Ontology of the Medieval Image

Bissera Pentcheva, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University
Isabelle Marchesin, Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art, Paris

This collaborative team-based project focuses on the meaning of images in medieval culture as defined by Scripture, theology, and science; it analyzes iconography though epistemology uncovering the cultural and spiritual framework in which form operates. The French team, led by Isabelle Marchesin, at INHA has developed the platform working on Western medieval art. They have defined 35 concepts and 300 iconographical themes in which they have classified and analyzed 1500 artworks. The Stanford team of art historians will introduce the Byzantine East, developing its own framework of concepts, themes and selection of artworks. The proposed collaboration has a teaching and research components. The teaching includes a Blockseminar (2 weeks, 5 hours a day). One week is dedicated to Byzantine art taught by Bissera Pentcheva and her team of Stanford PhD. students. Stanford will develop the syllabus, the list of concepts, and organize the teaching sessions. In the second week, the INHA team, will focus on Western medieval art and training in digital humanities. They will share with the Stanford team how they have conceptualized and structured the online database and teach us how to use it and plug in our new entries on Byzantine art. The seminar and training will be conducted with objects from the Musée du Cluny, Louvre, and manuscripts from BnF.

Academic Year
2021-2022
Area of Study