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Robert Allan Maxwell
Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205)
Art Inventing History: Picturing the Living Past in the Middle Ages

The 12th century was a time of great historical awakening, producing an unprecedented volume of chronicles, family genealogies, heroic epics and mythical tales. My project examines the role images played in such historical works. I have identified a corpus of illuminated historical manuscripts (fewer than thirty extant) heretofore overlooked. My work focuses on the complex pictorial strategies that result in the images and text generating parallel, but often conflicting, even mythical, histories. This research demonstrates the centrality of the visual in conceptions of history and in the exercise of history-writing, themes not limited to the Middle Ages. With a Grant, I could complete my first-hand study of these manuscripts in European collections.

Project fields:
Arts, General

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 8/31/2004