Buch und Raum im (frühen) Mittelalter
AREA C, Forschergruppe 4 Pictorial Construction of Space(s)
DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)
The aim of this project is to analyse connections between the illuminated book and real, imagined and metaphorical spaces. The topic covers the pictorial construction of space in book illumination, the book itself as a spatial construct, and the way in which books as objects determine the perception of their surroundings, influencing the actions of those who use them. The main focus is on book illumination of the early and high middle ages, in particular manuscripts associated with the Carolingian court and Insular books. For comparison, individual examples will also be drawn from late medieval manuscripts.
In the combination of these three aspects, the project can build on the results of the conference “Codex und Raum”, which first addressed the various possibilities of interaction between books and space (cf. Codex und Raum, ed. St. Müller, L. E. Saurma-Jeltsch and P. Strohschneider, Wiesbaden 2009). Our medieval project benefits from being situated within a context of research concerned with ancient cultures, offering the possibility of understanding how antique conceptions of space were perceived and transformed in later periods. Carolingian art in particular with its recourse to classical antiquity presents itself as an ideal topic.