This seminar explores the complex status, understanding, and practices of the medieval artist, primarily in Europe and the Mediterranean world but with comparative material from around the globe considered as well. The issue of artists has long been vexed in the study of medieval art because of a lack of documentation and the collaborative nature of much artistic production, but medieval objects and sources do much to illuminate medieval conceptions of creativity, process, and acts of making. In many contexts, particularly convents and monasteries, artists were not only the makers but often also the users and primary audience for the objects and images they made. We will consider issues such as medieval theories of creativity and of artistic production; artists as vessels for divine acts of creation and the role of visionary experience in acts of making; conceptions of authorship across artistic and literary media; gendered conceptions of the creative process; new research on female artistic production; and methodologies in the current field for considering these acts of making.
Professor Karl Whittington
In person, Wed 2:15-5:00