Sacred Traditions and the Arts seminar

Materiality and the Sacred

Friday 26 April 2013
18.00 - 19.30, Research Forum South Room, The Courtauld Institute of Art

Rock Crystal Cross, Venice (?), C14Rock Crystal Cross, Venice (?), C14, with additionsSpeaker(s): Stefania Gerevini (Lecturer of Byzantine Art History, The Courtauld Institute of Art), Sarah Guérin (SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Professor Ben Quash (King’s College London) and Dr Scott Nethersole (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

This seminar will explore the role materiality played in shaping sacred objects in the Middle Ages. By considering the exegetical significance of two key artistic media, ivory and rock crystal respectively, and how scientific and medical texts construed the place of these materials in the natural world, Sarah Guérin and Stefania Gerevini each consider how media contributed to the communication of the sacred.

Stefania Gerevini
is a fixed-term Lecturer of Byzantine Art History at The Courtauld Institute of Art. Her research focuses on issues of artistic interchange across the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages, particularly between Byzantium and Italy. The adoptions and adaptations that took place in the treasury of San Marco in Venice have inspired Stefania to explore the uses of light and transparency as artistic media, and the dissemination of theories and theologies of light in the medieval world.

Sarah Guérin is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at The Courtauld Institute of Art. Her work focuses on cultural and intellectual history as discovered through the lens of Gothic ivories. She has published on a number of questions in this field, from attributions and facture, to trade, devotional use and liturgical performance.

The seminar on Sacred Traditions and the Arts is a joint venture between the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s and The Courtauld. It seeks to place researchers in dialogue who are working on any aspect of the sacred and visual culture. It is open to all scholars and students who have an interest in exploring the intersections of religion and art regardless of period, geography or tradition.

There will be ample time for discussion and questions following the papers. The event will be concluded by an informal reception.

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