skip to content

Auerbach Lecture | 21.06.2021 | 18 Uhr

Beatrice Kitzinger (Medieval Art, Princeton): Medieval Art and the Present Tense
Moderation: Susanne Wittekind (Art History, Cologne)


The descriptor "time-based media" was coined in the 1960's for art practices in thoroughly modern forms, such as videos, slide shows, and animation. The term, however, acquires extraordinary power when applied in the pre-modern sphere, by naming temporal qualities fundamental to artworks in the Christian tradition. The notion that time itself may work as a component of artistic composition opens a particularly valuable perspective on early medieval religious art. Taking the notion of temporal presence as a formal challenge for artists, the talk investigates how ninth-century pictorial narrative harnessed the combination of sequence, depicted motion, historical subjects, and the forms of objects and spaces to define the relationship of Christian history to the present. In doing so, they defined the function of images and their media within the Carolingian Church, forging a particular significance for the presence of art itself.

The lecture will take place virtually via Zoom. Guests are very welcome! 





Photo: ivory book-cover, Metz, ca. 850. Frankfurt, Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek, Ms. Barth. 180. Photo: Frankfurt, Liebieghaus Museum