262 VIRTUAL GALLERY
incorporating our very own
[UNDER ONGOING AND PERPETUAL CONSTRUCTION!]
normally trained to work first (and sometimes next and last) from
documents. You can be a good historian without paying much attention to
"things", objects, buildings, artefacts and visuals of all kinds. Yet
impressions constitute an important and lasting part of our experience
as human beings. I see no reason to believe that things were any
in the middle ages. To the contrary, the men and women of the period
as you must already have noted, much less bounded than we are by
When Koenisgberger says (p. 379), "For every one person, in historical
times, who read a book there were a hundred who listened to music, who
sang and who danced", he could easily and probably should have added
remark about visual communications. Pre-modern Europeans acted and were
acted upon, we think,through oral rather than literate modes much more
often than we.
ignore medieval visuals, at our peril and with real loss. Visible documenta
it out in your dictionary) are just as likely to teach us novel and
lessons as our texts. And some of you will be even better at "reading"
them than you are with writings. I am not, on the whole. I have been
to describe myself as challenged in visual perception. (My wife puts it
differently, using some short, sharp words.) But even I may be changing
now that the Web makes first-rate reproductions and pictures so easily
available at our desks.
So please, take
time over this assignment. Wander through our galleries, seeing what
see, before you choose your object. And spend some real time looking
hard at them, taking in the detail, puzzling out their message. Of
you will find much out about your chosen object from books or at other
Web sites. But the real value of the exercize lies in what you can
for yourselves through the use of your own eyes. Good luck.
This Virtual Gallery
out of an experimental Virtual Museum project in which Cornell
involved with several other museums and universities. Alas, this has
you move on to the aptly named Koenigsberger Kloisters whose
are literally world-wide in scope, you ought to check out resources on
campus. You should certainly use the assignment as an excuse to visit
Art Museum, which can claim to be the most neglected resource on
at that. Its current policy sensibly imports loan
objects for temporary exhibition from other collections, such as at the
moment the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. You will find a
small gallery of medieval artefacts on the First Floor. Among a number
of objects well worth a look are the following:
There are, in addition, among the replicas outside the Art History
in the basement of Goldwin Smith Hall, a splendid group of Byzantine
and Ottonian Ivories, located in the middle, at the meeting
points of the two display windows. This is almost as close to class as
you can get!
Wooden Sculpture of St. Anne with Virgin and Child
was the first medieval artefact displayed to my knowledge on the World
Wide Web, and already publicized in the U.K. Guardian
in July 1995. You can compare it with another example from the Met of
early 16th Century date.
Marble Virgin and Child, 14th cent.Venice.
2 Ivory Diptychs, 14th cent. France.
Alabaster Relief of the Resurrection, 14th cent. England.
objects of this kind were enormously popular and widely sold in the
Illuminated Book of Hours, 15th cent. France.
Stone Portal sculpture of Lioness with cubs, Bologna, Italy,
Painted wooden scultpure of St. George and the Dragon, 15th
Germany. (One knows that so much of the sculpture was painted in bright
colors. This late example suggests how others too must once have
Painted wooden altar sculpture of the Crucufixion, 15th
listed below are an eclectic collection. They represent some of my own
favorite images from those available on the Web at this early stage.
they have come out rather biassed towards the earlier middle ages, they
should still give you enough beautiful and/or interesting things to
from. You must take each image or set of images on its own terms. Some
allow you to zoom in by clicking again and see a much magnified image.
Others offer a whole series of images for the price of a single one.
remember, please, that a number do quite literally come from half a
away so that today's still archaic technology may take quite a while to
load them onto your browser. Then, relax, enjoy, and maybe study too!
forget too that you will be able find much information about your
and images and perhaps check your initial theories in things called
kept in libraries; try Sibley as well as the more obvious Uris and
The bigger the image, the longer it will take to
download. Some take several, even many, minutes on my machine. But I
my selections are worth waiting for. Anyway, you cannot skim usefully
speed through images!
This sign indicates
not yet in full working order, one that I want in the Kloisters. Give
time, and I may restore it. Or better still, find it on the Web and
me the location details.
'A HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 100 OBJECTS'!
This is a good place to start looking for the class, but also a place
to stay on afterwards. It is the lasting result of a series of talks on
BBC Radio 4, one of the very few institutions in the UK for which I
would go the barricades if it became necessary to defend it! The
objects all come from the British Museum, in London, England. They are
carefully selected from a vast collection, first for their beauty and
visual interest then also for their story and place in history. They
range over a period from 2 million years ago right up to the present.
You will see pictures, but can also listen to podcasts describing what
you should see and commenting in a very accessible way on points of
interest about them and the cultures from which they came. I have
not found the time to 'do' all 100, but will certainly do so in due
course, as the medieval sample seem exceptionally well chosen. See what
Some images (and more) from Manuscript Books.Since
of these are rather famous, you should be able to find out more about
the one you choose.
Searching for Manuscript Images through Large Data
Some fine "things", including buildings:
Lindisfarne Gospels [cf. Koenigsberger, pl. 2. 9]
of Kells Some
images. There is a CD-Rom
MS, c. 1000. One of the 4 great MSS which give us
all our Old English verse, and some fine drawings too.
British Library offers no online images, now that the CD-Rom is
Carolingian Miniscule "Terence", c. 825
Beatus' Apocalypse, Spain mid-tenth century
Gospel Book: 4 Nations Reverence the Emperor [cf.
Koenigsberger, pl. 2. 5]
Classbook, late 10th cent. You can look at the whole
book, from the Bodleian Library, Oxford [link below], leaf by leaf.
MS of "La Chanson de Roland", 1st half 12th cent.
The Eadwine Psalter There is a fine
facsimile in book
form. Online, though, you can see some good bits, including a page to
you to chiromancy
(?!), a splendid scene
Genesis, an equally fine Besieged
Psalmist (Ps. 37), and a b/w illustration of the way three
of the psalter sit side by side.
at his writing Check out the details!
Tapestry [cf. Koenigsberger, pl. 3. 3]. There are
various versions of part or whole of this on the Web. The best, if you
have a decent computer and room for a Shockwave plug-in, is Osprey's,
is almost like seeing the marvellous real thing.But see Lynn
lecture for hints on how to use this and other resources.
Bible Moralisee, Paris c. 1230
Miscellany, including Bestiary in French verse, from
Musical Treatises, from Yorkshire, ? 1372
There is a whole collection of MSS of the "Romance
of the Rose" to browse through. Or
a heavily illuminated copy, France
15th cent., made for mother of a future king, and a
somewhat earlier, illustrated one from France,
Worcester's Chronicle, bef. 1140. He may have written
this in his own hand in his own monastery. Do check out the nightmares
of king Henry I on pp. 382-3!
Some places to tour
Ravenna, Italy has an uniquely surving
group of Byzantine
churches with mosaics (5th cent.)
city (Choose "English"!) and then try one
set of views or another of San
Vitale. and its mosaic
apse, watching out for the images of Justinian
Theodora [cf. Koenigsberger, pl. 1. 3].
The Treasure of Sutton Hoo (7th cent.)
Hoo Society is one excellent introduction to the site, the Sutton
Hoo Room and Current
Archaeology offer good alternatives.
Oseburg Ship (9th cent.) [cf. Koenigsberger, pl. 2. 4].
The Lindau Gospels (8th cent) [cf.
pl. 2. 1], The Morgan
Library shows both covers, which can be seen elsewhere along with decorated
Statue of Emperor ? Charlemagne [cf. Koenigsberger,
pl. 2. 2]
Psalter (9th cent.) and other Illuminated
of the Carolingian Renaissance
Mathematical Text Book, 888. Can you identify the Euclid
Crucifix (c. 975). Adam
Veil gives it some context.
of Aethelwold, Bishop of Winchester (c. 975/80)
(12th Century style)
of Hildesheim, c. 1010/33 and its splendid bronze doors (be
sure to scan the series).
Autun Cathedral, with the sculptures of
1130) Both are quite special. Overview
here. I have an Eve
my own pages, and a better one here;
she not have been observed from life?
of Ste. Madeleine, Vezelay, take-off point for the
Crusade (c. 1130); St. Bernard preached in front of the tympanum
and may well have used it as his text.
of St. Pierre, Moissac
Winchester Bible (late 12th cent.)
Gloucester Candlestick (1104/13)
Cloisters Cross, perhaps from Bury St. Edmunds (?3rd quarter
Ask me about this and the fine book on the
program that inspired it.
on the heel of southern Italy was one of the great pilgrimage sites. It
was in fact where the Norman conquerors of the south are said to have
up with each other. When I hitch-hiked there as a student, people were
still making votive offerings (drawings of a cart accident that had
a broken leg, and metal impressions of sick hearts, hands, eyes etc.)
secure the aid of the saint (Archangel Michael) in providing a cure!
City and Cathedral of Canterbury, England
Web A vast collection of different castles to choose from. Some
further individual examples are:
The Bastidesof South-Western France
Crusader Map of Jerusalem
and the Water Clock, from a Bible Moralisee, Paris,
also available here. You can probably learn about the Bibles
Moralisee in DMA, or through some of the many studies in Olin.
`Vein Man', from Late 13th cent. English anatomical MS, also
Gough Map of Great Britain (14th cent.) You need to
your way through the copyright agreement, on to page 2, & then on a
MS of Mystery Play, from 14th cent. France.
There are undoubtedly lots more fine images of medieval artifacts out
on the Web. If you have the time and the inclination (as the Leaning
of Pisa once said), go have a look for yourself. A short cut, though
slow indeed to load, is the admirable and rather comprehensive
Slide List from the University of California at
Some Books of Hours:
Two other slide lists open to your view are Paul Szarmach's groups
images selected to illustrate the Old English poems, The
Battle of Maldon and Dream
of the Rood; the latter is especially recommended for
images of the 8th Century Ruthwell Cross and its
to History 262 Index Page?