Graphic visualization in liturgical manuscripts in the early Middle Ages: the initial '0' in the sacramentaty of Gellone

Abstract : In recent years, many medievalists have become interested in the place of the five senses in the Christian culture of the Middle Ages. Having long been neglected, despite the pioneering work of sorne authors, the five senses now feature in studies by medieval historians, specialists in literature and philosophy and, more recently, art historians. In the field of medieval liturgy, however, there are few publications which refer to the sensory aspect of ritual. Nor is there a comprehensive study of the role played by the five senses in the Christian liturgy of late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. To fill this gap, I have undertaken extensive research on art, liturgy and the five senses in the Middle Ages, which has resulted in a book which came out in 2014. In this research I considered art as an essential element of the definition of the liturgy, whose 'function' was primarily to activate the senses during the performance of the ritual in order to 'produce' the effect required by the theology of the liturgical ceremony. This new approach to the place of art in medieval liturgy does not detract from the role of objects and their iconography in elaborating political and historical contexts during the ritual. Indeed, liturgical objects are essential elements of the ritual. Adopting this perspective allows one to escape from the strictly 'utilitarian' or 'functional' conception of art within liturgy, andto move instead towards a philosophical and theological understanding: the liturgy is brought within the realm of sensory experience, mainlyexpressed by the 'placing' of the ritual and its effective performance through all the elements wwitch compose it - and most of all, art. this approach to the sensory world as part of the liturgy has similarities with the phenomenology of perception. That is, one must recognize the 'sensory space ' of the liturgy is above all composed of elements which make a particular appeal to the senses (such as visual decorations and representations), brought into contiguity within the ritual sequences of a ceremony, and leading to an 'inter-sensoriality' or a 'crossing over' of sensory modalities.
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Submitted on : Friday, December 22, 2017 - 3:58:53 PM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-01671780, version 1



Eric Palazzo. Graphic visualization in liturgical manuscripts in the early Middle Ages: the initial '0' in the sacramentaty of Gellone. Michelle P. Brown; Ildar H. Garipzanov; Benjamin C. Tilghman. Graphic Devices and the Early Decorated Books, The Boydell Press, pp.63-79, 2017, Boydell studies in medieval art and architecture, ISSN 2045-4902, 978-1-78327-226-6. ⟨halshs-01671780⟩



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