Conference: Book Ornament and Luxury Critique, Zurich 16.09. – 17.09.2022

The research group “Textures of Sacred Scripture. Materials and Semantics of Sacred Book Ornament” is organizing a two-day international conference on “Book Ornament and Luxury Critique”. The conference, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, will take place at the Institute of Art History at the University of Zurich from 16 to 17 September 2022. Registration is required by 12.09.2022: A Zoom link will be provided for participants who cannot attend in person. For more information and the program…


Thomas Rainer: Review Elina Gertsman, The Absent Image: Lacunae in Medieval Books University Park: Penn State University Press, 2021 in:

David Ganz: Review Richard K. Emmerson, Apocalypse Illuminated: The Visual Exegesis of Revelation in Medieval Illustrated Manuscripts, University Park (Pennsylvania), Pennsylvania State University Press, 2018, in: Cahiers de civilisation médiévale, 256 (2021), 393-394.

Lecture: Katharina Theil: Die Präsenz des in Stein geprägten Logos – Schriftsiegel als Schmuck von Evangeliaren (online, 22.01.2022, 14:00-15:00)

Conference: Sakrale Schriftbilder. Zur ikonischen Präsenz des Geschriebenen im mittelalterlichen Kirchenraum, organized by Sonderforschungsbereich 933 “Materiale Textkulturen”, Universität Heidelberg, 21.-22.01.2022. For more

Lecture: David Ganz: Writing in Gold: On the Aesthetics and the Ideology of Chrysography (online, 21.04.2021, 12:15-13:45)

Lecture Series: Actualité de la recherche, University of Geneva, Département d’ histoire de l’ art et de musicologie, Unité d’ histoire de l’ art and HEAD – Genève, organized by Anthony Masure, Christelle Granite-Noble, Henri de Riedmatten and Alessia Alfieri. For more information click here Zoom link: The lecture is open to the public.

Lecture: Thomas Rainer: Cover and Covers. Materials and Semantics of Female Donor Inscriptions on Metals and Textiles — The Inscription on the Golden Book Covers of the Lombard Queen Theodelinda and its Textile Parallels (online, 01.04.2021, 15:30-16:00)

Study Day: Research Field B Inscribing Spaces: Inscribing Metal, Cluster of Excellence “Understanding Written Artefacts”, University of Hamburg, Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, organized by Kaja Harter-Uibopuu.

Lecture: David Ganz: Schrift-Bilder. Buch und Vision in mittelalterlichen Apokalypsedarstellungen (online, 18.03.2021, 19:00)

Conference “Gesicht und Handschrift. Transzendente Begründung und Authentifikation in mittelalterlichen Visionen”. Akademie der Diözese Rottenburg – Stuttgart, 18.03. – 20.03.2021. In Zusammenarbeit mit dem DFG-Projekt “Vergänglichkeit und Ewigkeit” (Universität Kiel und Universität Köln) und dem Arbeitskreis für hagiographische Fragen. For more information about the speakers, schedule and program of the online conference click here

Workshop: Shades of Purple – Purple Ornament in Medieval Manuscripts, Zurich 25.11. – 26.11.2021

Recent advances in the technical analysis of purple colorants have spurred new interest in the aesthetics of purple ornament in medieval manuscripts. This most prestigious embellishment associated with imperial splendor underwent stunning transformations between the 6th and the 12th century. Purple dyes (mostly produced from lichens) were not only used to color the entire parchment surfaces ofContinue reading “Workshop: Shades of Purple – Purple Ornament in Medieval Manuscripts, Zurich 25.11. – 26.11.2021”


The Handbook of Medieval Book Ornament aims to give a survey of up-to-date research on the materials, the techniques and the semantics of deluxe manuscripts in the Western Middle Ages. It will comprise ca. 200 articles written by specialists of the respective topic.


In the Middle Ages, textiles were variously used to preserve manuscripts, to increase their preciousness, to protect their bindings and their images, and to enhance the devotional experience of the reader. Along with other luxury goods like gold, ivory and precious stones, textile elements were one of the most often used; at the same time,Continue reading “TEXTILES”