Dialogues: Gazes, Gestures and Tools ○ Vera Kaspar

It was the ambition of this research project to focus on indications of visual representations of dialogic communication in historical source images, i.e. to establish how dialogical constellations may be visually represented in illustrations within medieval manuscripts. In particular, this investigation concentrated on the iconography of the Consolatio Philosophiae, a philosophical work written by the late-antique Roman statesman and philosopher Boethius at around 525 AD. The text is a conversation between “Lady Philosophy” and “Boethius”, set in a prison-like situation.

Vera Kaspar, born in Basel, is a Swiss designer with degrees from ECAL Lausanne (BA) and ZHdK Zürich (MA), and four years of working experience as in-house designer for the art book publishing house JRP Ringier. Together with Nicolas Eigenheer she received the Most Beautiful Swiss Book Award for the publication Carl Andre – Poems in 2014. Since 2016, she has been practicing as independent graphic designer in Zürich.

Vera Kaspar was a research assistant for the project Iconography of Philosophy.

Vera Kaspar-Image Protocol 2

Fig. 1: Image protocol based on illustration by Anonymous, Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Codex 271 as reprinted in Hermann J. Hermann. Die frühmittelalterlichen Handschriften des Abendlandes (Beschreibendes Verzeichnis der illuminierten Handschriften in Österreich I. Band: Die illuminierten Handschriften und Inkunabeln der Nationalbibliothek in Wien). Leipzig: Verlag von Karl W. Hiersemann, 1923.

Vera Kaspar-Image Protocol 1

Fig. 2: Image protocol based on illustration by Anonymous, Strassburg, Grüninger, 5 u. 110 as reprinted in Catarina Zimmermann-Homeyer. Illustrierte Frühdrucke lateinischer Klassiker um 1500. Innovative Illustrationskonzepte aus der Straßburger Offizin Johannes Grüninger (Wolfenbütteler Abhandlungen
 zur Renaissanceforschung Bd. 36). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2018.

Vera Kaspar-Image Protocol 4

Fig. 3: Image protocol based on illustration by Anonymous, Cambridge, Trinity Hall 12, 3v u.4r as reprinted in Pierre Courcelle. La Consolation de Philosophie dans la Tradition Littéraire: Antécédents et Postérité de Boèce. Paris: Institut d’Études Augustiniennes, 1967.

Vera Kaspar-Image Protocol 5

Fig. 4: Image protocol based on illustration by Anonymous, Cambridge, Trinity Hall 12, 3v u.4r as reprinted in Pierre Courcelle. La Consolation de Philosophie dans la Tradition Littéraire: Antécédents et Postérité de Boèce. Paris: Institut d’Études Augustiniennes, 1967.

Vera Kaspar-Image Protocol 3

Fig. 5: Image protocol based on illustration by Anonymous, Strassburg, Grüninger, 5 u. 110 as reprinted in Catarina Zimmermann-Homeyer. Illustrierte Frühdrucke lateinischer Klassiker um 1500. Innovative Illustrationskonzepte aus der Straßburger Offizin Johannes Grüninger (Wolfenbütteler Abhandlungen zur Renaissanceforschung Bd. 36). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2018.

previous arrow
next arrow
As one of the single most influential works on Medieval and early Renaissance Christianity in Europe, the Consolatio Philosophiae was subject of several surviving manuscripts by different – usually anonymous – writers. As common in the time, the manuscripts usually integrate elaborate illustrations to supplement the text.
To identify internal relations between the protagonists of respective illustrations I overlayed directions of gazes and of axes established by positions of the sceptre and writing tools with colour-coded lines. The resulting line systems I then transferred into dedicated compositional diagrams to supplement each illustration.
Analysis of these visual materials shows that the anonymous image makers of the Middle Ages used the materiality of their image carrier and their means of image application (pen, brush) for the characterization of respective dialogues, and thus allowed the process of image production to become effective in the illustration.

KEYWORDS
Boethius; Lady Philosophy; philosophy; medieval; image protocol; iconography; dialogic communication


REFERENCES

Courcelle, Pierre. La Consolation de Philosophie dans la Tradition Littéraire: Antécédents et Postérité de Boèce. Paris: Institut d’Études Augustiniennes, 1967.

Hermann, Hermann J. Die frühmittelalterlichen Handschriften des Abendlandes (Beschreibendes Verzeichnis der illuminierten Handschriften in Österreich I. Band: Die illuminierten Handschriften und Inkunabeln der Nationalbibliothek in Wien). Leipzig: Verlag von Karl W. Hiersemann, 1923.

Rose, Valentin. Die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse der Königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin, Bd. 13. Berlin: Asher, 1905.

Zimmermann-Homeyer, Catarina. Illustrierte Frühdrucke lateinischer Klassiker um 1500. Innovative Illustrationskonzepte aus der Straßburger Offizin Johannes Grüninger (Wolfenbütteler Abhandlungen zur Renaissanceforschung Bd. 36). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2018.

0 0 votes
Article Rating