘Phallus-Trees’ in profane wall-painting in Northern Italy and Tirol (IV.3).