appel à contributions : God is in the Details” – The Art of Detail in the Middle Ages

Date limite de réponse à l’appel : 13 février 2022

For Aby Warburg, God was in the details; for others they were the devil. From manuscript  miniatures to carved altarpieces or richly decorated muqarnas , detail was highly valued in  the Middle Ages. In different circumstances the deployment of detail displays, disguises  and depends upon the materiality of objects, embedded in the woven structure of textiles,  the techniques of Islamic metal inlay, and the varied receptivity to carved decoration of  ivory, marble, alabaster and boxwood. The production of detail was demanding, often  requiring fine materials, masterful skill, hours of time and technical innovation. Small  things, then, as well as large, could speak to the sophistication and power of patrons, but  did details also communicate in more subtle ways? Details could disrupt well-established  iconographies and half-conceal subversive subtexts, or present subtle suggestions which  only the most perceptive viewers would appreciate. Did details also affect scalar  relationships between viewer and object, pointing beyond the material dimensions of the  ordinary world? The production and reception of details are central to this colloquium. 

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