Gravity in Medieval Manuscript Marginalia

Mario and Medieval Manuscripts

Carl Pyrdum of Got Medieval (with a little help from Mario) makes a clever argument for the illustration of gravity in the margins of medieval manuscripts:

In order to keep the man and his goat in the middle from falling right on through the bottom of the page, the artist draws in little patches of ground beneath them. Mario, no stranger to platforms that hang in the air as if bolted to the background, would feel right at home with this arrangement.

See the original blog post here.

New Collections from the Index of Christian Art

Three new online image resources from the Index of Christian Art are now available. The first two listed below provide high resolution images for scholarly publications upon request, free of charge.

Romanesque Art Collection

The first of these is a database of some six thousand images of medieval (mainly Romanesque) art taken by a Swiss couple who wish to remain anonymous. The collection of digitized slides covers Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and The Netherlands, and includes many lesser-known sites as well as the more familiar. Most of the images are of sculpture, architecture, or wall paintings. The collection opens with frescoes from the Chapel of Saint Leonard in Naunders, Austria and closes with Amsoldingen Church in Switzerland.

The Lois Drewer Database

When she died some five months ago Lois Drewer left the Index of Christian Art a large and unsorted collection of several thousand slides covering many countries she visited throughout her lifetime. Her wide interest in art and architecture is reflected in this collection — not surprisingly called The Lois Drewer Database — which spans landscape and garden design, to archaeological sites in the Near East, to Romanesque and Gothic architecture, to a considerable focus on Renaissance architecture. Her travels brought her to Austria, Crete, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Libya, the Netherlands, Spain, Syria, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Gabriel Millet Collection

The third resource, and certainly the most ambitious of the three, is the first installment of images from a collaborative venture the Index entered into with the Bibliothèque Gabriel Millet in the Sorbonne, Paris. This is to catalogue the entire archive of Byzantine art that was first started in 1903. As it presently stands, the database contains nearly all of the slides (approximately 15,000) in the archive and these provide an unrivalled visual record of Byzantine art, particularly manuscripts, but with wall paintings and other media included as well.

Via the International Center of Medieval Art newsletter.

Visual Archive of Gothic Architecture and Sculpture in Ireland

Gothic Past is an open-access resource for the study of medieval Irish architecture and sculpture. It is part of a research project in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, Trinity College Dublin, which is funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS). The site showcases images from three significant collections of image archives housed in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, Trinity College. They include the Stalley Collection and the Rae Collection of medieval Irish architecture and sculpture: photographic images that were created and collected from the 1930s to the present day. A third archive contains the O’Donovan collection of Irish Gothic moulding profiles.

Registered users can group and save images for later reference, and can use these groups as presentation tools. In the future, users will be able to submit their own images for inclusion.

Medieval Plant Survey

The Medieval Plant Survey is a crowd-sourced medieval herbiary. With help from Flickr, it pairs contemporary photographs of plants with medieval manuscript illustrations to create a collaborative reference resource. For more information about the project, click here.

NOVA: Building the Great Cathedrals

NOVA’s Building the Great Cathedrals is now available to watch on the PBS website.

Take a dazzling architectural journey inside those majestic marvels of Gothic architecture, the great cathedrals of Chartres, Beauvais and other European cities. Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, some cathedrals now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, a team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell-towers for clues.

 

Pierpont Morgan Online Exhibitions: The Black Hours

The Morgan Library and Museum features online exhibitions, including high quality, zoom-able digital images of works in the collection. A recent example of this is the digital facsimile of The Black Hours (MS M.493), a Book of Hours from 1470 created on vellum and stained or painted black:

The result is quite arresting. The text is written in silver and gold, with gilt initials and line endings composed of chartreuse panels enlivened with yellow filigree. Gold foliage on a monochromatic blue background makes up the borders. The miniatures are executed in a restricted palette of blue, old rose, and light flesh tones, with dashes of green, gray, and white.

Linguistic Geographies: The Gough Map of Great Britain

A high-resolution, searchable, and zoomable copy of the Gough Map of Great Britain is now available online through the Linguistic Geographies project. The map may be searched by modern or medieval place name and browsed by place alphabetically.

The Gough Map is internationally-renowned as one of the earliest maps to show Britain in a geographically-recognizable form. Yet to date, questions remain of how the map was made, who made it, when and why… This website presents an interactive, searchable edition of the Gough Map, together with contextual material, a blog, and information about the project and the Language of Maps colloquium.