IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 123: Beyond Materiality: Hidden Meanings in Architecture and Manuscripts

Monday 1 July 2013, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Kateřina Horníčková, Institut für Realienkunde des Mittelalters & der frühen Neuzeit, Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Mittelalterstudien (IZMS), Universität Salzburg
Paper 123-aVariegated Stones: Pillars of Doctrine in the Early Christian Church
(Language: English)
Larissa Grzesiak, Department of Art, University of Toronto, Downtown
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Biblical Studies
Paper 123-bA Victorine Sermon in Old Norse?
(Language: English)
Kirsten Berg, Department of Scandianvian Languages, University of Turku
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Sermons and Preaching, Theology
Paper 123-cSuger of Saint-Denis and 'De rebus in administratione sua gestis': History of Art and Rhetoric
(Language: English)
Selene Santos, Departamento de História, Universidade de São Paulo
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Art History - General, Monasticism, Rhetoric

Paper -a:
This paper contends that the spoliated polychrome columns used in early Christian churches could be understood as visual representations of three major tenets of Christian doctrine: concepts of rebirth; the Church’s mission of proselytization; and the fulfillment of salvation through an embodiment of Heavenly Jerusalem. Focusing on the spoliated columns from the Constantinian Lateran and St. Peter’s basilicas, I examine how the pleasurable experience of viewing these variegated columns within the church, in conjunction with biblical and patristic literature, could contribute to a sensory experience not only of the physical senses, but also of the soul.

Paper -b:
The subject of my paper will be an Old Norse sermon for church dedication in which a wooden church building is interpreted according to allegory and tropology. Earlier attempts at tracing sources or parallels have pointed towards authors like Beda, Hrabanus Maurus, Honorius Augustodunensis and others, i.e. to the long theological tradition of architectural symbolism. In my paper I will argue that it may be the parts of the sermon in which no significant parallels have been found, that give us the key to the theological school in which it belongs, and that this school may be the Augustinian convent of Saint Victor in Paris.

Paper -c:
In the 1140s, Suger, Abbot of Saint-Denis, wrote a document entitled ‘De rebus in administratione sua gestis’, in which he described some of his deeds as an abbot, such as the increase in the income coming from Saint-Denis’s surroundings, the reform of the building of the abbey church, and the ornaments purchased for the abbey. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how this document has been traditionally read by History of Art (mainly by Panofsky and Kidson) and preliminarily put forward a hypothesis regarding the reading of this document based on the analysis of its rhetorical features.