Drawing, Memory and Imagination in the Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch

in Medieval Encounters
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Abstract

The Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch (Cod. Guelf. 61.2 Aug. 8°, fols. 75-94, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany) is considered a crucial example of a medieval modelbook. The collection of drawings contained within its pages has long been identified as key evidence for the transmission of artistic motifs between Byzantium and western Europe in the thirteenth century. Offering an in-depth analysis of the drawings and the quire that contains them, the present article suggests that the drawings were made with the purpose of working through visual representations that the draftsman found intriguing and that he sketched in order to train his own hand, memory and imagination. This hypothesis challenges some of the assumptions behind the category of medieval modelbooks as a means of faithfully reproducing images so that they can be further copied in another context. If the main goal of the drawings in Wolfenbüttel was that of enriching the draftsman’s visual memory and exploring imaginative possibilities, their value as reproductions might have been marginal, but their role as means of cross-cultural encounter was decisive.

Drawing, Memory and Imagination in the Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch

in Medieval Encounters

Sections

References

3

Wilhelm Bode“Skizzen eines italienischen Malers vom Ausgange des dreizehnten Jahrhunderts in einem Codex der Bibliothek zu Wolfenbüttel,” Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst8 (1873) 136-139; Hans R. Hahnloser and Fritz Rückers Das Musterbuch von Wolfenbüttel: mit einem Fragment aus dem Nachlasse (Vienna: Gesellschaft für Vervielfältigende Kunst 1929); Kurt Weitzmann “Zur byzantinischen Quelle des Wolfenbüttler Musterbuches” in Festschrift Hans R. Hahnloser eds. E.J. Beer P. Hofer and L. Majon (Basel: Birkhäuser 1961) 223-250; Hans Belting “Zwischen Gotik und Byzanz. Gedanken zur Geschichte der sächsischen Buchmalerei im 13. Jahrhundert” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 41 (1978) 217-257 (218 242-257); Eberhard König “Zur Bildfolge im ‘Wolfenbütteler Musterbuch’” in Die Zeit der Staufer V Supplement eds. R. Haussherr and C. Väterlein (Stuttgart: Württembergisches Landesmuseum 1979) 335-352; Hugo Buchthal The “Musterbuch” of Wolfenbüttel and its Position in the Art of the Thirteenth Century (Vienna: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften 1979); Martin Gosebruch “Die Zeichnungen des Wolfenbütteler ‘Musterbuches:’ ihre westlichen Beziehungen—ihre byzantinische Vorlage” Niederdeutsche Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte 20 (1981) 25-59; Antje Middeldorf Kosegarten “Nicola Pisano das Wolfenbütteler Musterbuch und Byzanz” Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst 39 (1988) 29-50; Iohannis Spatharakis The Left-Handed Evangelist. A Contribution to Palaeologian Iconography (London: Pindar Press 1988); Robert W. Scheller Exemplum. Model-Book Drawings and the Practice of Artistic Transmission in the Middle Ages (ca. 900-ca. 1470) (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 1995) 165-175; Annemarie Weyl Carr “319. The ‘Model Book’ of Wolfenbüttel” in The Glory of Byzantium eds. H.C. Evans and W.D. Wixom (New York NY: Metropolitan Museum of Art 1997) 482-484; Wolfgang Grape “Sachsen Venedig und Konstantinopel: zum Wolfenbütteler Musterbuch” Niederdeutsche Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte 37 (1998) 29-86; Harald Wolter-von dem Knesebeck “Kunsthistorische Beobachtungen zur Holzdecke von St. Michael. Ihr Verhältnis zur sächsischen Buchmalerei in der älteren Forschung und nach heutigem Wissenstand” in Die Bilderdecke der Hildesheimer Michaeliskirche eds. R.-J. Grote and V. Kellner (München: Deutscher Kunstverlag 2002) 36-58 (39-47); Marcell Restle “Musterbücher” in Reallexikon zur byzantinischen Kunst ed. M. Restle vol. 6 (Stuttgart: Hiersemann 2005) 770-806 (776-779); Harald Wolter-von dem Knesebeck “Das Wolfenbütteler Musterbuch in seinem sächsischen Umfeld” in Manuscripts in Transition: Recycling Manuscripts Texts and Images eds. B. Dekeyzer and J. van der Stock (Dudley MA: Peeters 2005) 99-108; Eberhard König “Une nouvelle lecture du livre de modèles de Wolffenbüttel” Les Cahiers de Saint-Michel de Cuxa 37 (2006) 21-32; Maria Andaloro “Gli Atlanti della memoria. La memoria delle immagini e le immagini della memoria” in Medioevo: immagine e memoria ed. A.C. Quintavalle (Milano: Electa 2009) 564-577 (567-571).

4

See Robert S. Nelson“Appropriation,” in Critical Terms for Art Historyeds. R.S. Nelson and R. Shiff (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press2003) 160-172.

15

See Milde“Zum ‘Wolfenbütteler Musterbuch’” 331.

17

As already noticed by BuchthalThe “Musterbuch”15.

18

As already noticed by BuchthalThe “Musterbuch”15-16.

19

As already noticed by BuchthalThe “Musterbuch”16.

24

See Grape“Sachsen Venedig und Konstantinopel” 44-46.

26

On the Anastasis see Anna D. KartsonisAnastasis: The Making of an Image (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press1986) esp. 7-18.

28

See Weitzmann“Zur byzantinischen Quelle” 227-231; Buchthal The “Musterbuch” 24.

31

See Weitzmann“Zur byzantinischen Quelle” 241-242; König “Une nouvelle lecture” 23.

36

See Weitzmann“Zur byzantinischen Quelle.” On his method, see Mary-Lyon Dolezal, “Manuscript Studies in the Twentieth Century: Kurt Weitzmann Reconsidered,” Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies22 (1998) 215-263.

38

For this explanation see König“Une nouvelle lecture” 25-26; Weyl Carr “319. The ‘Model Book’” 484.

39

See SpatharakisThe Left-Handed Evangelist73-79; Grape “Sachsen Venedig und Konstantinopel.”

45

See Milde“Zum ‘Wolfenbütteler Musterbuch’” 331; Wolfgang Milde “Das ‘Wolfenbütteler Musterbuch’ aus Kloster Mariental” in Das Zisterzienserkloster Mariental bei Helmstedt 1138-1988 ed. C. Römer (Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag 1989) 107-110.

46

See Renate Kroos“Sächsische Buchmalerei 1200-1250,” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte41 (1978) 283-316 (289-291); Wolter “Das Wolfenbütteler Musterbuch in seinem sächsischen Umfeld.”

48

Kroos“Sächsische Buchmalerei 1200-1250” 289-291; Buchthal The “Musterbuch” 34-35.

49

On these comparisons see BuchthalThe “Musterbuch”34-40; Spatharakis The Left-Handed Evangelist 32-37; Grape “Sachsen Venedig und Konstantinopel” 46-64. Another correspondence between the miniatures in the Gospels and the drawings has been found in the figure of Nicodemus in the Lamentation (on fol. 78v) whose gesture is almost repeated in reverse by one of the bystanders at the Annunciation to Zacharias in the miniatures (fol. 70r). Comparable are also the two small horse-like animal and hatted profile on fol. 89r and some of the marginalia in the Goslar Gospels like the centaur on the lower right corner of fol. 106r and the heads on the lower margin of fols. 80r 115r and 124r.

51

On this comparison see Grape“Sachsen Venedig und Konstantinopel” 51-81; Wolter “Kunsthistorische Beobachtungen zur Holzdecke von St. Michael” 42-43; Wolter “Das Wolfenbütteler Musterbuch in seinem sächsischen Umfeld” 101-102.

53

Wilhelm VögeEine deutsche Malerschule um die Wende des ersten Jahrtausends (Trier: Lintz1891) 378; Julius von Schlosser “Zur Kenntnis der künstlerischen Überlieferung im späten Mittelalter” Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 23 (1902) 279-338; Scheller Exemplum.

54

See BarnesThe Portfolio of Villard de Honnecourt23.

56

As already noted by Weyl Carr“319. The ‘Model Book’” 484.

57

BuchthalThe “Musterbuch”66.

Figures

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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 75r and 94v (Cod. Guelf. 61.2 Aug. 8°, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany). Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 75v and 94r. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 76r and 93v. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 76v and 93r. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 77r and 92v. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 77v and 92r. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 78r and 91v. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 78v and 91r. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 79r and 90v. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 79v and 90r. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fol. 80r and stub from cut-off page. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fol. 80v and stub from cut-off page. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 81r and 89v. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 81v and 89r. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel.
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    Present order of pages, drawings and texts. After Die Zeit der Staufer, V, Supplement, eds. R. Haussherr and C. Väterlein (Stuttgart: Württembergisches Landesmuseum, 1979), 332, fig. 214.
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    Eberhard König’s reconstruction of the order of pages as intended by the draftsman. After Die Zeit der Staufer, V, Supplement, eds. R. Haussherr and C. Väterlein (Stuttgart: Württembergisches Landesmuseum, 1979), 350, fig. 227.
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    Resurrection of Christ, wall painting, c. 1230. Mileševa Monastery, Zlatibor, Serbia. Photo credit: Erich Lessing, Art Resource, New York, NY, USA. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brill online.com/content/15700674.
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    Angel at Christ’s Tomb, Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fol. 93r. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15700674.
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    Apostle (or Abraham?) and Christ, Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fol. 93v. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/ 15700674.
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    Apostle and Enthroned Man, Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fol. 92r. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15700674.
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    Agony in the Garden, mosaic, 1215-1220, detail. Venice, San Marco, nave. Photo credit: Procuratoria di San Marco, Venice.
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    Agony in the Garden, miniature, 11th-century Greek Gospels. Parma, Biblioteca Palatina, MS gr. 5, fol. 90r. Photo credit: Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali.
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    Christ, Eve, Hades; Christ, Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 92v. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15700674.
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    Kings of Judea; Adam, Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 90v. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15700674.
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    John the Baptist Leading the Group of Just, Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fols. 90r. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/ content/15700674.
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    Reconstruction of the Anastasis from fols. 92v, 90v and 90r of the Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch. Design by Marion Jäckel, Schrecksbach, reproduced with permisssion.
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    The Anastasis, Byzantine, wall painting, 1316-1321. Chora Monastery (Kariye Camii), parekklesion. Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey). Photo credit: Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15700674.
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    Evangelists John and Matthew; Christ, John, James, Peter; Christ and John, Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fol. 89r. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15700674.
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    Evangelists Luke and Mark; Apostles, Wolfenbüttel Musterbuch, fol. 89v. Photo credit: Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/ 15700674.
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    Ascent to Mount Tabor and Transfiguration, miniature, thirteenthcentury Greek Gospels. Mount Athos, Iviron, ms. 5, fol. 269v. Photo credit: Centre Millet-EPHE, Paris. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15700674.
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    Evangelist John, marble carving, ca. 1230-1260. Venice, San Marco. Photo credit: Procuratoria di San Marco, Venice.
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    Evangelist Matthew, marble carving, ca. 1230-1260. Venice, San Marco. Photo credit: Procuratoria di San Marco, Venice.
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    Evangelist Luke, marble carving, ca. 1230-1260. Venice, San Marco. Photo credit: Procuratoria di San Marco, Venice.
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    Evangelist Mark, marble carving, ca. 1230-1260. Venice, San Marco. Photo credit: Procuratoria di San Marco, Venice.
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    Evangelist John, miniature, Goslar Gospels, ca. 1240. Goslar, Stadtarchiv, B 4387, fol. 105v. Photo credit: Stadtarchiv, Goslar. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15700674.
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    Evangelist Matthew, miniature, Goslar Gospels, ca. 1240. Goslar, Stadtarchiv, B 4387, fol. 10v. Photo credit: Stadtarchiv, Goslar. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/ 15700674.
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    Evangelist Luke, miniature, Goslar Gospels, ca. 1240. Goslar, Stadtarchiv, B 4387, fol. 69v. Photo credit: Stadtarchiv, Goslar. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15700674.
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    Evangelist Mark, miniature, Goslar Gospels, ca. 1240. Goslar, Stadtarchiv, B 4387, fol. 44v. Photo credit: Stadtarchiv, Goslar. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15700674.
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    Evangelist Mark, painting on wood, ca. 1240-1250. Hildesheim, St. Michael, ceiling. Photo credit: Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, Hannover. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals. brillonline.com/content/15700674.
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    Prophet Abdias, painting on wood, ca. 1240-1250. Hildesheim, St. Michael, ceiling. Photo credit: Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, Hannover. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals. brillonline.com/content/15700674.
  • View in gallery
    Prophet Zacharias, painting on wood, ca. 1240-1250. Hildesheim, St. Michael, ceiling. Photo credit: Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege, Hannover. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/15700674.

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