Materials and Semantics of Sacred Book Ornament in the Western Middle Ages, 780-1300

Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Msc.Bibl.95, fol. 9r


To investigate the precious surface landscapes of medieval manuscripts, we have chosen four exemplary subcategories: gold and silver, purple, precious stones, and textiles. In all subcategories, we combine a close-up look at selected individual examples with a perspective that creates an overview of different geographic regions and time periods. Six questions common to the four…


A working basis for all subprojects is the growing number of precious manuscripts that have been closely analyzed with regard to the material components used by medieval artists and scribes to produce these splendid objects. In cooperation with the Conservation Research Department of the Swiss National Museum, we will conduct our own technical analyses of…


The research project is located at a central interface between art history, book history, and the study of material religion. By focusing on the ornament of medieval books as a material practice, the aim of this project is to remove barriers that have stood in the way of a new understanding of the arts of…