Showing posts with label website. Show all posts
Showing posts with label website. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Mapping Eastern Europe Website Launched

The North of Byzantium initiative has launched a new open-access digital project – Mapping Eastern Europe – intended to promote the study, research, and teaching about the history, art, and culture of Eastern Europe between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries among students, teachers, scholars, and the wider public.

Mapping Eastern Europe gathers a multitude of specialists – early career and senior scholars who have either already published or are currently researching new topics – to supply original online content in English in the form of historical overview, art historical case studies, short notices about ongoing projects, and reviews of recent books and exhibitions. 

This platform aims to stimulate new research and outreach focused on the networked regions of the Balkan Peninsula, the Carpathian Mountains, and further north into early modern Russia, which developed at the crossroads of the Latin, Greek, Slavic, and Islamic traditions during the late Middle Ages and early modern periods. This a very wide focus, and so far most of the resources on the website are related to Byzantine and Post-Byzantine art - after all, the North of Byzantium initiative focuses on art and culture of the northern frontiers of the Byzantine Empire in Eastern Europe. The website has a map-based interface to browse overview, notices, and book reviews and it will be continuously updated. Already in this early phase, there are a number of pins in the territory of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary as well.

Mapping Eastern Europe is made possible through generous support from the “Rapid Response Magic Project of the Princeton University Humanities Council”. Co-founders and editors are: Maria Alessia Rossi and Alice Isabella Sullivan.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Online Catalogue of the Christian Museum of Esztergom

Reliquary bust from Cologne. Around 1350
The Christian Museum of Esztergom is the largest ecclesiastical collection in Hungary and is one of the oldest public collections in the nation. It was established in 1875 by Archbishop and Prince Primate János Simor (1813-1891) and was based on his private collection. The intention of the Archbishop was to make known to the general public old and new treasures of art, and thereby cultivate the aesthetic taste of the visitors. Archbishop Simor purchased works of art primarily from legacies and during his travels abroad. He also had parts of medieval altarpieces collected from the territory of the Archdiocese of Esztergom. Following Primate Simor’s death in 1891, the Museum’s collections grew significantly when the bequest of Arnold Ipolyi, Bishop of Nagyvárad/Oradea (1823-1886), which consisted mainly of late medieval Italian, German, Austrian and Hungarian paintings and sculptures, finally arrived to Esztergom in 1920. The resulting museum is the third most significant historic picture gallery in Hungary, on account of its Hungarian, Italian, Netherlandish, German and Austrian paintings.

As one of the results of a research project financed by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA PD 104215), an exhaustive online summary catalogue of the Hungarian, German and Austrian Late Medieval Collection of the Christian Museum was published online. This is one of the most famous parts of the collections, containing among others the altarpiece from Garamszentbenedek, painted by Thomas de Coloswar in 1427, or four panels depicting scenes from the Passion and painted by the enigmatic Master MS in 1506. Already in the middle of the 19th century, both János Simor and Arnold Ipolyi recognized the significance of these medieval works of art, most of which were not in use any more. Simor brought to the museum painted fragments of winged altarpieces that had been dismantled, primarily from the Benedictine Abbey of Garamszentbenedek (Hronsky Benadik). Sculptures in the museum mainly come from the Ipolyi collection, along with the majority of medieval Austrian and German works of art.

The Calvary altarpiece of Thomas of Coloswar, 1427 
The research project and the online catalogue was realized by Emese Sarkadi Nagy, who explained to me that in the present catalogue there was no intention to separate objects originating from the Hungarian Kingdom from those of the German and Austrian territories. This is partly due to the fact that these groups of objects can be considered as a unit, based on numerous art historical and stylistic relations that can be observed among them. Mid-15th century Netherlandish art had a very strong impact on the painting and sculpture of German and Austrian regions as well as in Hungary, and the migration of masters among these regions is also a well-known phenomenon. Moreover, most of the works coming from nineteenth-century collections have lost their original, medieval context and thus the original provenance of a number of objects is uncertain. Attribution and localization based on stylistic analysis alone is often impossible  - for example it is hard to decide if a work of a Viennese-schooled master was created in Hungary or the work was imported at a later time. Therefore, the new online catalogue offers an overview of all (ca. 150) objects originating from these Central European regions. It is aimed not only for specialists, but also to the wider public; at the same time, it will hopefully represent a starting point for further research on the topic. Each entry is accompanied by an up-to-date bibliography and other information, as well as high-quality photographs (individual panels and statues of altarpieces are each photographed and described separately). So far, the catalogue is only available in Hungarian, but an English version is to be published online soon. The catalogue is accessible through the website of the museum at the following link:

Master MS: Crucifixion, 1506 

Key objects from the collection are also available in the general part of the website, with English descriptions, but for new and up-to-date information, as well as for the entire material, head to the online catalogue. Links below:

Sarkadi Nagy Emese: A Keresztény Múzeum középkori magyarországi, a német és osztrák tartományokból származó tárgyainak online katalógusa. Keresztény Múzeum, 2017. (Online catalogue of medieval objects in the Christian Museum originating from Hungary as well as German and Austrian territories. Christian Museum, Esztergom, 2017.)

The text above is based on the website of the Christian Museum and on a short report by Emese Sarkadi Nagy. Photos by Attila Mudrák © Christian Museum

Austrian painter, c. 1440: Triptych with the Death of the Virgin

Saturday, November 11, 2017

New Websites on Saint Ladislas

The reliquary of Saint Ladislas from Várad cathedral, early 15th century (Győr, Cathedral) 

2017 has been declared the Saint Ladislas (László) memorial year, to mark the 940th anniversary of Saint Ladislas (1077-1095) becoming the king of Hungary and the 825th anniversary of his canonization. One of the most popular Hungarian saints, Ladislas was the embodiment of the ideal Christian knight. He was canonized in 1192; his feast day is June 27.

Ladislas I belonged to the Árpád dynasty and was the son of King Béla I and the Polish princess Richeza. He was born around 1040 in Poland and ascended the throne of the Hungarian kingdom in 1077 after decades of internal power struggle within the newly founded Christian monarchy. He died in 1095, and the two decades of his rule brought consolidation and relative peace, which was further preserved with the introduction of several new laws regarding the protection of private property and the judiciary system. The new cathedrals (Várad [Oradea] and Zagreb) and monasteries he founded, along with the canonization of his predecessors, King Stephen I and his son Emeric in 1083, strengthened the position of Christianity in the country.  He died in 1095 and was buried at the cathedral of Várad. After the death of Ladislas, many healing miracles were associated with him and his burial place, and as a result, he was officially canonized in 1192, and shortly thereafter at the beginning of the thirteenth century his legend was written. Várad became the center of his cult and his head relics were put on display there in a marvelous reliquary bust. Apart from individual cult images, the most characteristic medieval depiction of Ladislas shows him in the 1068 battle of Kerlés against the Petchenegs (Cumans), in which Ladislas saved an abducted Hungarian girl. The painted narrative of this heroic struggle is found on the walls of countless Hungarian churches as well as in manuscripts. After the cathedral of Várad was destroyed during the Reformation and the Turkish wars, the relics of Ladislas were transported to Győr (1607), where they are kept today. A number of popular stories and legends are associated with his name, and László is still a popular given name in Hungary.

 The battle of Saint Ladislas with the Cuman, initial from the Illuminated Chronicle
 (Budapest, National Széchényi Library) 

The memorial year of 2017 provided an opportunity for numerous conferences, smaller exhibitions and a variety of other events, which are listed on the Facebook page of the year. Now as the year is coming to a close, the results of other projects carried out in the framework of the memorial year have also become available. I would like to call attention to two new websites, which provide further information about Saint Ladislas and his cult.  

Bögöz (Mugeni), frescoes of the church, with the Legend of Saint Ladislas in the top row

The website dedicated to Saint Ladislas, the knight king features various locations from Hungary and Transylvania with a connection to the Holy ruler. At the time of the launch, 44 locations connected to the history and legend of Saint Ladislas are featured. The project is an ongoing one, and will be developed to include other regions from within the Carpathian Basin. The website, which is available in English and Romanian as well, features a number of important medieval churches which are either dedicated to Saint Ladislas, or contain his depictions. It provides information and photos about the monuments, as well as practical information for visitor of the route of Saint Ladislas. There is even a route planner, where you can select medieval wall paintings, for example. The information provided about medieval monuments is well-researched and the image galleries provide great material on the churches. You may want to have a look at Bögöz (Mugeni), Gelence (Ghelinţa) or perhaps Türje - or just keep browsing.

Detail of the Legend of Saint Ladislas at Homoródkarácsonyfalva (Crăciunel)

The other website, titled Szent László, focuses only on medieval paintings depicting the Legend of Saint Ladislas, more specifically the story of his battle against the invading Cumans, and the rescue of an abducted Hungarian girl. The painted cycle of this battle is perhaps the most significant contribution of medieval Hungary to the common heritage of the European Middle Ages. The complex and extensive cycle appeared within a short time all over the territory of the Kingdom, and was especially common in wall painting. For well over a century – during the reign of the Angevin kings Charles Robert and Louis the Great, as well as their successor, Sigismund of Luxemburg – the cycle was the most popular painted narrative in Hungary. If we count surviving monuments today, as well as a few examples only known from 19th century copies, we know just about 45 cycles of wall paintings with this narrative – and there are several other documented examples which have disappeared from the walls of churches. This website - developed by the Arany Griff Association (Odorheiu Secuiesc, Romania) - aims to collect images of these painted cycles. So far, they provide information on and photos of 32 painted cycles, which makes it the most comprehensive website on the legend. You can find images of the painted cycles from all over the territory of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary.

Detail of the Legend of Saint Ladislas at Szepesmindszent (Bijacove)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Route of Medieval Churches

Fresco of Christ
Two years ago, I already reported on the Route of Medieval Churches project, which focuses on medieval monuments in North-Eastern Hungary, and neighbouring regions of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, which now lie in Romania and the Ukraine. The project has been going ahead during that time, and by now reached another important milestone. This means first of all the publication of an all-new volume, which focuses on medieval churches in the north-eastern region of medieval Hungary, much of which now lies in the Ukraine (the region of Carpatho-Ukraine). The book, titled Medieval Churches from the Tisza valley to the Carpathians has been published both in Hungarian and Ukrainian versions. It treats several well-known monuments, such as the 13th century rotunda of Gerény with its 14th century fresco cycle, as well as a number of newly discovered medieval monuments, including a large number of medieval wall paintings. All of this is the result of research carried out during the last three years, coordinated by the editor of the book, Tibor Kollár. The publication joins the earlier volume, which focused on medieval monuments of historic Szatmár county. PDF-versions of both publications can be downloaded - in Hungarian. It is worth to do so simply for the all-new illustration material contained in these volumes.

Another new result of the project is a completely rewamped new website, which is available in several languages. The website outlines the goals and results of the entire EU-funded touristic and research project, and gives detailed information about the medieval churches of the region. Start browsing in English - it is definitely worth it. Check out such famous gems as the church of Csaroda, long thought to be the most characteristic medieval church from the Arpadian period (before 1301), but now dated to the early 14th century. Have a look at it twin edifice in Transcarpathia, the church of Palágykomoróc - where last year frescoes painted by a workshop known from Csaroda were found. Explore the church of Ákos, the most significant Romanesque monastery church in Eastern Hungary, or the little-known church of Nagybégány.
But most of all, go an explore the region in person - thanks to this EU-project, there is plenty of information available to organize such a trip. As an inspiration, I am including here a few photos taken during my most recent trip in the region.

Ákos, late 12th century church

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New medieval art websites VI.

A number of very useful online image databases have been launched recently, dedicated to late medieval / northern Renaissance painting. Also, access to digitized medieval manuscripts is getting more and more easy. Here is a selection - the following descriptions are based on texts given on the websites themselves.

Museum Mayer van den Berg

Flemish primitives - This website was created by the association of Flemish art museums, The Flemish Art Collection, and so is a collaborative project of Belgian museums in Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. The goal is to present a website that is a reference point for the painted arts in the Burgundian Netherlands in the 15th century and early-16th century. Visitors can search paintings from Flemish museums or follow thematic collection presentations. It seems that over 400 paintings are available in the database now - I hope that image management and viewing options will improve later on.

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna 
A lot more information and much more images are provided by the newly launched Cranach Digital Archive (cda). This is "an interdisciplinary collaborative research resource, providing access to art historical, technical and conservation information on paintings by Lucas Cranach (c.1472 - 1553) and his workshop. The repository presently provides information on more than 400 paintings including c.5000 images and documents from 19 partner institutions." The Cranach Digital Archive is a joint initiative of the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf and Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences / Cologne University of Applied Sciences, with several partner institutions. It is highly recommended (via 1100sor).

University of Pennsylvania 

More and more medieval manuscripts are also being made available online. Last Fall, the University of Pennsylvania finished the digitization of their manuscripts collections, making the books (including over a thousand medieval and renaissance manuscripts) available at the Penn in Hand website. The University of Chicago is providing online access to the Goodspeed manuscript collection, comprising 68 early Greek, Syriac, Ethiopic, Armenian, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts ranging in date from the 5th to the 19th centuries. Yale (Beinecke Library) and Harvard (Houghton Library) have been providing access to their early codices for quite some time now. Meanwhile, it has been announced that the union catalogue of medieval manuscripts in America is returning to the University of California, Berkeley. It is now at the url:

Hungarian Academy of Sciences 
While we are on the subject of manuscripts, I would like to call attention to a special resource from Hungary (it is not new, but perhaps not too many people know about it). It is the Kaufmann-collection of medieval Hebrew manuscripts in the Oriental Collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The website provides an introductory study on the collector, Dávid Kaufmann and his collection, and the complete facsimile of five manuscripts. All of this is available in Hungarian, English and even Spanish. The manuscripts include the famous Kaufmann-Haggadah, originating from 14th century Catalonia, which has already been published in a print facsimile.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Royal manuscripts (New medieval art websites V.)

The year 2011 has been particularly rich in medieval exhibitions of a very high standard: while the National Gallery in London showed Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces before 1500, the Treasures of Heaven exhibition also traveled to London and was shown at the British Museum. The latter is now also amply covered by a new website, a 'digital monograph' made at Columbia University's Media Center for Art History. In Germany after an exhibition on the Hohenstaufen dynasty and Italy, which closed in February, now the Naumburger Meister exhibition is on view at Naumburg. In Paris, the Museé de Cluny dedicated and exhibition to the medieval sword, titled L'Épée - Usage, mythes et symboles. There were also several exhibitions on medieval manuscripts, including two on medieval fashion. The Getty Museum had several other temporary displays of medieval manuscripts, such as Stories to Watch, while the Louvre in Paris also displayed its medieval manuscript pages.

However, the end of the year still has two major exhibitions for everyone enthusiastic about medieval manuscripts. The first one is already open at the Royal Library of Belgium, in Brussels, and is dedicated to Flemish miniatures. As the press release states, in making this project, the Royal Library of Belgium and the Bibliotheque nationale de France joined for the first time to display and celebrate the heyday of Flemish manuscript illumination by organizing an exhibition of international significance. The exhibition began in Brussels (September-December 2011), and will continue in Paris (March-July 2012). In total, more than 140 illuminated manuscripts of the highest rank will be presented to the public in an original staging, that will showcase these exceptional pieces while maintaining the context in which they were born. The project is of course accompanied by a scholarly catalogue. You can read about the exhibition here or here, as well as in the French-language press release (pdf)

From Nov. 11, the British Library (London) will show Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination, displaying "a unique treasure trove of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts assembled by English kings and queens over 700 years." The 150 manuscripts in the exhibition represent the most stunning pieces from the library's collection, the largest group of medieval manuscripts in Britain and one of the most important in the world. The Medieval and Earlier Manuscript Blog of the British Library regularly posts on outstanding items to be featured in the exhibition.

Those not fortunate enough to travel to one of these exhibitions, can now browse fully digitized versions of royal manuscripts on the website of the Europeana Regia project. The project aims to "digitise 874 rare and precious manuscripts from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, with the collaboration of five major libraries located in four countries and the support of the European Commission. The project will draw together three collections of royal manuscripts that are currently dispersed and which represent European cultural activity at three distinct periods in history: the Biblioteca Carolina (8th and 9th centuries), the Library of Charles V and family (14th century) and the Library of the Aragonese Kings of Naples (15th and 16th centuries)." Several dozen manuscripts are already online.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Museums of Medieval Art

My recent visit to the Schnütgen Museum in Cologne got me thinking about museums focusing mainly on medieval art. I decided to make a brief list of such museums, with direct links to their collection databases - thousands of medieval artworks can be discovered this way.

Reliquary ('Ursulabüste'),
Museum Schnütgen, Köln 
Let's start with the Schnütgen Museum, then (Museum Schnütgen, Köln). Located in the Romanesque church of St. Cecilia, this 100 year old museum received a complete makeover, completed last year. The new entrance opens from a large hall, which is in the new building erected for the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, a museum of world cultures. The collection of the Schnütgen Museum consists largely of Christian religious objects, ranging from the Early Christian period to the Baroque, with a strong focus on sculpture, liturgical textiles and stained glass from Cologne and the Rheinland. There is no full collection database online, and the English version of the website only provides basic information. The website however does provide a good overview of chief works on display. An audioguide to the museum is available for download - although I don't know what its purpose is without the artworks.

Lady with the Unicorn,
Musée Cluny, Paris
Maybe the most famous of all medieval art museums is the Musée Cluny in Paris - officially the Musée national du Moyen Age. Located in the building of the Gallo-Roman thermes and the 15th century Hôtel de Cluny, and surrounded by a medieval garden, visiting this museum is a unique experience. The collection ranges from late Antiquity to the late Middle Ages, and includes exceptional goldsmith works, stone sculptures from Parisian churches - such as the Notre-Dame, as well as the famous Unicorn tapestries. There is a brief overview of the collection on the museum's website, but a lot more objects and images can be found through the photo agency of the Réunion des musées nationaux (where you can search for specific objects, but also by selecting the museum on the search form). The Museum's objects are also incorporated into the French national art database, Joconde. You can select the Musée Cluny directly, or search for thousands of other medieval objects in various French collection. In addition, a fascinating resource on the museum is also available online: the catalogue of 13th century sculptures (Les sculptures du XIIIe siècle du musée de Cluny).

The Unicorn in Captivity
The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum
The only similar museum to the Musée Cluny is on the other side of the Atlantic, in Manhattan: The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Housed in a large pseudo-medieval structure, which contains actual chapels and cloisters shipped over from Europe, this is one of the finest collections of medieval art anywhere. The website of the Metropolitan Museum provides a lot of information on The Cloisters, and also on the medieval department, including a selection of works on view. The collection is rich in sculptures of all kind, goldsmith works, manuscripts and also includes another set of Unicorn tapestries. You can search these objects in the museum's Collection Database, which is continually growing. If you select The Cloisters from the list of collections, 2300 objects can be browsed at present (about half of which are on view). Selecting the Collection of Medieval Art from the list yields an incredible further 6700 medieval objects in the database.

You can also download the Metropolitan Museum's Resource for Educators on Medieval Art. 

I would like to mention that many other American museums made their collections accessible online. For medieval art, I would particularly recommend the database of the The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore (see also the manuscripts there!) and that of The Cleveland Museum of Art, with 1214 works online.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Route of Medieval Churches in Szatmár county

Csengersima,  parish church 
A major research project, aimed at surveying and documenting the churches of medieval Szatmár country, was completed last week, and its results are now largely available on the web. As the territory of medieval Szatmár country is today divided between Romania and Hungary, the research project was a joint Hungarian-Romanian one, funded by the EU. The project documented a large number of medieval churches, including some only known from excavations. The area preserved some important medieval buildings, such as the Romanesque basilica of Ákos (Acâş), but most surviving buildings are small medieval parish churches.

The project consists of the following main elements: Mapping out a thematic route of medieval churches in the Hungarian-Romanian border area (in historic Szatmár county), which is the first common thematic route of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg and Satu Mare counties. This route is supported by very useful and informative material: maps, brochures and on-site information. The route includes 30 medieval churches - 20 of them located in the Hungarian county of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, while another 10 in the Romanian country of Satu Mare. 

A brand new website was also developed, which contains all the necessary information about the route and the churches. This website is available in Hungarian, Romanian and English versions. English readers should maybe start on this page. The website - even though the English-language texts are only summaries of the Hungarian versions - provides ample information in English on the medieval buildings of the region, and is thus highly recommended.
Csenger, parish church 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Open access online journals of medieval art

More and more journals are available in an open access format on the web - and more and more are only published in this format, without a printed version. The advantages of speedy publication at a lower cost are obvious, and the publications can potentially reach a much larger audience. Editorial work and peer-review can of course be maintained for online publications just as for traditional outlets.

When it comes to medieval art, there is a generous selection of such journals on the web, to supplement such print (+ restricted online access) journals as Gesta. What follows is a selection of such journals, with a brief description lifted from the introductory pages of the respective journals.

is published by t
he International Society for the Study of Pilgrimage Art, which was founded in 2000 to bring together scholars who explore the art and architecture of pilgrimage in the late Middle Ages. The journal "provides a forum for themes and topics related to that subject, and to share current research. [...] The artistic expressions which were created to give form to the cults are the objects of our investigation.
The journal is edited by Sarah Blick, and the latest issue is Volume 3, Issue 1 (2010). The journal also maintains a photo-bank.

The journal is "a web-based, open-access, peer-reviewed annual, devoted to progressive scholarship on medieval art. Different Visions seeks to fill a significant gap in current publishing venues by featuring articles employing contemporary postmodern and poststructuralist theoretical frameworks to examine medieval visual culture. Authors are encouraged to explore the application of such approaches as feminist and gender analysis, historiography, semiotics, post colonialism and queer theory to works produced during the period from the fourth through the fifteenth century. The journal will also consider essays on medieval visual culture that emerge from multiple disciplinary perspectives." The editor-in-Chief of the Journal is Rachel Dressler, and Issue Two is the most latest on the site.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fortified Saxon churches of Transylania

Birthälm (Berethalom/Biertan) 
The southern part of Transylvania has been populated by settlers from various (mainly the westernmost) parts of Germany, generally termed Saxons in medieval and more recent sources (you can read their history here). These Saxon settlers built some of the most urban settlements of Transylvania - cities such as Kronstadt (Brassó/Brasov), Hermannstadt (Nagyszeben/Sibiu) or Schässburg (Segesvár/Sighisoara). The villages of that region largely preserved their medieval structure to this day, and most are dominated by large medieval churches. Over the course of the 15-17th centuries,  as the territory was under constant threat by the Ottoman Empire, these churches were all fortified - some built into veritable castles. Transylvanian Saxons became Lutheran during the 16th century, thus these churches preserved much of their medieval treasures - including altarpieces, goldsmith works, liturgical textiles, Turkish rugs - to this day. These days, more and more frescoes are also coming to light from under the whitewash in these churches. Owing to the mass exodus of Transylvanian Saxons to Germany during the 1980s-1990s, many of these churches are out of use today, some completely abandoned. However, more and more is done to preserve this rich heritage. The churches of the region of Hermannstadt have been put on the watch-list of the World Monument Fund, while seven churches and the historic center of Schässburg are on the Unesco World Heritage list. International conservation efforts have been quite successful in some cases, as with the Church on the Hill in Schässburg, and Prince Charles has taken an interest in the region, buying property there.

Malmkrog (Almakerék/Malancrav) 

In this post, I would like to call attention to a website aimed at documenting the Saxon churches of Transylvania. The website Fortified Churches provides information on the region in five languages, with photo galleries of many of the churches (browse them under Locations). It is well worth a visit - although the best of course is visit the region in person, something I can highly recommend.

(Pictures in this post are from the Fortified Churches website. See also my earlier post on Abandoned medieval churches in Transylvania).

Saturday, March 05, 2011

New medieval art websites, IV.

This is turning into a regular feature of my blog - once again I collected some wonderful new websites on medieval art. I learned about most of them on Twitter (you can find a number of excellent Tweeters just by clicking on my list of Medieval Art - or if you don't like Twitter, check out the Medieval Art Weekly, an automatic paper created from tweets on this list). Other websites I found on the Facebook page dedicated to Medieval Art. So, here are the recommendations for March, most related to medieval manuscripts:

Oxford, Bodleian Library. 
Ms Douce, 134. fol 98 

Medieval Imaginations: Literature and visual culture in the Middle Ages is a database coordinated by Faculty of English of Cambridge University. It has been online for some time, and it is an ongoing project. I am quoting from the main page: "Medieval Imaginations provides a database of images to enable you to explore the interface between the literature and visual culture of medieval England. It has been compiled to provide images corresponding to the main episodes dramatized in the English Mystery Plays, because these present the medieval view of human history from the Creation to the Last Judgement. The images are mostly of English origin and from the later Middle Ages, with an emphasis on material from East Anglia, one of medieval England's most dynamic regions."

Getty, Ms. Ludwig XV 3.
Fol. 89v

Stories to watch: Narratives in Medieval Manuscripts is a website of a new exhibition at the Getty Center, Los Angeles (February 22 - May 15, 2011). The exhibition focuses on narrative images and storytelling in medieval manuscripts. The website also has a nice interactive feature, where the gospel narrative from a prayer book can be studied.

München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek,
Cgm 1952  
Treasures of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek 3D. More and more medieval manuscripts can be studied in digital format. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is now offering something more: 3D digital versions of some medieval manuscripts. You can virtually turn the pages, and even turn the book upside down or spin it. Its the kind of thing one often sees in new exhibitions, on touchscreen computers - where the real thing is in a showcase nearby. Browsing books like this at home, however, is really not all that useful - although fun, at first. The application is slow, pages often tend to turn the wrong way, zooming is quite limited, etc. I'll take an old-fashioned digital facsimile any day instead of this - luckily, the BSB has plenty of those!

It is more fun to look at virtual buildings in 3D - and that is precisely what you can do at the Catedral - Libro de Piedra website. It is a web application providing a virtual tour of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and its museum, through new technologies. If you are interested in more details, this website describes the making of this web application.

The last site to be mentioned today is not only about medieval art - it is a general listing of art history websites, especially blogs. As stated in the overview, "the Art & History Database (AHDB) is an ongoing collation of information on art and history resources on the web". The database offers search capabilities, as well as a list of websites. You can read more about AHDB on the Three Pipe Problem blog of its creator, H Niyazi.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Blogging tools I use

My page 

I started this blog in August, so about 6 months ago. In this short time, Blogger stats recorded well over 10.000 page views here, which I consider very good for a blog with a somewhat obscure topic. I originally started this blog as an extension of my website on the art of medieval Hungary, essentially in order to replace the News section of the website (which I rarely updated). That website has been up and running for almost 15 years, and received many, many visitors. Today, the website and the blog are closely linked - all this works automatically thanks to a little tool called Feed Informer, which lists most recent content of this blog on the website. This is very neat, as now I never have to edit the news page - yet the content keeps refreshing.

In order to help readers find my blog - realizing that not everyone uses RSS feeds or Google Reader - I got a number of smart tools to work, which share all new content on social networks. First I registered at NetworkedBlogs - this service automatically posts updates to Facebook and Twitter. Oh yes, I also started a Twitter account, which proved to be one of the most important sources of traffic to my blog. As all these services were linking directly to individual posts, I also installed a LinkWithin widget, which helps readers get to other posts as well.

There are two more services I use, both of which required a few minutes to set up, and now work on their own. First is a very nice platform for creating personal websites, called The website aggregates my blog and Twitter feeds, and also photos I uploaded to Picasa web albums and Flickr. Worth a try. The other service is a very interesting tool, called It automatically creates an online newspaper from Twitter posts I selected, so I set up a list following Twitter accounts focusing on medieval art - thus the Medieval Art Weekly was created.

Well, there was not much about medieval art in today's post - but if you follow some of the links above, you will get to a few interesting sites, and I hope that you keep following and reading the Medieval Hungary blog.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

New medieval art websites, III.

I will keep this post very short - there seems to be an ever richer selection of medieval art websites out there. I just want to point out a few I've recently discovered.

The Utrecht Psalter 

Medieval manuscripts in Dutch collections

"This database contains descriptions of all medieval western manuscripts up to c. 1550 written in Latin script and preserved in public and semi-public collections in the Netherlands. These include the collections of libraries, museums, archives, collections of monastic orders and some private institutions open to researchers."

Arthur - La légende du roi Arthur

An online exhibition with copious illustrations from medieval manuscripts. Made by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, with direct links to Gallica, the 'Bibliothèque numerique' of the BnF, providing full digital versions of medieval manuscripts.

Reliquary with the Man of
The Walters Art Museum 

Treasures of Heaven: Saints, relics, and devotion in Medieval Europe

This exhibition, previously shown in Cleveland, is now going to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. A brand new website has been created for this occasion, which contains really nice things, such as 3D photographs of several objects - photos where you can rotate and zoom in the objects. "The exhibition features over 130 sculptures, paintings and manuscripts, gathered from world-class collections, including the Louvre and the Vatican." For us in Europe, the exhibition will be available this summer at the British Museum in London.

Duccio: Rucellai Madonna
Florence, Uffizi 

Finally, I would just like to mention a great new project, which created quite a buzz on Twitter: The Google Art Project, with virtual tours (streetview style) of several major museums worldwide. You can also browse (and zoom) works in the artwork viewer module.
Description from the website: "Explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces."

Well, go ahead, and explore!

See previous installations of this feature: Medieval Art websites part I and part II.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New medieval art websites, II.

My post written last month called attention the a number of interesting new websites. In recent weeks I've noticed some more interesting new websites dedicated to medieval art.

First I need to mention a new database, launched on December 15. The Gothic Ivories Project is an online database of ivory sculptures made in Western Europe ca. 1200-ca. 1530. The project is run by the Courtauld Institute of Art. In addition to the database - which currently gives access to about 700 ivories - the website also contains a news section, a bibliography and useful links. The goal of the project is very ambitious:  "a database which aims at including all readily available information on every surviving Gothic ivory, accompanied by at least one image." The website will gradually be added to through regular uploads.

Full digital editions of medieval illuminated manuscripts seem to multiply these days. One of these in particular caught my attention last week (via The National Library of Wales made available a 15th century illuminated manuscript with the Battles of Alexander (Peniarth Ms 481D).
As the website tells us, this late 15th-century manuscript is in two parts, and both parts were likely bound together as one volume from the outset, probably in England. The first part of the manuscript was written by an English scribe and illustrated by a Flemish artist, while the second part of the manuscript was written and illuminated in Cologne. The Digital Mirror section of the library's website contains digital images of other medieval manuscripts, such as the Sherbrooke Missal.

The next resource is not exactly a website, but a subset of a larger resource. The Fototeca of the Biblioteca Berenson at Villa I Tatti (Florence) started an ambitious digitization project, the first results of which are already available. These include photos of the Life of Saint Francis cycle from the Upper Church of San Francesco in Assisi,  taken during restoration carried out by Bruno Zanardi in 1974-1983.
I had some problems getting to the actual images within the Harvard University Visual Information Access system. You get the full set of images most easily by searching there for "Zanardi". Each image has a subset of detail photos, with high quality scans.

Finally, I would like to mention a Hungarian website and accompanying database. The website of the National Széchényi Library is dedicated to early Hungarian printed books, and consists of two parts. First, the section titled The Hand-Press Period, contains detailed information about 15-16th century printing houses and printed books from the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary, with lots of images. The other section - called Clavis Typographorum Regionis Carpathicae - is a database for printing and publishing that includes all data of printing houses and publishers working in the actual territory of the Hungarian state from the beginnings of local printing in 1473 to 1948. The entire website is available in Hungarian and English as well - making it a very useful resource for the early history of the printed book.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New medieval art websites

In this post I would like to call attention to a number websites dedicated to medieval art. I was inspired to do this by the latest post on the blog 1100sor (1100lines) of Gábor Endrődi - a very informative Hungarian blog on Medieval and Renaissance art. The websites below are recommended not only to specialists - although they are wonderful resources for art historians - but to everyone interested in medieval art in general. They all provide stunning images of major monuments of Gothic art.

Etampes, Collégiale Notre-Dame-du-Fort
Mapping Gothic France - This wonderful websites provides information, images and virtual panoramas of Gothic churches in France. Initiated by Stephen Murray, Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and Andrew Tallon, Assistant Professor of Art at Vassar College, the website was developed by the these two institutions. With a database of images, texts, charts and historical maps, Mapping Gothic France provides parallel stories of Gothic architecture and the formation of France in the 12th and 13th centuries, considered in three dimensions: space, time and narratives. Still officially in beta version, the website is already a treasure-trove of information.

Stained glass from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
Vidimus - The only online magazine dedicated to medieval stained glass. The online magazin Vidimus is celebrating its fourth year with an annivesary issue - No. 45. Vidimus has a regular news section dedicated (mainly) to medieval stained glass, also listing various medieval exhibitions and new publications. The monthly features - including the Panel of the Month - are short articles dedicated to individual monuments or specific topics (this month to the Fifteen Signs of Doom window in the Church of All Saints, North Street, York and to Jan Gossaert and Stained Glass). I would also recommend the Corpus Virtearum Medii Aevi (GB) website and picture archive (c. 17.000 images). CVMA GB are the publishers of Vidimus.

Haltadefinizione - A website with high resolution images of Italian medieval and Renaissance art. Haltadefinizione provides a gallery of extremely high definition images of the greatest treasures in the history of art, mainly of Italian Renaissance paintings (Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Bronzino, etc.). The main reason for  including it here is the latest addition to the site: a virtual tour of Giotto's Cappella Scrovegni in Padua. You should set the presentation to full screen, and then you can look around in the interior of the chapel (like in any other virtual tour) - then select any part of the frescoes to arrive at a very high resolution image of it. Wonderful (despite the watermark appearing on the images).

Codex Manesse
Heidelberg, UB CPg 848
Two very important Gothic manuscripts are currently exhibited in Leuven and in Heidelberg: The Anjou Bible in Leuven ("a royal manuscript revealed") is on view until December 5, 2010, while the Codex Manesse is exhibited in Heidelberg in the context of the The House of Hohenstaufen and Italy exhibition in the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museums Mannheim until 20th February 2011. Both manuscripts are available in superb digital facsimile versions on the web: the Anjou Bible in a special book viewer (the English commentary for which is in preparation), where every illuminated page can be studied and zoomed, and the Codex Manesse in the Digital Library of the Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg - with an image of every folio. These two, roughly contemporary 14th-century manuscripts are true highlights of the art of illumination, and browsing these digital editions is highly recommended to everyone.

Seen any good new medieval art websites? Let me know in a comment!