Special Issue of Arts: Royal Divine Coronation Iconography in the Medieval Euro-Mediterranean Area

Special Issue of Arts: Royal Divine Coronation Iconography in the Medieval Euro-Mediterranean Area lead image

Abstracts are invited for a special issue of Arts—Royal Divine Coronation Iconography in the Medieval Euro-Mediterranean Area—edited by Mirko Vagnoni, Senior Researcher, Department of Art History, Université de Fribourg.

In the last decades, art historians have stressed the benefits of analysing medieval images and their figurative contents within their specific context and, in particular, they have underlined the importance of their visual impact to the viewers to determinate their functions and specific meanings. In other words, in the analysis of a Medieval image it has become fundamental to verify where it was collocated and who it was aimed at (and therefore its visibility) and for which practical reasons it was made. This has opened new perspectives, by creating an active historiographical debate about one of the most fascinating and studied iconographic theme of the Middles Ages: namely, the royal divine coronation. Indeed, in the specific case of some Ottonian and Salian illuminations, it has been proposed that their function was not political, or to legitimize power as traditionally suggested (Herrscherbilder), but liturgical and religious (Memorialbilder). This has led to a complete rethinking of the meaning of this iconographic theme: e.g. the divine coronation of the king would not symbolically allude to his earthly power but to the wholly devotional hope of receiving the crown of eternal life in the afterlife.

If this academic debate has been concentrated above all on Ottonian and Salian royal images, this Special Issue of Arts would like to deal with this topic by stimulating the analysis of royal divine coronation scenes in religious and liturgical context with a wider geographical and temporal setting: that is, the European and Mediterranean kingdoms in the period from the 12th to the 15th centuries. In other words, area of investigation includes, but it is not limited to, royal divine coronation (or blessing) scene in mosaics, frescos, or paintings placed in cathedrals or monastic churches and illuminations of liturgical texts in European, Eastern European, Balkan, Mediterranean, Caucasian, and Middle Eastern kingdoms and empires.

The deadline for proposals is February 15, 2019. The deadline for complete manuscript submission is August 23, 2019.