Colloque – The Art of Law

Recent years have witnessed a clear rise in scholarship on law and the visual, mostly originating in the wider field of law and the humanities. The conference The Art of Law: Artistic Representations and Iconography of Law & Justice in Context from the Middle Ages to the First World War wishes to contribute to this research by focusing on imagery in its legal and art historical contexts. The program brings together original and interdisciplinary scholarship that questions the role of art in the practice of law, jurisprudence and justice administration from the Late Middle Ages through the Nineteenth Century.

The conference will be held in the Groeningemuseum, Bruges on Monday 16, Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 January, 2017, during the exhibition De Kunst van het Recht. Drie Eeuwen Gerechtigheid in Beeld (The Art of Law. Three Centuries of Justice Depicted) at the Groeningemuseum (28 October, 2016 – 5 February, 2017). This art exhibition, curated by Vanessa Paumen and Tine Van Poucke, features about 130 artworks from over 30 national and international museums and libraries and will focus on themes related to justice as expressed in artworks of various media from about 1450 through 1750.

The conference The Art of Law is the closing conference of the IAP Justice and Populations’s WP4: Long-term (Self-)Representations of Justice (LongTermJust).

The conference is supported by

  • Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS
  • Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO)
  • Flemish Research Centre for the Arts of the Burgundian Netherlands
  • IAP Justice and Populations: The Belgian Experience in International Perspective


Programme :

Monday 16 January, 2017: Medieval Legal Iconography

9:00-9:20: Registration & Morning Coffee

9:20-9:30 Word of Welcome by Till-Holger Borchert (director Musea Brugge)

9:30- 9:40 Introduction by the organizers

9:40-11:10 Session I: The Last Judgment (XIV-XVI century)

Chair: Carolin Behrmann (KHI Florence)

Clare Sandford-Couch (Northumbria University): Changes in Late-Medieval Artistic Representations of Hell in Central and Northern Italy: a Visual Trick?
Mia Korpiola (University of Turku): The Role of Church Paintings of the Last Judgement as Images of Justice in a Lay-dominated Legal System, Sweden 1350-1600
Edina Eszenvi (Rome Art Program): The Psychostasis in Medieval Hungary

11:10-11:40 Coffee break

11:40-12-10 Introduction to the Exhibition by Curator Vanessa Paumen

12:10-13:30 Lunch break

13:30-15:30 Session II: Legal Imagery in the City (XIV-XV century)

Chair: Vanessa Paumen (exhibition curator/Groeningemuseum)

Caroline O. Fowler (Yale University): Group Portraiture in Early Netherlandish Justice Paintings
Nadine Mai (University of Hamburg): Healing the City with Blood – Jerusalem as a juridical Metaphor in 15th century Bruges
Tamara Golan (Johns Hopkins University): “ut experiri et scire posset”: Hans Fries and the Forensic Gaze in the Kleiner Johannes Altar
Bertrand Cosnet (Université de Tours/CESR): The Personifications of Justice in Italian City-states: from Equity to Good Government

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:30 Session III: Legal Iconography in Illuminated Manuscripts (XIII-XVI century) Chair: Clare Sandford-Couch (Northumbria University)

Marina Vidas (Royal Library Copenhagen): Images of Justice in Venetian Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Illuminated Documents and Books
Egbert Koops (Leiden University): The Penis mightier than the Sword. Phallic Imagery in a Bolognese Legal Manuscript
Andrew Murray (independent scholar): The Montpellier Parchment and the Sovereignty of Justice in the Later Valois Burgundy State

(12:30-18:00 Groeningemuseum & The Art of Law exhibition accessible for participants)

18:30-19:30 Welcoming reception at the Bruges Town Hall hosted by the City of Bruges and Mayor Renaat Landuyt

Tuesday 17 January, 2017: Early Modern Legal Iconography

9:30-10:30 Session IV: Justitia’s Early Modern Complexity

Chair: Georges Martyn (Ghent University)

Valérie Hayaert (IHEJ Paris): Justice’s blindfold: Fascia or Fascis? Or Both?
Guy Delmarcel (Department of Art History, KULeuven): Justitia. Examples and Allegories of Justice and Tribunals in Flemish Tapestry. 1450-1550

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-12:30 Session V: Representations and Power

Chair: Valérie Hayaert (IHEJ, Paris)

Paul De Win (independent scholar): Art et Droit Pénal
Beatrijs Wolters van der Weij (Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels): Happy Are Those who Observe Justice, who Do Righteousness at all Times.’ Civic Bodies and their Identification with Justice and Law in Early Modern Flemish Portraiture
Frederik Dhondt (VUB/UA/UGent/FWO): Diplomacy, Law and the Representation of Power. The Iconography of Peace from Louis XIV to Louis XV

12:30-13:30 Lunch break

13:30-15:00 Session VI: Early Modern Court Room Decorations

Chair: Samuel Mareel (Museum Hof van Busleyden/KMSKA/Ghent University)

Christian-Nils Robert (University of Geneva): Setting the Stage for Justice. An Enduring Anachronism
Ann-Kathrin Hubrich (University of Hamburg): The Scenography of Early Modern Court Rooms – Lüneburg for example
Raf Verstegen (KU Leuven): The Judgement of Cambyses. The Multiple Sources of a Rich Iconographical Topic

15:00-15:30 Coffee break

15:30-17:00 Session VII: Commenting Law in Early Modern Print

Chair: Pedro Barbas-Homem (Universidade de Lisboa)

Gustav Kalm (Columbia University): The Rhetoric of Letterform in an Ordinary 16th Century German Formulary
Alain Wijffels (Leiden/Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve/CNRS): Lawyers and Litigants: Corruption of Justice in H. Goltzius’s Litis Abusus
Felix Jäger (KHI Florence): Legal Iconology of the Grotesque in the 16th Century

18:00-19:00 Key Note Lecture : Carolin Behrmann (KHI Florence): Law’s Manifestations: From Signs to Images – on Early Modern Legal Iconology

19:30-21:00 Conference Dinner (Walking Dinner)

Informations pratiques :

The conference will be held at the Vriendenzaal (Room of the Friends of the Museum) on the 1st floor of the Groeningemuseum, Dijver 12, 8000 Brugge, Belgium.

Registration : here

Source : The Art of Law

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