Organized by Zuleika Murat and Davide Tramarin
This 4th Seminar will approach the medieval use of illuminated manuscripts for the private devotion with presentations by Francesca Manzari (Sapienza Università di Roma) and Zuleika Murat (Università di Padova).
Testi e immagini per la devozione nell’Italia del Duecento
Books of Hours are the main type of book for devotion in the late Middle Ages, but those produced in Italy have long remained unknown, both because of their greater rarity compared to the innumerable transalpine production, and because of their peculiar characters, which have often made them difficult to recognise. In fact, it has not been noted clearly enough that Books of Hours are in fact a particular type of miscellany for devotion. They can be distinguished, classifying them as a particular type, but it is in this context that they should be studied, along with the other devotional miscellany, themselves sometimes very close to those for spiritual formation and edifying reading.
The oldest Books of Hours appear in the second half of the 13th century, along with other types of devotional codices. As early as the mid-13th century, in fact, the Office of the Virgin spreads in manuscripts with different contents, adapted for use in devotional practices. Illuminated manuscripts of this type – containing psalms, offices, lives of saints, gospel narratives and even other biblical texts – share cycles of images, texts, functions, producers and addressees with the Books of Hours. All these book types must therefore be investigated in a comprehensive manner.
Immagini per meditare nell’Italia del Trecento: un Picture-Book di Pacino di Bonaguida (New York, The Morgan Library & Museum, Ms. 643)
This presentation investigates the mental and spiritual process of interiorization of the Passion imagery, the mechanism that permitted the transition from a material representation, experienced with the senses, to a mental image, impressed into the memory, then evoked and relived in a purely spiritual form. To do this, it will adopt a combined methodology, putting together the art-historical approach with investigative tools and theories developed in other fields of knowledge and recently integrated into the humanities following the cognitive, sensorial and material turns. The starting point of the investigation will be an illuminated manuscript, a picture-book produced by Pacino di Bonaguida around 1320 and currently preserved in New York (Pierpont Morgan Libray & Museum, M.643). The codex contains a sequence of illustrations serving as meditation on the sacred event, and thus allows us to examine the practices and experiences of the faithful of the time from the material data.