Art, Architecture, and the Moving Viewer, c. 300-1500 CE

Unfolding Narratives


Volume Editors: and
Premodern architecture and built environments were fluid spaces whose configurations and meanings were constantly adapting and changing. The production of transitory meaning transpired whenever a body or object moved through these dynamic spaces. Whether spanning the short duration of a procession or the centuries of a building’s longue durée, a body or object in motion created in-the-moment narratives that unfolded through time and space. The authors in this volume forge new approaches to architectural studies by focusing on the interaction between monuments, artworks, and their viewers at different points in space and time.

Contributors are Christopher A. Born, Elizabeth Carson Pastan, Nicole Corrigan, Gillian B. Elliott, Barbara Franzé, Anne Heath, Philip Jacks, Divya Kumar-Dumas, Brigitte Kurmann-Schwarz, Ashley J. Laverock, Susan Leibacher Ward, Elodie Leschot, Meghan Mattsson McGinnis, Michael Sizer, Kelly Thor, and Laura J. Whatley.

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Gillian B. Elliott, Ph.D. (2005), University of Texas at Austin, is Professorial Lecturer of Medieval Art History at George Washington University. She has published articles about Romanesque sculpture and the book Sculpted Thresholds and the Liturgy of Transformation in Medieval Lombardy (Routledge, 2022).
Anne Heath, Ph.D. (2005), Brown University, is the Howard R. and Margaret E. Sluyter Associate Professor of Art History at Hope College, Michigan. Her essays on Gothic architecture and performance culture have appeared in the journals Viator and Speculum.
'Art, Architecture, and the Moving Viewer, c. 300-1500 CE offers the readers a thoughtfully curated series of fifteen essays that explore holistic approaches to medieval spaces as they may have been experienced by contemporaries of various social classes over time. Through the agency of “the moving viewer,” the chapters yoke symbolic readings of spaces, artwork, and architecture in settings ranging from an intimate side chapel to an immense rock-mound mesa [...] the volume’s editors and chapter authors succeed in bringing provocative discoveries to the global readership of medievalists in art, architectural, and spatial history. It is a collection that supports and extends research into the nuances and details of cultural reception theory and, perhaps further along, into the neurological understanding of medieval environments.' Kim Sexton, in The Medieval Review 23.05.06.
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

Unfolding Narratives: An Introduction
Gillian B. Elliott and Anne Heath

PART 1: Moving Bodies in Space and Narrative

1 Seeing and Not Seeing the Rose Window of Lausanne Cathedral
Elizabeth Carson Pastan and Brigitte Kurmann-Schwarz

2 Engaging the Beholder through Image and Inscription in the 13th-Century Stained-Glass Window of St. Margaret of Antioch at Ardagger Abbey
Ashley J. Laverock

3 Circulating among Friends: Mary Magdalene, Martha, and Lazarus and the Pilgrimage to the Holy Tear at the Abbey of La Trinité, Vendôme
Anne Heath

PART 2: Topography and Politicizing Space

4 Written in Stone: Recovering the Magical Role of the locus sanctus in the Medieval Life of San Millán de la Cogolla
Kelly Thor

5 Reading Architecture in Landscape: Visitor Reflections at a Mirror Wall (Sigiriya, Sri Lanka)
Divya Kumar-Dumas

6 A Holy Hole, Anglo-Saxon Bones, and a Jerusalem Chapel: Redefining Sacred Geography at Winchester Cathedral in the 12th Century
Laura J. Whatley

7 Theatrum Paulli or Balneum Paulli: Interpreting the Markets of Trajan in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
Philip Jacks

PART 3: Spatial Alteration and Reception

8 Transformation at the Garden Gate: The Romanesque Parapets of San Pietro al Monte in Civate
Gillian B. Elliott

9 Between Universal and Local Practices: The Unfolding Narrative of the Resurrection of the Christ and Its Public in the Wide-Open Galilee at the Priory of St. Fortunatus, Charlieu
Elodie Leschot

10 From Mosque-Cathedral to Gothic Cathedral: Rewriting and Rebuilding in Medieval Toledo
Nicole Corrigan

11 Change Unchanging: Mediating the Sacred Spaces of Ise Grand Shrines over Time
Christopher A. Born

PART 4: Assembly and Space

12 On the Road to the Great Hof: Moving through Space and Time at Old Uppsala
Meghan Mattsson McGinnis

13 Abbot Gauzlin’s Tower Porch in Fleury (c.1015–30): A Social Narrative in Favor of the Capetians
Barbara Franzé

14 The South Portal at the Cathedral of Le Mans as a Processional Objective
Susan Leibacher Ward

15 Storming the Palace: Crowd Incursions into Aristocratic Spaces in Medieval Revolts
Michael Sizer


This book will be of interest to universities, academic libraries, medieval organizations, students and specialists in medieval art/architecture, cultural anthropology, sociology, global architecture, religious studies, literature, performance art, and critical theory.
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