Image, Communication, Behaviour

Centre for Cross-Disciplinary Research into Cultural Phenomena in the Central European History: Image, Communication, Behaviour

by Michaela Šeferisová Loudová and Radka Nokkala Miltová, Seminar of Art History, Masaryk University in Brno

The main objective of the centre is a cross-disciplinary analysis and interpretation of mechanisms, which may explain the cultural-historical reality throughout its long duration from the Middle Ages up to the resent. The centre intends to develop a synergistic link between research teams in the cultural-historical field at universities in Brno and Olomouc, which have for some time now been prominent in their use of such approaches. In addition there is also the intention to draw on cooperation with the most important Czech Republic researchers as well as with leading experts abroad (Wroclaw, Vienna, Paris, Lausanne). In this sense the project endeavours to link up various methodological approaches with subjects in the field, which will be monitored within the particular modules: The theory and practice of cultural-historical disciplines; Image, cult, space; Imagination, image and text; Representation, places of memory. Outputs from the project will be a series of monographs, articles and a final, methodologically targeted volume, in which all the modules will be involved.

Josef Stern, The Muses, Library Hall of the Castle in Kroměříž, 1759
Josef Stern, The Muses, Library Hall of the Castle in Kroměříž, 1759

Within the framework of this project two monographic studies on the baroque wall paintings will be issued in 2016 and 2017:

Radka Nokkala Miltová: In Society of Gods and Heroes. Myths of the Ancient World in Bohemian and Moravian Ceiling Painting of Aristocratic Land Estates in 1650-1690.

Ancient mythology was an integral part of baroque ceiling painting. In fact, it became the expected form of profane (although not exclusively) representation in the majority of early modern residences. This book is the first comprehensive study of the ceiling paintings in the aristocratic land estates in Bohemia and Moravia in the time frame of 1650-1690. Due to the ideological and formal links to other European residences the Bohemian and Moravian residences are analysed in the larger European framework. The book shows that these chateaus’ mythological themes followed several intertwined lines. First, they represented natural forces and movements of astral bodies. Second, they evoked brave acts of great men and virtuous women and, thirdly, they fulfilled representational strategies of the aristocrats. The use of the mythological fables served the patrons to manifest the glory of their ancestries and of military successes thereby empowering the social status of the patron. The same role was played by the numerous epithalamies, celebrating newly acquired properties and faith in the heir continuity.

Hans Georg Greiner, Venus and Aeneas, chateau Plumlov (Moravia), ca. 1687

Michaela Šeferisová Loudová: In name of the Wisdom. Iconography of the Baroque Monastery Libraries of the 18th century in Moravia.

The wall paintings in libraries belong to the most interesting art works of the Baroque, especially due to their unique iconography. Frescoes were commonly drafted by heads of monasteries or other erudite members of cloister communities, ant their themes were mostly linked to the apotheoses of the Divine Wisdom. The specific imagery of such frescoes possess a large scale of variations, their paintings in many cases containing rare motifs, which make their interpretation difficult without deep understanding of the baroque iconology and thorough knowledge of the cultural milieu, in which the paintings were ordered and to which they were produced. This book will be the first monograph on the artistic decoration of seven old library halls created in the 18th century and still preserved in now days in Moravia, that is monastery libraries in Hradisko by Olomouc, Rajhrad, Uherské Hradiště, Nová Říše, Brno (Cloister of Friars Minor Conventual and Cloister of Friars Minor Capuchin) and the (arch)bishop library in the castle in Kroměříž. The monograph is primarily focused on the reconstruction of the iconographic programs of the wall paintings in libraries, but also takes into account the style of the paintings, their authorship and last, but not least the iconography and iconology of the whole monastery (respective castle), where library halls are located.

Ignaz Mayer, Allegory of Fides, Caritas and Spes, Library Hall of the Premonstatensian Canonry in Nová Říše (Moravia), 1770

For more information see the website of the Centre for Cross-Disciplinary Research ⇒


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