IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 1305: Iconography, Ornamentation, and Adornment in Multicultural Iberia

Wednesday 11 July 2012, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Ann R. Christys, Independent Scholar, Leeds
Paper 1305-aParameters of the Palm Tree: Rules and Guidelines that Developed through the Iconographic Expressions of Early Medieval Church Culture
(Language: English)
Emily Goetsch, Department of History of Art, University of Edinburgh
Index terms: Art History - General, Art History - Painting, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Religious Life
Paper 1305-bSanta Maria la Bianca of Toledo (1180): Shared Mudejar Architectural Ornamentation between Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Al-Andalus
(Language: English)
Hee Sook Lee-Niinioja, Independent Scholar, Helsinki
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Art History - Decorative Arts
Paper 1305-cMetallic Artefacts of Adornment: A Perspective of the Portuguese Findings (5th-8th Centuries)
(Language: English)
Andreia Arezes, Faculdade de Letras, Universidade do Porto / Centro de Estudos Arqueológicos, Universidades de Coimbra e Porto - Mértola
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Archaeology - General

Paper -a:
Despite appearing prominently and consistently throughout the medieval world, understanding of the palm tree and its iconographic significance generally is restricted. Using a set of 10th-century Spanish palm tree renderings as a catalyst for discussion, this paper will examine the appearance and possible functions of the image within the framework of a variety of traditions. By examining images from the Islamic and Byzantine worlds in the east to the Carolingian and Spanish realms in the west, this paper will suggest that palm trees were used as more than just references to paradise, actually providing guidelines for how to progress towards heaven.

Paper -b:
Mudejar architecture is a symbiosis of techniques and ways of understanding buildings resulting from Muslim and Christian cultures living side by side on the Iberian Peninsula. The church of Santa Maria la Blanca, Toledo (1180), has multi-lobular blind arcades and Almohad pine cones on capitals, witnessing how ornamental strategies in Islamic buildings served a Jewish temple, to add beauty without ideological conflicts. Adapting Almohad stylistic tradition to a non-Muslim context, the synagogue represents Mudejar architecture, developed out of the complex interaction between the Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures. My paper discusses of the church ornamentation as co-existence/tolerance in medieval Spain.

Paper -c:
In this paper I aim to discuss some aspects of the material culture related to the ‘barbarian invasions’ in the Portuguese territory from the 5th to 8th century. My research focuses on metallic artefacts, and the discussion generated from their chronology and cultural affiliation. In my study, I focus on a set of material that is thought to be very significant and indicative of the presence of people of German origin in Portugal: metallic elements of adornment, mainly used over costume. I inventoried known objects in Portugal, some corresponding to isolated finds, published in short articles. By analyzing the objects in museums and other public institutions, or even in private collections, I recognized that other artefacts should be included in the inventory and I increased the number of items initially considered. Indeed, some adornments had not previously been studied, or had been wrongly classified and given a Roman date. My analysis and interpretation developed in order to attempt to sort the artefacts according to a typology; and in order to discuss their artistic, political, religious and chronological contexts. In doing so, I was able to extend the scale of my analysis, and compare the metallic elements to those from well-known sites, namely burial sites, located in Central Europe and the Spanish Meseta.