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MEDIEVAL ART HISTORY RESOURCES

Edited by Róisín Astell, with contributions from Dr Ada Hajdu (New Europe College - Institute for Advanced Study, Bucharest), Emeric Rigault (Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès - Université de Poitiers), Dr Beate Fricke (University of Bern), and Celia Mills (MEMS, University of Kent).

To Help Get Started

Glossary of Medieval Art and Architecture - a concise glossary of various terms pertaining to medieval art and architecture. 

Holcomb, Melanie, (ed.) Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009)

 

Norris, Michael, Medieval Art: A Resource for Educators (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005)

  • This resource presents medieval art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection from Western Europe and Byzantium and provides strategies for teaching art of the Middle Ages. Among the contents are an overview of medieval times and art; a discussion of aspects of medieval life, including knighthood and monasticism; information on material and techniques; lesson plans; a map; a glossary, and a bibliography

  • Available online.

 

Stein, Wendy A., How to Read Medieval Art (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016)

  • This volume introduces the subjects and stories most frequently depicted in medieval art, many of them drawn from the Bible and other religious literature. Included among the thirty-eight representative works are brilliant altarpieces, stained-glass windows, intricate tapestries, carved wood sculptures, delicate ivories, and captivating manuscript illuminations, all drawn from the holdings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • Available online.

Open Access Books & Journals

Art History Journal Spreadsheet – this incredible database created by Dr Beate Fricke (University of Bern) details journals which are currently open access.

Kubikat - an online library catalogue of the German university- independent art history research institutes. To see books available online - check the box "nur elektronische Medien" (in the English version it is just an unlabeled box on the right-hand side), you get automatically a link to all digitised books and Open Access-journals.

Open Access Medieval Art Books Dr Zsombor Jékely (Károli Gáspár University) has created an archive of books on medieval art that are open access.

Images & Photos & Image Databases

 

ARTstor - one of the largest image resources for education in the world with over 1.6 million high-quality images of visual culture. 

 

Art & Architecture (Courtauld Institute of Art) - a database full of images of art and architecture. 

Bild Index – an image database in which around 80 cultural and scientific institutions - museums, monument preservation offices, libraries, universities and research institutes - publish their image and data stocks on art and architecture together on the Internet. 

 

3D Models – Iberian Peninsula - A collection of 3D models of architecture and objects in Spain and Portugal. 

 

HOLLIS Images – it includes content from archives, museums, libraries, and other collections throughout Harvard University documenting the arts, Matériel culture, and social history.

 

Index of Medieval Art (open-access until June 1, 2020) - Largest database of medieval art in existence with full-text records for over 23,000 works of art dating from early apostolic times to A.D. 1400. 

People of Color in European Art History (Medieval POC) - addresses common misconceptions that People of Color did not exist in Europe before the Enlightenment, and emphasizes the cognitive dissonance in the way this is reflected in media produced today.

Photothek - a photo library created by the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz contains over 614,000 photographs of Italian art and architecture from late antiquity to the present day, with a focus on central and northern Italy. 

Prometheus - holds over 2,671,087 high-quality digitized images from the fields of arts, culture and history.

 

REALonline – an image database of over 28,500 images created by the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture (IMAREAL) of the University of Salzburg. Photos include items from 12th to 16th centuries – in museums, collections, churches and libraries.

The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database: A Visual Resource of Historical Sites c.1100 – c.1450 - This website was created to collect, host and display images made by travellers, mapmakers, historians, architects and artists of medieval and early modern monuments and cities of Southern Italy. It includes prints, drawings, ground plans and elevations, paintings, photographs, and any other type of image of sites from roughly 1100 to 1450.

The Warburg Institute Iconographic Database – a searchable database of various images, using an iconographic search tool.

Artists, Sculptors & Architects


Creation of Gothic - a survey into the creation of the Gothic style before 1250 explores all 1600 churches that remain in the limestone region of the Paris Basin, accessibly gathered in one place. In this incredible database you can follow the work of identified carvers.

 

Magistri Cataloniae – a research group at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in association with the Departament d'Art i Musicologia of the UAB with the main goal of studying the work, training, learning and organization of Catalan painters (miniaturists and wood and mural painters), sculptors and architects through the laboratory analytical techniques.

Premodern Women Artists and Patrons: A Global Bibliography - a bibliography on women artists and patrons, with sections on Asia, the Americas, Islamic Cultures, and Europe from antiquity–c. 1700, individual women, topics like “Textiles and Needlework,” and online and teaching resources. Additions, corrections, and feedback on its structure (from new entries to Sub-Saharan Africa) are welcome via Comments on the Google Doc.

Illuminated Manuscripts

Digitized Medieval Manuscripts - links to more than 500 libraries in the world. Search for libraries and institutions here. You can explore the list via their interactive map.

 

Digital Scriptorium - a consortium of American libraries and museums committed to free online access to their collections of pre-modern manuscripts.

 

E-codices - contains digitized manuscripts from all regions of Switzerland.

 

Europeana – a website that works with thousands of European archives, libraries and museums bringing access to thousands of medieval manuscripts.

Medieval Manuscripts on the Web - list of the various digitisation projects on the web: clicking the project title will take you directly there.

Manuscripta Mediaevalia - a database containing over 90,000 medieval manuscripts available in German libraries.

 

Manuscripts Online: Written Culture 1000 to 1500 - a range of online primary sources related to Britain. 

 

Monastic Manuscript Project - specialised list of manuscripts relevant to the study of early monasticism. Click here to see online catalogues from institutions and libraries.

 

Stained Glass
 

The Association for the History of Glass - an educational charity set up to advance knowledge and interest in the study of glass for all periods of history and in all parts of the world.

British Society of Master Glass Painters - the UK's only organisation devoted exclusively to the art and craft of stained glass. Resources include a range of videos, publications, and exhibition catalogues.

Corpus Narratologica (France) - images of stained glass windows from Bourges, Le Mans, Poitiers and Chartres.

Corpus Vitraearum Medii Aevi of Great Britain - digital picture archive of stained glass from various locations in Great Britain. 

 

Glass Ornaments in Late Antiquity and Early Islam (ca. 500–1000) (MET, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History)

 

Glossary of Stained Glass – the CVMA has created a comprehensive glossary of all things stained-glass.

 

Infovitrail - French site with a vast range of information on stained glass.

 

Michigan Stained Glass - includes a photo archive as well as information about American stained glass artists.

 

Pattern, Color, Light: Architectural Ornament in the Near East (500–1000) MET Exhibition,  July 20, 2015 - January 10, 2016

 

The Rose Window - a huge online database of photographs of stained glass from sites across England and France. 

Stained Glass in Medieval Europe (MET, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History) – a brief overview of stained glass in Medieval Europe, including examples from the MET’s collection.

 

Stained Glass in Wales - A searchable catalogue of Welsh stained-glass windows from the fourteenth century to the present day, with over 5000 photographs.

 

Vetrate Italiane -  database of Italian stained glass from the 6th to the 16th century.

 

Vidimus – a monthly on-line magazine devoted to medieval stained glass. The magazine provides news, exhibition reviews, events, books and links. Each month contains a feature article and a detailed examination of a single panel of glass.

 

Vitrearum Deutschland - A Database of a research center devoted to stained glass in and around Freiburg.

 

Vitrearum Medii Aevi- Osterreich – Dedicated to Austrian Medieval stained glass.

Online books:

 

Shepard, Mary B., and Cynthia Clark, eds., with Jane Hayward (2003), English and French Medieval Stained Glass in the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y. : Harvey Miller Publishers and the Metropolitan  Museum of Art for American Corpus Vitrearum, Inc., 2003).

  • A comprehensive two-volume catalogue covers the outstanding collection of English and French medieval stained glass in the MET. This book includes a glossary, terms for Stained Glass.

  • Available here.

 

Architecture and Sculpture

Casselman Archive of Islamic and Mudejar Architecture in Spain – Colour and B&W photographs of medieval Spain taken by the late Eugene Casselman (1912-1996). Photos include Spanish Islamic architecture from the 7th century.

 

Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture – The Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture identifies, records and publishes in a consistent format, English sculpture dating from the 7th to the 11th centuries.

Corpus of Medieval Narrative Art – photographs of art and architecture from various medieval sites across Europe, created by Dr Stuart Watling.

 

Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland – A searchable, digital archive of British and Irish Romanesque sculpture.

Creation of Gothic - a survey into the creation of the Gothic style before 1250 explores all 1600 churches that remain in the limestone region of the Paris Basin, accessibly gathered in one place. 

 

Bovedas Goticas Decruceria – this site, created by the Technical University of Madrid includes photographs of medieval vaults, investigations of their design principles and physical reconstructions of the vaults which are tested by being loaded to the point of destruction (videos on YouTube).

Design Principles in Late-Gothic Vault Construction - a project led by David Wendland at the Technical University of Dresden, which is using similar approaches to our own research, based on ‘reverse engineering’ from laser scans.

Gothic Past - Visual Archive of Gothic Architecture and Sculpture in Ireland

 

Images d’archéologie – provides the remarkable iconographic resources produced by INRAP (Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives) during their research and cultural arechological missions.

 

John James Medieval Architecture – A list of all churches in the Paris Basin 1100-1250. List of all European churches with surviving rib vaults before 1145.

 

Late Medieval German Sculpture (MET, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History)

 

Mapping Gothic - a database of images, texts, charts and historical maps of Gothic architecture and the formation of France in the 12th and 13th centuries.

 

Medieval Architecture - Created by esteemed scholar Professor Alison Stones, this is an online database of architecture across England and France. Images from this database can also be found on here on ULS Digital Collections

Medieval European Sculpture for Buildings (MET, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History)

Northern Fortress – Database of fortresses of Northwest Russia and Finland with its detail descriptions, history reviews, maps, plans and photographic images.

 

Notre-Dame Cathedral of Amiens, An Orderly Vision - A collection of photographs from the  Notre-Dame Cathedral of Amiens by Professor Stephen Murray, Art History, Columbia University.

 

Public Monuments and Sculpture Association - aimed at heightening public appreciation of Britain's public sculpture, and contributing to its preservation, protection and promotion.

Romane – this collection of the Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale (CESCM) at the Université de Poitiers photo library with over 240,000 documents including plans, photographs, archaeological records of Romanesque material – including wall paintings and sculpture.

Romanes – a database of Romanesque architecture.

Stories in Stone – a blog created by Ron Baxter that focuses on medieval sculpture and its contents.

Tracing the Past – This ongoing project brings together a team from the University of Liverpool to investigate medieval vault design in the British Isles using contemporary digital techniques. Their main aim is therefore to examine different tools that are now available, such as digital laser scanning and digital modelling, and ask questions of how these can be applied to historic works of architecture and the knowledge we can gain from this.

Online Books:

 

Little, Charles T., (ed.) Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006)

  • Seven thematic sections retrace the history of these heads using both traditional art-historical methods, such as connoisseurship and archaeology, as well as the latest scientific technologies.

  • Available here.

Gómez-Moreno, Carmen., Sculpture from Notre-Dame, Paris: A Dramatic Discovery (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979)

 

Icon Paintings

 

Icons and Iconoclasm in Byzantium (MET, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History) – an overview covering the definition, function and form of icons; definition of iconoclasm; icons after iconoclasm and some examples from the MET’s collection.

 

St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai – information and photos of St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai, as well as images of the icons housed there.

 

The Art of Mount Athos – some information and images of portable icons from Mount Athos in Greece.

 

Wall Paintings

 

England

 

Churches Conservation Trust - Information on 341 historic churches, which can be filtered by those containing medieval wall paintings.

 

The churches of East Anglia - Consisting of Suffolk Churches and Norfolk Churches, a growing collection of photos of medieval churches, including many images of wall paintings as well.

Medieval Wall Painting in the English Parish Church - a fantastic catalogue created by Dr Anne Marshall which includes pages on a variety of different places in England which houses medieval wall paintings.

Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Corporal Works of Mercy - A searchable database of British wall paintings depicting the Seven Deadly Sins by the University of Leicester.

France

Art-Roman.net – includes photos of Romanesque wall-paintings.

 

Medieval wall-paintings in the south of France - Material from a CD-ROM with images of wall paintings from small chapels in the Southern Alps.

 

Peintures murales en France – images of wall paintings from various churches across France.

 

 

Central Europe (Germany, Austria, Czech Republik, Slovakia, Hungary, etc.)

Farbdiaarchiv - A collection of archival colour photos of wall paintings and ceiling decorations from Germany, Austria, Poland, Bohemia.

 

Denmark

Kalkmalerier - A database of Danish medieval wall paintings.

 

Panoramas - Church Wall paintings in Denmark, as well as full-screen panoramas.

 

Medieval Tapestries

 

European Tapestry Production and Patronage, 1400–1600 (MET, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History)

 

How Medieval and Renaissance Tapestries Were Made (MET, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History)

 

Getty’s Study Images of Tapestries – The Getty’s Research Library's Photo Archive includes photographs of over 5,000 medieval and early modern tapestries from European and American collections.

 

Opus Anglicanum (Victoria and Albert Museum)

 

What is tapestry? (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Online Books:

 

Souchal, Geneviève (ed.), Masterpieces of Tapestry from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Press, 2016)

  • Based on the Masterpieces of Tapestry exhibition, this book includes sections that focus on  14th-century Tapestries, Major 15th-century Works, The Cloisters' Hunt of the Unicorn and the Lady with the Unicorn from the Cluny Museum.

  • Available online.

Ivories

 

The Art of Ivory and Gold in Northern Europe around 1000 A.D - Heilbrunn Timeline of Art HistoryAn essay which includes an overview of The Magdeburg Ivories and Other Works from the Ottonian Period, as well key items from the MET’s collection.

 

Byzantine Ivories (MET, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History) – an overview of Ivories made during the Byznatine, as well key items from the MET’s collection.

 

Ivory Carving in the Gothic Era, Thirteenth–Fifteenth Centuries (MET, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History) – an essay which looks at Material, Technique, and Trade, Liturgical Use, Devotional Objects, Secular Ivories and more, as well key items from the MET’s collection.

Gothic Ivory Project – an online database of ivory sculptures made in Western Europe ca. 1200-ca. 1530 and currently contains over 5000 Gothic Ivories run by the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Other Artforms
 

Boxwood Project – explore the world of gothic boxwood miniature carvings. This resource presents every known example of these carvings, documented with stunning new photography that allows you to zoom in and see wonderful details, alongside new research uncovering how these marvels were made.

 

Census of Italian Renaissance Woodcuts - The Census team have traced, studied and catalogued all single-leaf woodcuts and woodblocks made in Italy from the earliest known use of this medium to about 1550.

 

The Digital Pilgrim Project - a digital database of pilgrim badges with fascinating 3D reconstructions.

Kunera – a database that contains over 15,000 medieval badges and ampullae of religious and profane subjects. The pilgrimage sites and the sites where the objects were found are mapped out visualizing the dissemination of the objects and the travel routes at a single glance.

Medieval Mosaics - this site gives information about different medieval mosaics around the world.

 

Previous Theses

EThOS - provides a national aggregated record of all doctoral theses awarded by UK Higher Education institutions, and free access to the full text of as many theses as possible.

 

Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) - indexes records of theses from institutions across the world and provides a simple search interface.

 

American doctoral Dissertations (EBSCOhost) - access a comprehensive record of dissertations accepted by American universities during that time period, the print index Doctoral Dissertations Accepted by American Universities. Contains more than 172,000 theses and dissertations in total from 1902 to the present.

 

Other

Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index - covers imagery, journal articles, book reviews, and essays in books about women, sexuality, and gender during the Middle Ages.

 

Can't find what you're looking for?

British Archeological Association Resource page - add your request for a chapter, article or image to the online document. 

 

Medieval Art History Resources – this Facebook group is a space where you can request chapters, articles or anything else. With over 800 members (and still growing), this is a thriving community of medieval art historians from across the world.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Resource page updated by Roisin Astell - last updated 10/08/20

 
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