Date

4-28-2020

Description

This research examines the shape of a French reliquary made in 1300 C.E. from Limoges, South France. The study inquiries on how its ambiguous architectonic form corresponding to immaterial holiness of the medieval relics. The shape could be considered as a sacred sanctuary for the holy’s residence symbolically. Recent scholarship has identified two possible archetypes of this ambiguous architectonic reference: it could be an architectonic sarcophagus from pagan Roman era, or a Christian church built in late medieval Christendom. This study scrutinizes these two arguments with claiming its transcendental iconography nature, while correlating the object with the history of cult of relics, the medieval concept of sacred space, then associating with the metamorphosis of this architectonic iconography. Since most of the scholars focus the materiality in research of Limoges reliquaries, my research will offer an alternative reading for this châsse reliquary with regard to its morphology and spiritual embodiments. At the same time, this research will introduce a new way of understanding the nature of medieval spirituality: it was not the monodrama of people attending processions, cleansing souls, and revealing Godly visions. Instead, medieval spirituality was perpetuated and shared thoroughly and widely through people’s sensorial receptions with objects.

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Apr 28th, 12:00 AM

Visible Invisibility: The Reliquary Châsse in the Art Institute of Chicago

This research examines the shape of a French reliquary made in 1300 C.E. from Limoges, South France. The study inquiries on how its ambiguous architectonic form corresponding to immaterial holiness of the medieval relics. The shape could be considered as a sacred sanctuary for the holy’s residence symbolically. Recent scholarship has identified two possible archetypes of this ambiguous architectonic reference: it could be an architectonic sarcophagus from pagan Roman era, or a Christian church built in late medieval Christendom. This study scrutinizes these two arguments with claiming its transcendental iconography nature, while correlating the object with the history of cult of relics, the medieval concept of sacred space, then associating with the metamorphosis of this architectonic iconography. Since most of the scholars focus the materiality in research of Limoges reliquaries, my research will offer an alternative reading for this châsse reliquary with regard to its morphology and spiritual embodiments. At the same time, this research will introduce a new way of understanding the nature of medieval spirituality: it was not the monodrama of people attending processions, cleansing souls, and revealing Godly visions. Instead, medieval spirituality was perpetuated and shared thoroughly and widely through people’s sensorial receptions with objects.