Lena Liepe: Studies in Fourteenth Century Book Painting

Stefan Drechsler

Sammendrag


Lena Liepe’s monograph “Studies in Fourteenth Century Book Painting” provides a long overdue and newly developed interdisciplinary approach to the overlapping fields of medieval art history and Old Norse-Icelandic philology. The author provides two in-depth articles on two separate illuminated manuscript groups from 14th century Iceland and shows in detail and with great success that the multidiciplinary research of the stated fields is indeed able to give new insights into the production and general cultural background of the investigated illuminated manuscripts. Liepe states at the beginning of her book that the work is supposed to be used by art historians and philologists alike. She also assumes that both groups do not necessarily have great knowledge of the other’s field of research. Thus, in the introduction chapter “the prerequisites” modern approaches to the complex meaning of style are explained with help of stylistic concepts developed by art historians Schapiro, Sauerländer, von Aachen and Davis. Following from this are the important philological characteristics for the grouping of illuminated manuscripts on philological grounds presented, giving not only room to the historical circumstances of production and a short introduction to the paleographic research between manuscripts and also for the well-received methodological theory of Karl G. Johansson on the Icelandic AM 242 fol. Codex Wormianus. Johansson mainly discusses the occurrence of palaeographic and orthographic variation in the manuscript in light of the specific situation of production. By dividing the written signs by their position and function both in regards to a strict linguistic system and its actual realization on the written parchment, the author reflects Johansson’s philological methodology in detail and tentatively discusses the possibility of transferring this method to the presented concept of style.

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ISSN 2387-6700

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