Colloque – Medieval Altar. Equipment from matter to light

The high altar is the ritual, spiritual and, almost always, material and emotional epicenter of every church. Its installation in the main apse led to the creation of a scenography charged with significance, which distinguished this element from others in the ecclesiastical space, including the areas where the secondary altars were situated (transept, aisles, or tribunes). The purpose of medieval ecclesiastic promoters was, above all, to reveal and extol the titular saints and the Divinity and, on occasions, to identify heraldically or scripturally the intellectual maker of the work. This edition of the colloquium Ars Mediaevalis proposes a more reasoned understanding of the physical contexts of main apses and the sites of the secondary altars, in a symbiotic scrutiny with the artistic equipment intended to adorn the altars and their immediate surroundings. The analyses of the materiality of the architectural structures and the visual devices will be interwoven with a phenomenological understanding of the works and a liturgical understanding of the stipulated rites and devotions. Methodologically, we aim at a deeper understanding of how material elements and intangible phenomena are integrated. Furthermore, ‘visual decorum’ is postulated as a prolific and epiphanic integrated system, summoned to manifest and celebrate the divine mysteries and to agglutinate human reactions to them.

The year 2022 marks the 800th anniversary of Suger’s appointment as abbot of Saint-Denis. It is the right occasion to reassess his impact on the redefinition of arts of the altars of 12th and 13th century Europe. This edition of the colloquium will be held in Aguilar de Campoo and Palencia, as in previous years, but it will conclude with the third day at the Centro de Estudios del Museo del Prado.

Programme : ici

Informations pratiques :

XII Coloquio Ars Mediaevalis

El equipamiento del altar medieval. De la materia a la luz  

Medieval Altar Equipment from matter to light 

Aguilar de Campoo-Palencia-Madrid, 17-19 de junio de 2022

Source : Santa Maria la Real

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