[Paper:] Sabine Sommerer (Zurich): The Eloquence of the King’s Chamber: Descriptions of Royal Palaces from the 10th-14th Century
Medieval descriptions of royal state-rooms can offer important clues on how to understand these spaces. We cannot always expect them to describe existing decorations. In many cases they demonstrably did not. But, to bring their panegyric or parodistic intentions to bear, the authors necessarily had to refer to the real world experience of their audience—and to surpass it. The following questions arise: Which popular topoi are referred to? Which canonical iconography did they alude to? How are the described decorations singled out to serve the purpose of the authors? Finally, many of these aspects can be brought together to further our understanding of the state-rooms’ functions.
This paper will be presented at the international conference:
which aims to put the Sala dos brasões in Sintra in its European context as a royal/princely state-room. It is a follow up to the “Heraldry in Medieval and Early modern State-rooms” held in March 2016 in Münster, which, for its part, focused on the heraldic décor of medieval and early modern state-rooms as such.