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Beastly Imagery in the Medieval World

May 19, 2019

CMRS/Getty Conference

This symposium (held in conjunction with the special exhibition Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World at the J. Paul Getty Museum May 14-August 18, 2019) showcases new research on animals in medieval visual culture. The focus of the exhibition is the bestiary, perhaps the most important source of information about animals in the period. The animal stories and images contained within the bestiary served as inspiration for public sermons, daily reading for the religious, and entertainment by the nobility, thereby exerting a powerful influence over the understanding and interpretation of animals in the medieval world. This symposium complements and expands this focus by exploring the influential role of animal imagery in a wide variety of media. Speakers will address how bestiary iconography was mobilized for usage in other media, the specific social and cultural contexts in which animal imagery was produced/viewed, and human relationships to the animal world.

Speakers include:

  • Kirk Ambrose (Professor of Art History, University of Colorado)
  • Madeline Caviness (Mary Richardson, Professor Emeritus, Tufts University)
  • Xavier Dectot (Keeper of Art and Design, National Museums of Scotland)
  • Christian Heck (Professor of Medieval Art History, University of Lille)
  • Xenia Muratova (Professor Emerita of Art History; President of the Pavel Muratov International Center of Studies)

To be followed by a keynote lecture by Christopher de Hamel at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Harold M. Williams Auditorium. Complete schedule TBA.

Organized by the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies and ­ The J. Paul Getty Museum.