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8th ARS MEDIAEVALIS Colloquium. Memory: Monument and Image in the Middle Ages. 2018






Memory is a psychological faculty and an intellectual power that found its expression in the foundational and oft-repeated phrase of the Eucharistic celebration heard by all believers: “do this in remembrance of me”. Memory is projected onto ritual commemorations of the dead, funeral processions, anniversaries, liturgical celebrations and concerns all of the deceased, from the humblest to those who hold eminent institutional, religious or administrative positions, and, of course, the “special dead”, namely, the saints. It is not restricted to commemorating the deceased, whose presence is invoked by naming them in obituaries and in the objects associated with them. The latter were movable (liturgical vessels, manuscripts, ritual vestments, portable altars, trophies, objects associated with reliquaries and artistic patrons) or the fixed furnishings of buildings (reredoses, mural paintings, stained-glass windows, heraldic sculpture and, in particular, epigraphs and funerary monuments). By extension, the term memory was used in reference to the buildings or altars (e. g. cella memoriae) that sheltered these objects of such high sacred value.
Memory is at the heart of Augustinian epistemology, which believed that human reason is nourished by intelligence, love and memory. In the secular domain, memory played a central role in underpinning laws and institutions whose legitimacy depended on established customs. To establish the legal foundation of the present and future, lawmakers had to express the past and the certainty of the past.?This colloquium intends to analyze social memory as the process that enables society to renew and reform its understanding of the past so that it can be incorporated into the present, thus establishing a historical analogy in the narrative of the passing of time. Social memory includes liturgical memory, historiography, genealogy, oral tradition and other forms of cultural production and reproduction. Therefore, the colloquium’s aim in particular is to revisit the Concept of cathedral memory, which includes all of those works, activities and uses of space that transmit over time the memory of important bishops, clerical dignitaries and laypeople and the origins and historical episodes in which they had played leading roles.

However, in each cathedral, the promotion of memory was incorporated into a communal setting in use over a long period of time and thus fostered diverse dynamics in terms of the interactions and intersections between the memory of the individual and/or the cooperative memory of social groups. Furthermore, mnemotechnic resources played a highly important role in adopting, storing, connecting, activating, modelling and reinventing the information and visual expressions received at a given moment in the past.

Memory, as contemporary psychology shows, is a dynamic process that transforms the past to such an extent that it creates new pasts. In fact, operative and dynamic memory is an exercise not so much in recognizing the past as an immutable reality but rather in reorganizing that past to the point of imagining it. Remembering always means connecting new stimuli (images, logical sequences, references, stories, etc.) that awaken this recollection with earlier information that has already been taken on board but stored away. Without the analogous links that adapt memories, it is impossible to integrate new events into a historical sequence. How did such assumptions affect the way in which images functioned during the Middle Ages? Where and when were architectural spaces composed to promote the gestation or remodeling of individual or institutional memories? This colloquium will provide a forum for analysis and debate regarding these fundamental questions of visual culture and medieval art.


Gerardo Boto Varela (Universitat de Girona) - Alejandro García Avilés (Univiversidad de Murcia) - Herbert L. Kessler (Johns Hopkins University)

TEMPLA - GERM Estudios Visuales - Red ARSMED




 May 4th (Location: Fundación Sta. Mª la Real)

09.45 h.: Colloquium Ars Mediaevalis Opening
10.00 h.: Beat BRENK / Universität Basel
The Mosaics of Cefalù revisited: innovation and memory
10.45 h: Discussion
11.30 h.: César García de Castro VALDÉS / Museo Arqueológico de Asturias
Variaciones sobre el tema del Salvador y el colegio apostólico en la Catedral de Oviedo. Aventuras y desventuras de una advocación
12.15 h.: Free papers
12.55 h: Discussion
16.00 h.: Marta Cendón Fernández / Universidade Santiago de Compostela
Memoria y privilegio: las capillas funerarias episcopales en las catedrales castellanas bajomedievales
16.45 h.: Marta Serrano - Gerardo Boto / Univ Rovira i Virgili - Univ de Girona
Memoria per corporis sensum combibit anima. Relato histórico en la catedral de Tarragona: presencia y secuencia de escenarios de memorias arzobispales
17.30 h.: Discussion
18.00 h.: Round table:
Objects and Remembrance / Objetos y recuerdo Herbert L. Kessler
18.45 h.: Public presentation of the new book of editorial line “ARS MEDIAEVALIS. Estudios de arte medieval”
May 5th (Location: Palencia. Diputación Provincial)

10.00 h.: José Alberto Morais  MORAN / Universidad de León
Memento in mente habete: storiae y monumentos de memoria en el reino de León. De Magio (968) a Florencio (1138)
11.15 h.: Amadeo Serra desfilis  /  Universidad de Valencia
Memoria de reyes y memorias de la ciudad. Valencia entre la conquista cristiana y las Germanías
12.00 h.: Diana Lucía Gómez-Chacón / CSDMM-Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Contemplar con la mirada del alma: arte, memoria y observancia a fines de la Edad Media
12.45 h.: Discussion
16.00 h.: Academic visit: Becerril de Campos and Paredes de Nava
May  6th (Location: Monasterio Sta.
María la Real, Aguilar de Campoo)

09.30 h.: Cynthia Hahn  / City University of New York
Reliquaries and Commemoration: Saint, Patron, Artist
10.15 h.: Free papers
10.55 h.: Discussion
11.45 h.: Felipe Pereda ESPEJO / HARVARD UNIVERSITY
Imagen y olvido. Imagen del lamento fúnebre entre la Antigüedad y la Reforma católica
12:30 h.: Discussion
13.00 h: Conclusions and perspectives
13.15 h.: Closing ceremony


(") The lectures will be given in the language with which their title is expressed. Of those that are exposed in English, the text translated into Spanish will be delivered to the attendees







This colloquium constitutes an open call for researchers who wish to present the results of their analysis in this area. Those interested should send a summary of the content of their communication, with a maximum length of 2 DIN A4 pages, in a single space (Times New Roman, 12 points), as well as a brief selection of the basic bibliographical references in which will support your speech. All this will be sent to the following email

The deadline for receipt of the abstracts will end on March 20 and will be informed about the acceptance or not of the communication before March 28. In the case of those admitted, the time available for public exposure (compulsory procedure), the length required for publication in the minutes and the editing rules will be made known.




The sessions will take place at the headquarters of the Santa María la Real Foundation (Avda. Ronda 1, next to the main bridge), at the monastery of Santa María la Real and at the Provincial Cultural Center (Diputación de Palencia).







(Amigos del Patrimonio, Amigos del Románico, Amics de l’Art Romànic de Catalunya, assistants to the Colloquium of 2016 or 2017 and those enrolled in other courses of the Santa María la Real Foundation of Historical Heritage in 2018).


FEES SPECIAL: 60 € (students)


  • Students who opt for reduced or special enrollment must present a document certifying their situation: university card, unemployment card or card of any of the above-mentioned associations. Those attending the Colloquium of 2016 or 2017 and other courses of the Santa María la Real Foundation of Historical Heritage in 2018 are exempt from this procedure.
  • Researchers whose communications have been admitted for reading will pay a fee of € 40. Free Papers Submission 40 €
  • The price includes the didactic material, the published minutes and the Saturday excursion (lunch included).



Registration deadline:


Until April 26, 2018
Students who voluntarily cancel their enrollment after April 26 will only be refunded 50% of the amount.




Modality of payment:


-Bank transfer / Or with a credit card from this same platform


Cajamar – Oficina de Aguilar de Campoo

Cuenta nº: IBAN: ES25.3058.5221.1527.2000.0878






Secretaría de cursos y seminarios

Fundación Santa María la Real del Patrimonio Histórico

Avda. Ronda, 1 – 3

34800-Aguilar de Campoo (Palencia)


Tel. 979 125 000   Fax: 979 12 56 80

(Monday to Friday: 08.00 h. a 15.00 h)








Posada Santa María la Real ("), tfno.  979 122 000

(")Special rates will apply to students in this course


Hotel Valentín""", tfno. 979 122 125

Hotel Villa de Aguilar"", tfno. 979 122 225

Hostal Restaurante Cortés"", tfno. 979 125 080

Hostal Los Olmos", tfno. 979 125 505

Camping Monte Royal, tfno. 979 123 083


 Download the course program