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Re-Inventing Traditions

On the Transmission of Artistic Patterns in Late Medieval Manuscript Illumination


Edited By Joris Corin Heyder and Christine Seidel

The volume comprises 16 papers given at the conference Re-Inventing Traditions held in Berlin in 2012. It negotiates the question of the transmission of artistic patterns in late medieval manuscript illumination. The model as such is often regarded as a mere working tool but recently the conditions of its creation and transformation have been discovered as a field of research. Among the central themes of these essays are textual tradition, workshop methods and the development and changeability of artistic models throughout different media and in various European regions.
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Floral Borders: Some comparative aspects: Nataša Golob


Nataša Golob

Floral Borders: Some comparative aspects


The rethinking of the relationship between illumination, and wall and panel paint-ings in ex-Carniola (present Slovenia) in Gothic period was triggered by the discov-ery of a painted wooden ceiling in the village of Gosteče, near Ljubljana (c. 1515): large fantastic blossoms, framing a few images of saints, are parallels to contemporary manuscript decoration. Although the written sources for the art of Middle Ages offer rather general descriptions of painted wooden ceilings we still learn that iconographic scenes were centrally positioned and bordered by floral and leafy mo-tifs all around. The principle is the same as in manuscripts: text is essential and cen-tered, while the margins are for painted decoration. The compositions on the vaults of gothic churches also allow for comparisons to illumination, and the formal rela-tionship is revealed in the usage of the same patterns, of spindle and pumpkin blos-soms, of leafy flowers as corbels for angels, of anthropomorphic leafy fantasies etc.


Point of departure

In autumn 1987 restoration work commenced on the baroque painted wooden ceiling, which decorated the church of St Andrew in the hamlet of Gosteče between Ljubljana and Škofja Loka. The ceiling, which is composed of coffered panels, was painted in 1699 by the local painter Janez Jamšek. When the first of the damaged fields, depicting images of saints and garlands, was removed, a segment of an older painted wooden ceiling...

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