IMC 2013: Sessions

Session 715: Variegated Pleasures: The Sensation of Stone in Medieval Visual and Material Culture

Tuesday 2 July 2013, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Student Committee, International Center of Medieval Art
Organiser:Colleen Thomas, Department of the History of Art & Architecture, Trinity College Dublin
Moderator/Chair:Stephanie Marie Rushe Chapman, Department of Art History & Archaeology, University of Missouri, Columbia
Paper 715-aLike Streams of Water: Strigilated Sarcophagi as Enlivened Stone
(Language: English)
Beth Fischer, Department of Art History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Art History - General, Art History - Decorative Arts, Art History - Sculpture
Paper 715-bMimesis and Materiality: Imitating Marble in the Pavement Mosaics of North African Churches
(Language: English)
Nathan Dennis, Department of History of Art, Johns Hopkins University
Index terms: Archaeology - Sites, Architecture - Religious, Art History - General, Art History - Decorative Arts
Paper 715-cMarble and Spolia in Early Islam
(Language: English)
Mattia Guidetti, Department of History of Art, University of Edinburgh
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Art History - General, Art History - Decorative Arts, Art History - Sculpture

As material for sumptuous objects, sculpture, and architectural decoration, variegated stones such as marble and alabaster can be seen as trans-historical media, used and re-used in a wide array of cultural contexts for visual appeal. Alternatively, materials like glass, ivory, wood, and paper were painted and treated to mimic variegated stones with the intention of misleading one’s perception. Whether marble, marbled, or marble-like, this category of materials reflects the shared power of variegated surfaces to channel specific sensory experiences that acknowledge the pleasures of color, sound, and movement. This session includes papers that address the significance of the use and re-use of variegated stones and marble-like surfaces in the visual and material cultures of the Middle Ages.