IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 822: The Art of Memory, II

Tuesday 3 July 2018, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Alixe Bovey, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London
Paper 822-aThe Ripoll's Tonary: The Use of Memory and Mnemonics to Learn Music in the Year 1000
(Language: English)
Joan Maria Martí Mendoza, Institut de Ciències de l'Educació, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Index terms: Education, Monasticism, Music
Paper 822-bThe 'Memory Brothel': The Role of Sex in Medieval and Early Modern Mnemonics
(Language: English)
Leon Jacobowitz Efron, Department of Humanistic Studies, Shalem College, Jerusalem
Index terms: Art History - Decorative Arts, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Sexuality
Paper 822-cMnemonic Functions of Late Medieval Monumental Paintings
(Language: English)
Jan Dienstbier, Fakulta Humanitních Studií, Univerzity Karlova, Praha
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Lay Piety, Literacy and Orality, Religious Life

The Santa Maria de Ripoll monastery was founded in Catalonia in the 9th century and becomes one of the most important centres in Christian Europe and was connected with the other Benedictine foundations of France. In its walls studied the trivium and the quatrivium, some of the most important personages like Gerbert d’Aurillach, who becomes Papa Silvester II in the year 1000.

One of the most ancient manuscripts is Barcelona, Arxiu de la Corona d’Aragó, Ripoll 74, a miscellaneous book where we can find astronomy, mathematics, glossaries, notarial formulas, the poems ‘Carmina Rivipullensia’, and, in the first five folios, one tonary. My paper will explain the particularities of this tonary written in Catalan pneumatic notation and how the cantors could learn the musical pieces with the use of the mnemonic techniques that we can find on the manuscript and their internal working. In my research, I’ve compared different sources containing tonaries, and Ripoll 74’s tonary has a unique characteristic distribution to make the learned music in year 1000 easy to remember.

Paper -b:
My paper will propose that the use of sexually provocative imagery in mnemonics was not a professional secret crafted in the 15th century, but rather a practice vaguely implied in earlier medieval texts. It will present evidence to the usage of sensual imagery (or sexual ‘places’) as part of medieval and early modern mnemonic practices, and demonstrate, using an unexpected early modern rabbinical source, that such practices were not considered esoteric, even if they were not expounded on overtly in written treatises. It will also present an initial search for promising origins to such mnemonics in medieval marginalia and architecture.

Paper -c:
While almost any late medieval religious image could have been contemplated and thus memorized some of them clearly employed mnemonic procedures in their very own design. This is not just the case of manuscript illuminations but also of panel paintings and wall-paintings. A notable example is the image type of ‘Defensorium virginitatis beatae Mariae’, a scheme consisting of multiple layers of meaning arranged in the geometrical scheme ruled by repetition of same quantities. I shall observe how this unique design changed in the pictorial tradition, and what can we say about its reception as well as about similar image schemes based on the same principles.