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Grant number: FA-55478-10

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Laura Johanna Weigert
Rutgers University, New Brunswick (New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8559)

Images in Action: The Theatricality of Franco-Flemish Art in the Late Middle Ages

The orchestration of dramatic spectacles in French and Flemish churches, courts, and city streets during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries led to an increasing demand for large-scale portable pictures. In turn, a new subject matter developed, in which the themes depicted in panel painting, painted cloths, and tapestries overlapped with those enacted by live actors. Focusing on specific examples, I make the following two-part argument: first, large-scale pictures played a vital role in liturgical and secular drama and second, they achieved their significance and efficacy through a dynamic exchange with contemporary dramatic performances. My study provides an alternate history of this period of artistic production, by stressing the theatrical rather than the devotional function of artworks. It also confirms that drama provides the key for understanding not only the specific way in which texts and images operated in medieval society but the defining features of late medieval culture.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2011 – 6/30/2012