Pictures, Parchment & Paper: illustrated books and manuscripts in early modern Germany

Pictures, Parchment & Paper: illustrated books and manuscripts in early modern Germany

University of Cambridge, Katy Bond, PhD candidate
Barbara White Room, Newnham College
United Kingdom
Vom - Bis
05.05.2016 -
Katy Bond

Pictures, Parchment & Paper: illustrated books and manuscripts in early modern Germany

May 5th 2016 - Workshop for graduate and early-career researchers


Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Professor Dr. Dagmar Eichberger [ERC-Projekt artifex, University of Trier; and University of Heidelberg]

Sixteenth-century Germany was fascinated by pictorial books. An explosion of genres covering new and diverse secular subjects were envisioned not just in print, but in manuscripts and albums, carefully rendered by local artists. While the trend for these items existed throughout Europe, the level of enthusiasm for them in Germany was unparalleled. As such, the visual culture of early modern Germany is unique and exceptionally rich, fuelled by the imaginative, colourful artistry that went into the production of these books and manuscripts.

This workshop invites abstracts from graduate scholars and early-career researchers who specialise in all forms of these vibrant products, from fencing and tournament books, to books of costume, plants, genealogy, and heraldry, among other subjects. Too often these works have been investigated in isolation. Providing a platform to discuss the cultural and material characteristics these works share, this workshop seeks to understand how this exciting moment in the visual history of Germany developed and flourished. Above all we will ask, what roles did these books and manuscripts perform in their society, and how did their pictorial attributes assist their function? To what extent did they not merely reflect, but actively mediate the world around them?

We therefore invite papers that explore the following subjects and ideas:
- Genres such as: Geschlechterbücher, Ehren- and Stammbücher (Genealogy), Trachtenbücher and Kostümbücher (Dress), Fechtbücher (Combat), Wappenbücher (Heraldry), Hausbücher (Daily Life), Turnierbücher (Tournaments), Standbücher (Trades), Tierbücher (Animals), Herbaria and Pflanzenbücher (Plants), Feuerwerkbücher (Fireworks), Schembartbücher (Nuremberg Carnivals), Alba Amicorum (Friendship/Status), Travelogues etc.
- The commission, reception, and circulation of ambitious pictorial manuscripts, printed books and albums.
- The artistic and intellectual practices that went into these works’ materialisation: e.g. research, design, craft-knowledge, collaboration, and reproduction.
- Ideologies, agendas, and rhetorical strategies present in these works.
- The role of Germany’s print industry in the development of new genres.
- Transmission of imagery and the development of visual models.
- German historical context driving the production of these works.

Please send abstracts of c. 300 words to by 1 January, 2016. For further information please contact the organiser, Katy Bond, University of Cambridge: Although we are unable to assist with the cost of travel for speakers and attendees, catering will be provided and speakers invited to a networking dinner the evening of the workshop.

Note: We would like to thank the committee of the DAAD-University of Cambridge Research Hub for their generous sponsorship of this workshop. The committee’s aim is to encourage and sustain relations between German and British scholars for the advancement of research around German subjects. This workshop therefore invites with particular enthusiasm the participation of scholars from Germany and abroad. N.B. papers must be presented in English.



Katy Bond

Newnham College
University of Cambridge
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