York Medieval Lecture (17 November 2015) – Imagining the Past: Interplay Between Textual and Visual Imagery in Late Medieval France

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Imagining the Past: Interplay Between Textual and Visual Imagery in Late Medieval France (Tuesday 17 November 2015, 6.15pm)

Professor Anne D. Hedeman (Judith Harris Murphy Distinguished Professor, Kress Foundation Department of Art History, University of Kansas)

During the late middle ages in France, there was a boom in translations of classical literature and of contemporary Italian writers such as Boccaccio. But such translations of text removed in time and place posed a problem: How could those involved in manuscript production, such as the artists, authors, translators, or book publishers, bridge cultural and chronological divides between ancient Rome, fourteenth-century Italy, and fifteenth-century Paris? In this lecture Anne D Hedeman will explore how visual imagery interacted with texts to make the past present to a new French audience.

Location: Room K/133, King’s Manor

Admission: is free and open to all. No ticket required.

About the Speaker

Anne D. Hedeman is the Judith Harris Murphy Distinguished Professor of Art History in the Kress Foundation Department of Art History at the University of Kansas.

Her research examines the relationships between a text and its images in vernacular late medieval French manuscripts in order to contextualize this experience and gain insight into late medieval ideology and society.

In books she has analyzed the role images played in the earliest national history of France, showed how a royal secretary sought to use images to capture the attention of the mad king Charles VI, and considered the key role that visual imagery played in translating texts originating in earlier times or in non-French cultures to make them appealing and accessible to fifteenth-century French readers. Her book in progress will analyze the role of this visual translation in works owned or made by three French humanists who were instrumental in introducing ancient Roman and contemporary Italian texts to the French court in the early 1400s.

She has also co-curated an exhibition at the Getty Museum and co-authored its catalogue, Imagining the Past in France, History in Manuscript Painting 1250-1500 which was a finalist in 2012 for the Alfred H. Barr Award for Museum Scholarship.

Her research has been supported most recently by a Guggenheim Fellowship and recognized by election as a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America.

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