Dataset for Medieval Art

Task

Can you help establish a tagged dataset of medieval art to be used by the iMotion machine learning group to build a sketch-based search engine?
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More information

As part of a project to extend Red Hen's work on multimodal communication in network news and interpersonal conversation, we have initiated a project to examine multimodal communication in the period before film and television. Our immediate goal is to create a tagged set of late Roman and early Medieval mosaics, murals, paintings, and statues. The iMotion team, based at the University of Basel in Switzerland, will then perform feature extraction on the dataset and create a sketch-based search engine.

Related resources

Medieval marriage symbolism

 Iconographical features of the Church as BRIDE OF CHRIST:
 
1. A woman wearing a crown (and / or enthroned).
Crowning of the bridal couple was an integral part of the medieval marriage ceremony, at least for first marriages.
A woman wearing a crown, especially a turreted crown, taps also into the ancient Greek-Roman tradition of personifying cities as female figures, alluding to the bride of Christ as - in Augustinian terms - the City of God. The principal reading of the bride of Christ as the Church, drawing on nuptial imagery in Song of Songs, Psalm 44, Ephesians 5, Revelation, etc., is reflected in medieval iconography of the Church as a young woman carrying a crown.   
 
Greek-Roman personification of a city. Tyche of Antioch, Vatican Museums [source: Wikipedia]
 
Also in the medieval period cities were represented as women, as in the thirteenth-century map Peutinger Table (Tabula Peutingeriana) personification of Rome.
 
Rome (section) Tabula Peutingeriana, thirteenth century, based on older prototypes
Rome is personified as a female figure wearing a stylized crown, seated on a throne and holding a globe, a spear, and a shield
  
 Initial 'O', from Gregory's Expositio in cantica canticorum, 12th century, Troyes BM MS 1869 f. 11v [source: Enluminures]
The bride (left figure) with crown and kissing the bridegroom Christ. 
 
Other examples of the Church personified as woman wearing a crown:
Breviary Verdun BM MS 107 f 283v, 1302-1305? [source: Enluminures]
Initial 'H'. Crowned bride-Church stands holding a book and making a (speech) gesture.
 
Initial 'O' (not from Song of Songs) from Ecclesiasticus (Bible), 1270-1280, Autun 146A f. 273 [source: Enluminures]
Crowned and enthroned church holding model church and cross
 
Initial 'O' from Song of Songs (Bible), thirteenth century, Arles BM MS 1 f. 279v [source: Enluminures]
Crowned and enthroned bride-Church holding cross and cup.
 
Eisenach, Wartburg Castle, glass, c. 1350
Church as crowned woman making blessing gesture holding cup.
 
Personified church crowned holding cross and cup, First half of 13th century, Stained glass Elisabethkirche, Marburg/Lahn, Germany [http://www.christianiconography.info/biggerFiles/ecclesiaElisabethkirche.html Retrieved 26.2.2016]
 
Sculpture, 1230-35, previously on South doorway at Cathedral of Strasbourg, now Musée de l'Oeuvre Notre-Dame, Strasbourg
Personification of the Church, crowned and carrying cross and cup.
 
Mosaics, fragment, late twelfth century, formerly in the apse of Old St. Peters, Rome, now at Museo Barracco, Rome
Personification of the Church of Rome, wearing jeweled crown
 
Initial 'V' from a Missal, before 1311? Amiens BM MS 157 f. 111 [source: Enluminures]
Crowned Church holding a model of a church building and blindfolded Synagogue
 
 Initial 'V' from Missal. Amiens MS 156 f. 183v, late thirteenth century [source: Enluminures]
Crowned bride holding cup? and blindfolded synagogue holding book.
 
A complex example, with multiple figures:
 
Crucifixion with bride-Church and other female figures, Cistercian Psalter, 1260, Upper Rhine, Besancon BM MS 54 f. 15v [source: Enluminures]
Christ crucified by the virtues personified as women: Obedience, Mercy, and Humility hammer in the nails, while Charity (crowned) pierces his side with a spear. The crowned bride-Church (lower left - Christ's right) collects the blood that gushes from Christ's side-wound in a cup, while holding a (liturgical) cross. Blindfolded Synagogue (lower right - Christ's left), with a small goat by her side and tablets (i.e. the old law) in her hands, walks away. At the foot of the cross are Adam's skull and bones.
 
 
 
2. As the Virgin Mary (crowned and / or enthroned)
The bride of Christ, as the Church, was conflated with the figure of the Virgin Mary. In her aspect as bride of Christ, Mary is envisioned the same age as Christ (the bridegroom), and may appear pregnant.
 
Apse mosaics, S. Maria in Trastevere (c. 1140), Rome
 
The bride is shown as Virgin Mary (or vice versa: the Virgin Mary is shown as bride) in the apse mosaics of S. Maria in Trastevere. Here, the couple is enthroned and she is wearing a crown, magnificently dressed. Her identification as bride is established by the quote she holds up for the viewer to read, spoken by the bride in the Song of Songs: Leva eius sub apite meo et dextera illius amplexabit[ur] me (Song 2.6: “His left [arm/hand] is under my head and his right [hand/arm] shall embrace me”).

Christ and Church enthroned (modeled on S. Maria in Trastevere?) Fresco, Church of St. Martin, Untergreutschach, Austria [http://www.christianiconography.info/ecclesia.html Retrieved 26.2.2016] 
 
Ivory plaque from Aachen, 800-825
Virgin Mary as personification of the Church: seated on a throne and carrying in her right hand a cross and spindles in her left. Her military attire may allude to ecclesia militans / triumphans. The figure is not crowned and carries no overt reference to bridal or nuptial imagery.
 
3. A woman inside an initial or historiated 'O' (in MSS)
Church as bride with dove (symbolizing the Holy Ghost). Initial 'O' of the Song of Songs from a late twelfth-century Bible, Paris Sainte-Geneviève MS 9 f. 258v [source: Enluminures]
 
Again this is the universal Church, personified as bride. 
 
Historiated initial 'O' (osculetur) from the Song of Songs showing bride and bridegroom enthroned and crowned (but not kissing or embracing), 12th century, Bible in Winchester Cathedral, f. 270v
 
For other examples of the bride (sometimes with the bridegroom) inside an initial 'O', see above and below. 
 
4) Gesture / action
a. Kissing a male figure (the bridegroom = Christ / Verbum) mouth-to-mouth, typically in Song of Songs commentaries, often in a miniature inside the initial 'O' (Song of Songs 1.1: Osculetur me "Let him kiss me").  
 
Bridegroom-Christ and bride-Church/Virgin Mary kissing, twelfth century, King's College, MS 19, f. 21v 
 
kiss, marginal, Osculetur, Angers BM MS 9 f. 96v [source: Enluminures]
 
kiss, Osculetur, Chaumont BM 7 f. 9 [source: Enluminures]
 
b. embrace (amplexus, cf. Song 2.6) between bride and bridegroom, here a nun and Christ:

Gedicht von Christus und der minnenden SeeleConstance ca. 1490. Einsiedeln, Stiftsbibliothek, Codex 710(322), fol. 6r-20r [source: http://discardingimages.tumblr.com/post/25870450207/christus-und-die-minnende-seele-gedicht-von Retrieved 23.2.2016]

 
Embrace and kiss between bridegroom Christ and bride Church, initial 'O' (1097), Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipale, MS.  10, fol. 113r
 
 
Marriage iconography
1) A man and a woman joining / clenching hands
 
dextrarum iunctio (cf. Tob 7.15)
 
ancient Roman:
The reverse of this sestertius of Antoninus Pius (142 CE) celebrates the marital harmony within two generations of the imperial family and uses this as a metaphor for political harmony in the empire. The emperor and his wife, Faustina the Elder, stand facing each other and clasping right hands in the traditional dextrarum iunctio gesture symbolic of marriage. Below their clasped hands stand the smaller figures of their daughter Faustina the Younger and her husband Marcus Aurelius, clasping right hands over an altar. The emperor holds a statuette of the goddess Concordia in his left hand and the empress holds a long scepter; the whole is encircled by the inscription CONCORDIAE S[enatus] C[onsulto]. Berlin, Altes Museum. Credits: Barbara McManus, 2012. (source: http://www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/ap_concordiacoin.html)
 
Sarcophagus of a Roman general, detail, second half of 2nd century. Mantua, Palazzo Ducale. [source: Hall, Edwin. The Arnolfini Betrothal: Medieval Marriage and the Enigma of Van Eyck's Double Portrait. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft1d5nb0d9/ Retrieved 24.2.2016]
 
Marriage of Jacob and Rachel - Santa Maria Maggiore, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=54012 [retrieved February 24, 2016]. Original source: From the library of Lee M. Jefferson.


Sarcophagus, detail, 4th century, Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques [source. Wikipedia]
 
Medallion from a Byzantine gold marriage belt, Syria, late sixth or seventh century. Washington, D.C., Dumbarton Oaks Collection. Photo copyright 1992, Byzantine Visual Resources, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. [source: Hall, Edwin. The Arnolfini Betrothal: Medieval Marriage and the Enigma of Van Eyck's Double Portrait. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft1d5nb0d9/ Retrieved 24.2.2016]
 
Paris - Bibl. Mazarine - ms. 1334 f. 149 TITRE ENLUMINURE / SUJET Mariage religieux CONTEXTE Miniature au début du texte AUTEUR Henricus Bohic TITRE OUVRAGE Distinctiones in Decretales Gregorii IX DOMAINE Droit canon DATATION 14e-15e s. ORIGINE GEOGRAPHIQUE France (Paris) ORIGINE PRECISE Paris POSSESSEUR Paris, collège de Navarre [source: Enluminures]
 

Le mariage d’Adam et Ève (1480), Mâcon, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 2, f. 45 source: www.enluminures.culture.fr


The Sacrament of Marriage: Woodcut from The book intytuled The art of good lywyng [and] good deyng, published by Antoine Vérard in Paris, 1503. [source: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k990545t/f130.image]


 
Gratian's Decretum (c. 1300-1330), Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, MS 262 fol. 86v
 
Marriage of the Virgin, Giotto, Scrovegni Chapel (c. 1305) [source: Wikipedia]
 
Marriage scene with speech gestures, expressing consensus (and priest making blessing gesture). Gratian, Decretum  French, fourteenth century. BAV, ms. lat. 2491, fol. 478r. [source: Hall, Edwin. The Arnolfini Betrothal: Medieval Marriage and the Enigma of Van Eyck's Double Portrait. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft1d5nb0d9/ Retrieved 24.2.2016]
 
The marriage of David and Michol, early 15th cent, BL Add MS 42131 f. 151v [http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=add_ms_42131 Retrieved 26.2.2016]

 
Seven Sacraments Altarpiece, Rogier van der Weyden, c. 1448. Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten [Wikipedia Retrieved 26.2.2016]
 
Seven Sacraments Altarpiece, detail: marriage
Detail of historiated 'C' (Coniugum) [http://www.medievalists.net/2013/11/14/love-and-marriage-medieval-style/]


Marriage scene [https://amovitampress.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/medieval-marriage.jpg] 
Wedding_of_Louis_X_of_France_and_Clemance_Hongrie_1315 [http://www.medievalhistories.com/medieval-divorce/]

immixtio manuum
Feudal ceremony of homage where the vassal placed (both) his hands between those of his lord, followed by an oath of fealty. The bride will take the part of vassal, the bridegroom the part of lord.
 
The Marriage of the Virgin. Gospels of Otto III, Reichenau, c. 1000. Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 4453, fol. 28r. (source: Hall, Edwin. The Arnolfini Betrothal: Medieval Marriage and the Enigma of Van Eyck's Double Portrait. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft1d5nb0d9/ Retrieved 24.2.2016]
 
2. Bestowal of ring
 
Clandestine marriage, Decretales, Gregory IX, Venezia, f. 399v (1514) [source: Hall, Edwin. The Arnolfini Betrothal: Medieval Marriage and the Enigma of Van Eyck's Double Portrait. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft1d5nb0d9/]
 
The Marriage of the Virgin. Meditationes vitae Christi, 14th century. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, ms. ital. 115, fol. 9r. Photo: Bib. Nat. Paris [Hall, Edwin. The Arnolfini Betrothal: Medieval Marriage and the Enigma of Van Eyck's Double Portrait. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft1d5nb0d9/ Retrieved 24.2.2016]
 
Successive marriage to two men.  Decretales  of Gregory IX, Venice, 1514, fol. 400v. [source: Hall, Edwin. The Arnolfini Betrothal: Medieval Marriage and the Enigma of Van Eyck's Double Portrait. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft1d5nb0d9/ Retrieved 24.2.2016] 
 
 Mystic Marriage of St Catherine: Christ giving the ring to Catherine of Alexandria (and below, smaller, Christ child the ring to Catherine of Siena, right side ?), Barna da Siena, c. 1340, Boston MFA [source: Wikipedia]
 
Marriage scene with ring. Gratian, Decretum , Italian, fourteenth century. Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz, ms. lat. fol. 6, fol. 278r. [Hall, Edwin. The Arnolfini Betrothal: Medieval Marriage and the Enigma of Van Eyck's Double Portrait. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft1d5nb0d9/ Retrieved 26.2.2016]
 

Marriage scene with ring. Decretales of Gregory IX, Venice, 1514, fol. 389v. [Hall, Edwin. The Arnolfini Betrothal: Medieval Marriage and the Enigma of Van Eyck's Double Portrait. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft1d5nb0d9/ Retrieved 26.2.2016]

Detail of an historiated initial 'S'(sponsus) of a man placing a ring on a woman's finger, 14th cent, British Library Royal MS 6 E VI, fol. 104 [https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Omne_Bonum_Royal6EVI104_Anulus.jpg]

3. Bridal crown
 
 Marriage with bridal crown. Marriage of Saint Waudru, Chroniques de Hainaut , vol. II, Bruges, 1468. Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale Albert Ier , ms. 9243, fol. 103r. [Hall, Edwin. The Arnolfini Betrothal: Medieval Marriage and the Enigma of Van Eyck's Double Portrait. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft1d5nb0d9/ Retrieved 26.2.2016]
 
Bride with bridal crown, Seven Sacraments Altarpiece (also above) 
 
 
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