Building Hagiographies: Saintly Imagery in Monumental Contexts, session at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 14–17, 2015
One of the most innovative developments in the monumental arts of the thirteenth century was the incorporation of saints’ lives into the visual programs of buildings, including the stained glass and sculpture of such well-known structures as the cathedrals of Chartres, Reims, Amiens, and Bourges. Yet even at these well-known monuments, the resident imagery of local saints and the local interpretations of universal saints remain understudied topics. This session will consider the ways in which the imagery of saints was incorporated or reinterpreted in the visual programs of buildings, thereby constructing careful histories within regional and local contexts.
We encourage papers that consider regional and local interpretations of hagiographic imagery in a variety of monumental contexts (cathedrals, parish churches, monasteries) and across geographic regions (Europe, the British Isles, and the Mediterranean). Papers may address but are not limited to such issues as the use of hagiographic narratives to support the power and authority of the local clergy and/or the interaction of local saints’ imagery with liturgical performance, pilgrimage, preaching, and other devotional, didactic, or political concerns.
Jennifer M. Feltman