Olivia Puzzolante (°1993) is studying Art History at the KU Leuven. She’s currently writing a thesis on Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179) and will graduate as a MA in Art History in 2019.

An important part of her thesis will be the Dendermonde Codex (Ms.9), a manuscript originating from the Benedict Abbey of St. Peter and Paul in Dendermonde. The Codex is currently at the Maurits Sabbe Library (Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven) for conservation and research. The manuscript contains fifty-seven monophonic hymns for liturgical use. In addition, the codex contains Hildegard’s Liber vitae meritorum (The Book of the Merits of Life) and the Liber viarum Dei (The Book of the Ways of God) by her friend Elisabeth of Schönau (1129-1164). The manuscript closes with a dialogue between a priest and the devil, a text that has rarely been researched.

In May 2018 the Codex will be a focus point of the exhibition “Hildegard of Bingen in the Low Countries. The Dendermonde Codex”. Olivia was involved during the process of the exhibition, as part of her MA thesis. A second part of her research will cover the ‘revival’ of Hildegard during the 19th and 20th Century, in specific her representation in the arts.

Olivia was an intern at Illuminare – Centre for the Study of Medieval Art from November 2017 until March 2018. During this period she worked on the project Digital Corpus of Flemish Retables, a project in collaboration with the RKD (The Hague). The goal of the Digital Corpus is to provide access to specialized research for scholars and to increase and promote the interest/ knowledge in medieval sculpture. In April Olivia will continue to work for Illuminare on the Digital Corpus Flemish Retables project.