26 May 2009


Judith Collard (University of Otago)

"Mixing History and Science in the Maps and Diagrams in Matthew Paris and Ranulph Higden's illuminated chronicles."

This research comes out of a wider project on the illumination of History in English medieval chronicles. In my recent research trip to Europe and the US I have been examining the manuscripts of Matthew Paris and Ranulph Higden. One of the surprising aspects of examining illuminated English chronicles is the breadth of imagery found within them. Not only are there narrative scenes and decorated initials, such works also contain a range of diagrams from mappamundi to genealogies to the scientific. These were derived from a variety of disparate sources. Individual elements have received attention, but have generally been read in isolation, often without regard to the historical text that they accompany. This is particularly the case with maps. While many of the texts have been published, the visual apparatus existing within and around these texts are rarely discussed or reproduced by either their editors or later art historians. My focus in this talk is on these diagrams and the challenges they present to modern ideas about medieval chronicles.

Wednesday May 27, 4.30-5.30 pm, Theatre 1, Economics & Commerce Building, University of Melbourne (Parkville campus)

This seminar is free of charge and open to all staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students and members of the public.

Judith Collard is a senior lecturer in Art History and Theory at the University of Otago. I studied at Melbourne Uni and Latrobe and am currently an honorary fellow in Fine Arts. I teach both medieval and contemporary art history at Otago and my most recent articles include work on Matthew Paris and the Flores Historiarum and appear in Zeitschrift fur Kunstgeschichte and Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History.

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