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IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 1102: Textiles and Altar-Pieces: Catering to New Demands in the Late Middle Ages

Wednesday 8 July 2015, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Birgitt Borkopp-Restle, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Universität Bern
Moderator/Chair:Romina Westphal, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 1102-aExporting and Importing Netherlandish Altarpieces: Standardized Production as a Motor for Innovation
(Language: English)
Niklas Gliesmann, Institut für Kunst und Materielle Kultur, Technische Universität Dortmund
Index terms: Art History - General, Economics - Trade, Technology
Paper 1102-bWeaving Silk for an European Market: Production and Consumption of a Luxury Commodity
(Language: English)
Birgitt Borkopp-Restle, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Universität Bern
Index terms: Art History - Decorative Arts, Economics - Trade, Liturgy, Technology
Paper 1102-cServing a Strong Demand: Embroidered Orphreys from Serial Production to Individual Orders
(Language: English)
Evelin Wetter, Abegg-Stiftung Foundation, Riggisberg
Index terms: Art History - Decorative Arts, Liturgy, Religious Life, Technology

From the 14th to the beginning of the 16th century, Europe saw a surge of church building activities, with existing structures being enlarged and embellished and often also large numbers of chapels added to the original body. The increased number of altars required furnishings, altar-pieces, and liturgical textiles in particular. Centres for the production of these objects and for the materials needed to create them emerged in different areas – in the southern Netherlands for altar-pieces, in the cities of northern Italy for silk fabrics, and in Bohemia for silk and gold embroidery. They all exported their wares and supplied the best part of Europe with products that were renowned for their outstanding quality. Faced with a wide and varied audience, the artists/craftsmen developed new strategies and technologies that allowed for serial productions as well as for catering to individual commissions. Patrons reacted to the choices on offer and used them according to their own standards and requirements.

The session proposes to explore the dynamics of production and trade for groups of objects traditionally required for the furnishing of churches, in the context of a rapidly growing demand of such objects.