Category: English

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[Paper:] Elizabeth Biggs, James Hillson (Cambridge, UK): A Palace Chapel as State-Room at Westminster, 1348-1450

In 1348 St Stephen’s Chapel was completed.  Sited in the centre of the Palace of Westminster, the blank walls of the new building presented Edward III with an opportunity to create a new iconography of kingship. Between 1348 and 1363 the king and his craftsmen transformed the chapel’s surface into one of the most elaborate royal decorative programmes of the fourteenth century, including painted masonry, Old Testament narratives, sculptures,...

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[Paper:] Isabel Monteiro (Lisbon): Music in Portuguese Renaissance Courts: Performers, Contexts and Places

The expression ‘heraldic music’ has been used to describe musical bands of a significant number of trumpets, kettle drums and shawms suitable to accompany solemn courtly and other ceremonial events, although we do not know much about the music they actually played. It is certainly not necessary to remind the fact that no great lord did not make use of music to present his class and power, standing in...

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[Paper:] Nuno Senos (Lisbon): The Great Hall of the Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa

From the 1530s to the 1560s, duke Teodosio de Bragança conducted a series of major construction campaigns in his family’s palace in Vila Viçosa providing the building with a new wing faced with a splendid marble façade (the first secular renaissance façade in the country) and a series of new rooms. Among these, a monumental staircase leads to an also new great hall of grand proportions, decorated with expensive...

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Heraldry in early-modern Spain according to the picaresque novel (1554–1668)

I have recently published an article in which I analyze the heraldic information contained in a total of twenty-seven Spanish picaresque novels from the years 1554 to 1668. Faced with the fantastic novel of chivalry, the realistic setting of the picaresque allows a better approach to the daily heraldic practices in Spain during the Early Modern Age, as well as to the perception of the coat of arms. A...

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[Paper:] Torsten Hiltmann: Heraldry and Materiality – Oxford, 1 March 2017

In recent years the concept of materiality has become more and more important in historical research. In going beyond the study of texts and images, scholarship now also addresses the materiality of their media, as well as the role physical objects may have played in different historical settings. This talk will explore the relationship between coats of arms and the concept of materiality. First, the talk will focus on...

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[Paper:] Pedro Flor (Lisbon): Decorating spaces: Artistic strategies of King Manuel I and the great hall of Sintra royal palace

Sintra became popular with the royal family as Queen Philippa of Lancaster received from King João I the rents and the properties of the town. Besides, the King set about rebuilding the royal lodgings around 1415. Sintra was rewarded by a series of royal visits from medieval times to Renaissance. Kings and its court stayed there on a number of occasions and seem to have particularly favoured the royal...

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[Paper:] Solveig Bourocher (Tours): Les décors intérieurs et extérieurs de la grande salle du logis ducal de Loches au service du pouvoir de Louis Ier d’Anjou (1370-1378)

Après avoir reçu de son frère, le roi Charles V, le duché de Touraine en 1364, Louis Ier d’Anjou engagea la construction d’un palais neuf dans l’enceinte du château de Loches (France, Indre-et-Loire). De cette résidence princière, il reste aujourd’hui un corps de logis prolongé par une tour circulaire et une grande terrasse édifiée sur les voûtes d’une rampe cavalière. L’étude archéologique de l’ensemble, menée dans le cadre de...

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[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...

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[Paper:] Dorit Malz (Florence): Jupiter and Neptune as Emperor Charles V and Andrea I Doria. Changing allusions at the Genovese court

The iconographic repertoire of Emperor Charles V, who was traveling restlessly through Europe until his abdication, extends from tapestries and medals to countless ephemeral apparati using different personalities from mythology, history, and biblical history, like Hercules, Neptune, Alexander the Great, Furius Camillus, Augustus and so on. Thereby the commissioner glorified himself or as one of these prototypes or as an accompanying person. It was consequently adopted by  Italian rulers...

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[CfA:] State-Rooms of Royal and Princely Palaces in Europe (14th-16th c.): Spaces, Images, Rituals – Lisbon/Sintra, 15-17 March 2017 (Programme)

From the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, European monarchies saw a gradual centralisation of power. This was accompanied by the dissemination of political ideas that contributed to the making of a new image of the prince, which relied on visual instruments to assert and construct the prince’s sovereign power. Royal and princely residences were at the centre of this phenomenon. In these privileged spaces, the sovereign accommodated an expanding...

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The baron who became an architect: (mis-)remembering Konrad Grünenberg (d. 1494)

Konrad Grünenberg (d. 1494) and his armorial for a long time have attracted the attention of heraldists; in the late 19th c. in particular, his work was praised by German heraldists as one of the most important medieval armorials, if not the greatest armorial ever. At Konstanz, he was remembered as well; several local historians studied his life and works, and a small street was named after him. The...

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The Japanese Mon – An Eastern Equivalent to the European Coats of Arms? (II): The Emergence of Mon

In my two previous articles on the Japanese mon I have introduced the topic as such. In the first article, I have claimed that there are some similarities between the Japanese mon and European coats of arms. The second article has shown that although mon appear very different from coats of arms at first sight, comparing both in their forms and contents in detail uncovers some fascinating similarities, especially...