Studies in Iconology (LEUVEN: PEETERS)
Studies in Iconology accepts original and interdisciplinary contributions in the broader field of art theory and art history. The series addresses an audience that seeks to understand any aspect and any deeper meaning of the visual medium along the history of mankind in the fields of philosophy, art history, theology and cultural anthropology. Studies in Iconology is a peer-reviewed series.
Vol. 5: Barbara Baert (author)
Vol. 4: Barbara Baert (author)
Vol. 3: Barbara Baert (author)
In his late 15th century chronicle (ca 1477-1484), Michael Fabricius Ferrarinus (died between 1488-1493), prior of the Carmelite cloister in Reggio Emilia, introduced the rumour that an ancient fountain had been found super ripam Danuvii(on the banks of the Danube) with the sculpted figure of a sleeping nymph. According to Ferrarinus, the fountain bore a peculiar epigram:
HVIVS NYMPHA LOCI, SACRI CVSTODIA FONTIS,
DORMIO, DVM BLANDAE SENTIO MVRMVR AQVAE.
PARCE MEVM, QVISQVIS TANGIS CAVA MARMORA, SOMNVM
RVMPERE. SIVE BIBAS SIVE LAVERE TACE.
Many scholars have discussed the impact of the rumour as creating a prototype for Renaissance sculptures of the sleeping nymph in Rome and for the development of the well-known genre of the sleeping Venus in painting. Building upon the previous studies, this essay contextualizes the phenomenon of the sleeping nymph and its textual and artistic Nachleben from the point of view of the locus amoenus as silence. This study combines iconological, aesthetical-philosophical and anthropological approaches, and contributes to a better understanding of sleep, voyeurism, water and silence within the context of the nymph's particular genius loci.
Vol. 2: Barbara Baert (author)
During the Late Middle Ages a unique type of 'mixed media' recycled and remnant art arose in houses of religious women in the Low Countries: Enclosed Gardens. These are retables, sometimes with painted side panels, the central section filled not only with narrative sculpture, but also with all sorts of trinkets and hand-worked textiles. Adornments include relics, wax medallions, gemstones set in silver, pilgrimage souvenirs, parchment banderoles, flowers made from textiles with silk thread, semi-precious stones, pearls and quilling (a decorative technique using rolled paper). The ensemble is an impressive and one-of-a-kind display and presents as an intoxicating garden. In this essay the exceptional heritage of such Enclosed Gardens is interpreted from a range of approaches. The Enclosed Garden is studied as a symbol of paradise and mystical union, as the sanctuary of interiority, as the sublimation of the sensorium (in particular the sense of smell), as a typical gendered product, and as a centre of psycho-energetic creative processes.
Vol. 1: Barbara Baert (author)
Behind them, close to the open door, there runs - no, that is not the word, there flies, or rather there hovers - the object of my dreams, which slowly assumes the proportion of a harming nightmare. A fantastic figure - should I call her a servant girl, or rather a classical nymph? (...) This lively, light-footed and rapid gait, this striding step, which contrasts with the aloof distance of all other figures, what is the meaning of it all? (...) My condition varied between a bad dream and a fairy tale (...). I lost my reason. It was always she who brought life and movement into an otherwise calm scene. Indeed, she appeared to be the embodiment of movement (...) but is it very unpleasant to be her lover? (...) Who is she? Where does she come from? Have I encountered her before? I mean one and a half millennia earlier? Does she come from a noble Greek lineage, and did her great-grandmother have an affair with people from Asia Minor, Egypt or Mesopotamia?
Aby Warburg (1866-1929)