Monday, September 28, 2009

from Beatus de Facundus: The dragon gives his power to the beast 11th century

from the Escorial Beatus

Beatus of Liebana Beatus Escorial 10th century Mozarabic manuscript

Saturday, September 26, 2009

what goes around comes back

Book of Mulling

The momentous Staffordshire find is stirring up much excitement worldwide.
It is fascinating to read how there have been no feminine articles or domestic items recovered, and that previously dicovered Anglo Saxon hoards,such as the renowned Sutton Hoo ship burial for instance,include large amounts of cultural material meant to be worn or used by women. Staffordshire's, so far, appears to be exclusively related to masculine trophies and war gear, making it a particularly telling discovery in its own right, and sending historians' and archaeologists',(who are expecting to glean fountains of information from the mysterious objects), heads spinning. Precious knowledge will be forthcoming, they say, about a murderous, trans-formative time of which very little is known for certain.
To see the exquisite line of the small,engraved handwriting with its "misspelled" letters is very moving somehow, more so even than the delicately wrought cloisonne pieces,and perhaps even more a sign of the elite status of its wearer (in an era when there was probably not much writing being worn, much less read, by the common person), and the folded cross, (although who will ever know why, or for whatever reason it was folded?), seems to evoke such violence.

Anyway the whole thing has got me looking up every Anglo Saxon manuscript image I can find on Wikipedia.
update on Staffordshire find from the timesonline in the UK

Friday, September 25, 2009

11th century Anglo-Saxon World Map, called the Tiberius Map
collection of the British Library

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Incredible Early Medieval hoard discovered on a farm in Staffordshire

Staffordshire hoard folded cross

Vespasian Psalter

(Above are some examples of Anglo Saxon script circa 7th to 8th century)

"The inscription, misspelled in places, is probably from the Book of Numbers and reads: "Surge domine et dissipentur inimici tui et fugiant qui oderunt te a facie tua," or "Rise up, o Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed."
(from 9/24/09)

This is really big! Experts are completely bowled over at the superb quality of the metal work in the 1500 objects recovered. Possibly a royal stash buried for safekeeping with the owner or owners planning to return later....

Official Website of the Stafffordshire treasure includes flickr images

"There once many a man
Mood-glad, gold bright, of gleams garnished,
Flushed with wine-pride, flashing war-gear,
Gazed on wrought gemstones, on gold, on silver,
On wealth held and hoarded, on light-filled amber"

from an Anglo Saxon poem quoted by Kenneth Clark in Civilisation Episode 1 The Skin of Our Teeth

Botticelli Exhibition at the Stadel Museum

Sunday, September 20, 2009

14th century illuminations featured now at BibliOdyssey

BibliOdyssey is featuring The Romance of Alexander the Great.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

lovely animated Irish adventure film based on the Book of Kells released in U.S. this summer

The Secret of Kells

Judging from the trailer, the visuals of this film charm utterly.

Tomm Moore: story writer, director
Nora Twomey:co-director
Fabrice Ziolkowski: screenplay

a review from Ha Neul Seom

a review from Village Voice
The Secret of Kells

Dead Sea Scrolls On Exhibition in US Next March

Exceedingly RARE BOOK Alert:
World Renowned Dead Sea Scrolls to be on exhibit in St.Paul at the Science Museum of Minnesota .Tickets go on sale beginning today for the special international traveling event that opens March 12, 2010 and will feature 15 of the irreplaceable scrolls displayed in three separate sets of five over the length of the exhibition.

A Sumptious Prayerbook Opens Its Leaves

More on the Nuremberg Mahzor Exhibition at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem
(from Tablet Jeannie Rosenfeld 9/17/09)

Site of Digitised Images of the Nuremberg Mahzor

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

From U of Chicago, UCLA, and Western Michigan University:

Call for Papers:

45th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University,
Kalamazoo, May 13–16, 2010

The Sacred Places of Medieval Monasticism

Organizers: Kristine Kess, University of Chicago; Cristina Stancioiu, UCLA

"Monasticism played an important role in the Middle Ages, interacting with and shaping social and political structures, as well as peoples’ religious life. This panel focuses on the sacred places of medieval monasticism. Individual holy men and communities often located themselves in opposition to the urban population, withdrawing to the desert or mountainous terrain. For example, the “holy mountain” is a persistent notion accompanying both eremitic and cenobitic practices in Byzantium, from Sinai and the Wondrous Mountain of Symeon Stylites the Younger, first settled in the 4th and 5th centuries, to the foundation of Meteora in the 14th century. In the West, along with removal to wilderness places, islands and anchor holds likewise provide important sites for asceticism. Our goal is to bring together papers from a variety of disciplines, in order to question the construction and representation of specific landscapes in relation to monastic life in both Byzantium and the Medieval West. These can include interior as well as exterior spaces.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to: the archaeology of specific sites; textual/rhetorical construction of place; artistic patronage and representation of monasteries and their surrounding landscapes;depictions of monastic life; solitary vs. communal spaces; pilgrimage art; saint’s lives; the construction of place in monastic rules,foundation documents and typika; spiritualized landscapes and/or devotional practices".

Please send 300-word abstract and completed Participant Information Form
(available on line at to:

Cristina Stancioiu
1739 East 1stSt., #8
Long Beach, CA90802

Submissions may be sent electronically or in paper format. Applications must be postmarked no later than September 15, 2009.
from the U.of Chicago:

"The Newberry Library is seeking papers for it's 30th Annual Grad Conference. We invite abstracts for 15-20 minute papers from master's or Ph.D. students on any medieval, Renaissance, or early modern topic. We encourage submissions from disciplines as varied as the literature of any language, history, classics, art history, music, comparative literature, theater arts, philosophy, religious studies, transatlantic studies, disability studies, and manuscript studies. Please submit a curriculum vitae and an abstract of up to 300 words to".
lovely image on flickr posted by Antiquité Tardive

(thanks to Early Medieval Art 9/16/09)

Charles the Bold Exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna

grisaille imagey mixes with color in this 15thc.illuminated manuscript painting attributed to Willem Vrelant

Willem Vrelant Virgin and Child with Angels
tempera,ink and gold on parchment 15th c. (from the Arenberg Hours) J. Paul Getty museum

The special traveling exhibition, Charles The Bold :The Splendor and Fall of the Last Duke of Burgundy will be at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna from September 15th to January 10, 2010.The exhibition features art objects from several different genres, including illuminated manuscripts, that were produced for the Court of Burgundy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

East meeting West at Sur La Lune

Kay Neilsen The Six Swans

Hiroshigi Wild Geese Flying Across A Crescent Moon c.1830 Edo period

Kay Neilsen illustration from the Brother's Grimm

The Wild Swans Adrienne Segur

The Danish swans are happening now in the new movie adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's The Six Swans. De Vilde Svaner trailer is being featured at Heidi Anne Heiner's Sur la Lune Fairy Tales Blog today (9/14/09) The film makes me think of the illustrations of Kay Neilsen as well as those of Adrienne Segur.
Sur la Lune is also reporting on the extraordinary fairy tale performances of Japanese artist
Miwa Yinagi.

Last thoughts of a Scottish Queen

Mary Queen of Scots final letter was written to her husband's brother, Henry III of France, hours before her execution.The letter will be on display at the National Library of Scotland for one week beginning tomorrow (from BBC news/UK 9/14/09)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

those woodcuts again....

Brilliant art of Reformation presses rolls at Bibliodyssey

rare hand painted Georg Lemberger woodcuts from a Michael Lotter Luther bible rock out at BibliOdyssey (accessed on 9/13/2009)Add Image

Guarded treasures from an ancient crossroads released temporarily for public viewing

Treasured and long protected magnificent items of an ancient visual cultural production, many of which have never been seen outside of Vietnam, their land of origin, will be shown in the United States this fall at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and in 2010 at the Asia Society in New York.

According to Douglas Britt of the Houston Chronicle (9/13/2009) there will be four special exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts. One exhibition in particular, The Archaeology of Fu Nan in the Mekong River Delta, will feature precious objects recovered from an area that was once a flourishing early medieval trade route between the Roman, Chinese and Indian empires.

Early Engravings to make an appearance at Rhode Island School of Design's Museum of Art

The Farnese Hercules by Hendrik Goltzius 1591
above image accessed from wikipedia 9/12/09

From Art and Antiques on The Brilliant Line ( 9/16/2009)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

St Albans Psalter: An international conference and special exhibition in Hildesheim

The St. Alban's Psalter Piety and Passion Dombibliothek Hildesheim

The St. Alban's psalter, famed Romanesque manuscript housed in Hildesheim, will be on exhibition there in December. The leaves are in an un-bound state temporarily and will be displayed individually.

Renowned Dead Sea Scrolls Scholar to speak at ULM

Jewish Scholar Geza Vermes will speak at the University of Louisiana at Monroe

Virtual Qumran Project

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

from British Library releases thousands of rare audio tracks online

British Library Archival Sound Recordings

from 1st Angel:Limbourg deluxe


June from Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry 1411

It's cool to find out from reading the fine article (linked above) that the Limbourg brothers were teen-aged when they painted the most beautiful Book of Hours for Jean, Duke of Berry.

Considering general life expectancy was only about 35 or so,it makes sense, since theirs was a culture peopled almost exclusively by the very young, with no apprehension at all of a carefree period of life called "childhood".(Surviving infancy was key and the greatest hurdle, with each year gained past five giving one a better chance of making it to ripe old age). Still, it is astonishing, especially when taking in the self- assured formal grace and bold narrative invention of the Brothers exquisite, panoramic imagery.

The Met's exhibit of the Tres Riches Heures, with its leaves unbound and on display individually, opens next March.

from Artico: Abstraction and Empathy

Tibetan Mandala 19th century

Artico review on Abstraction and Empathy,an exhibition at DEUTSCHE GUGGENHEIM Berlin.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hereford Mappa Mundi

a medieval Tand O map (referring to shape and design of map)

makes me think of Google earth

from BBC News: Thirteenth Century Medieval Travel Book returns home

Thursday, September 3, 2009

from the Miami site of Roman army's Iron Age mayhem possibly revealed in Britain

An Olympic 2012 construction team struck gold in a disturbing find, which may turn out to be the archeological remains of a Roman massacre of ancient Britons.

Early Medieval mass grave uncovered at site of next Olympics