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Re-Inventing Traditions

On the Transmission of Artistic Patterns in Late Medieval Manuscript Illumination

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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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Introduction

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The present book assembles a series of new studies on the transmission of artistic patterns in late medieval manuscript illumination north and south the Alps, a means of artistic production that has played an essential role throughout the Middle Ages. Despite a constantly changing and developing process of production the recourse on older works of art, the reproduction, variation and adaptation of artistic patterns shaped the methods of work of medieval scribes and illuminators. Art history always had a particular interest in the study of artistic transmission and concepts of pictorial traditions in order to outline artistic developments, regional particularities and even individual biographies. But even the most elaborate works of art can never be sufficiently understood in their historic context when separated from the history of their motifs.

This book assembles individual case studies delivered at the conference “Re-inventing Traditions – On the Transmission of Artistic Patterns in Late Medieval Manuscript Illumination” held at the Gemäldegalerie Berlin and the Freie Universität in Berlin on June 8–10, 2012. It was generously supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, Cologne. The idea for the conference developed from many discussions in the lively environment of Prof. Eberhard König’s chair of Late Medieval and Early Modern Art History at the Freie Universität Berlin. The conference coincided with the exhibition “Die Kunst der Beschreibung. Handschriften aus fünf Jahrhunderten kommentiert von Eberhard König: Eine Faksimile-Ausstellung” at the University Library of the Freie Universität.1 The exhibition...

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