CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

IXth Misericordia international colloquium: popular wisdom on medieval choir stalls

Symposium: 24 June - 26 June 2010

From the university website, 16 March 2010

The 9th Misericordia International Colloquium is organized by the Art History department of the Radboud University, Nijmegen, and Misericordia International. The conference takes place in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, on June the 24th, 25th and 26th 2010.

The title Popular Wisdom refers to the visual representation of proverbs, fables and tales which forms an important part of non-verbal communication, mainly between the 11th and the end of the 17th centuries in Northern European Art. Its importance for the exchange of world knowledge in pre-modern culture seems to be clear at first sight, though research has only been done with respect to either long established traditions or famous artists. Indeed, much previous scientific research on proverbs, fables and tales has been conducted imprimis from the point of view of literary or linguistic studies: the visual sources still have to be explored.

The figurative sculpture on medieval choir stalls shows an amazingly rich iconography which encompasses both high and low culture. Until now, visual representations of popular wisdom have most usually been employed merely as illustrations of textual sources, but they should also be considered as visual sources in their own right. This important, yet neglected or at least not fully exploited, source of imagery of popular wisdom forms the central aspect of the conference.

For more information, the preliminary program and registration please check the university website.