International Colloquium: Luxusgewebe des Orients im westlichen Mittelalter / Oriental Silks in Medieval Europe, Riggisberg, Abegg-Stiftung (Werner-Abegg-Str. 67), 29 September – 1 October 2011. Organized by Dr. Juliane von Fircks (Universität Mainz) and Dr. Regula Schorta (Abegg-Stiftung Riggisberg).
During the Middle Ages various kinds of luxury objects originating in the East-–figured silks, ceramics, metal and glass vessels, but also paper—reached Europe via the Silk roads, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, be it as presents in diplomatic exchange or as merchandise. In particular the elaborately patterned, often gold-enriched silks from the Middle East, Central Asia or China were much sought after. Until today, many of them can be found in European church treasuries and museum collections.
The colloquium aims at bringing together the research on Eastern luxury textiles in Western Europe accomplished during the last years in various fields. The single achievements concerning technology, pattern evolution, and processing of the silks shall be highlighted in view of the multifaceted exchange between East and West. Only rarely direct bridges can be built connecting textiles preserved in the West with their patrons or donators in the East. To further clarify the specific character of the contribution and reception of Eastern textiles in Western Europe, objects preserved and used in the West shall be confronted with textiles or garments found in the East and reflecting their use there.
Using a wide perspective, the colloquium asks for continuity and change in the adoption and reception of Eastern silks in Western culture. Thus, the survey of the Middle Ages will start in Carolingian and Ottonian times, put a certain emphasis on the time of the Mongol Empire, and end with an outlook on the use of (Western) luxury textiles at the court of the Ottoman Sultans at the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth century.
Thursday, 29 September
Afternoon: Introduction by Juliane von Fircks (in collaboration with Regula Schorta); Michael Alram (Vienna), The Impact of Sassanid Persia on the Political and Economic Situation along the Silk Road; Regula Schorta (Riggisberg), Central Asian Silks in East and West in the Second Half of the First Millennium; Anna Bücheler (Toronto/Rottweil), Textile Material – Textile Meaning: Silk-inspired Pages in Medieval German Manuscripts
Evening lecture (open to the public): Jaroslav Folda (Chapel Hill), Chrysography on the Drapery of the Virgin: Icon to Altarpiece in the Thirteenth Century
Friday, 30 September
Morning: Isabelle Dolezalek (Berlin), Ornament between East and West: Same Form – Same Function? A Comparative Study of Arabic Writing on Textiles from Norman Sicily and Fatimid Egypt; Irena Vladimirsky (Achva), Indian Guests at the Court of the Moscow Tsar: Community of Indian Merchants in Astrakhan’, ninth to fourteenth centuries; David Jacoby (Jerusalem), Silks at the Time of the Mongols: Aspects of East-West Trade; Joyce Denney (New York), Clothing from the Mongol Empire, with Particular Reference to China and Gold-Woven Textiles; Caroline Vogt (Riggisberg), A Central Asian Garment of an Eastern Fabric? A Cloth-of-Gold Garment in the Abegg-Stiftung Collection
Afternoon: Felicitas Schmieder (Hagen), Western Images of the Mongols. Observations on Clothing of Foreign Peoples on Medieval World Maps; Nicole Cartier (Mont Saint Eloi), La Chasuble du Chapitre de Ste Aldegonde de Maubeuge (France); Kristin Böse (Cologne), Beyond Foreignness: Andalusian Tissues from the Castilian Royal Tombs in S. María de las Huelgas-Burgos; Lisa Monnas (London), Textiles and Diplomacy in Venice in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
Saturday, 1 October
Morning: Maria Ludovica Rosati (Pisa), The so-called Vestments of Benedict XI in Perugia as an Example of “planeta de panno tartarico albo deaurato de opera curioso minuto por totum”. The fourteenth-century Perception of Oriental Textiles in Vatican Inventories and Material Evidences; Katja Schmitz-von Ledebur (Vienna), “eyn ander Braun Rok mit swarczen Adelarn und eyn Gugel”: The Eagle Dalmatic Belonging to the Coronation Robes of the Holy Roman Empire Made of a Chinese Silk Damask; Evelin Wetter (Riggisberg), “De panno tartarico» or «de nachone”? Perception of Oriental Silks at the Court of the Bohemian Kings during the Fourteenth Century; Markus Ritter (Zürich), Changing Iconographies: The Royal Cloth-of-Silk-and-Gold for Sultan Abu Said from Iran in the Burial of Duke Rudolph IV from Austria
Afternoon: Juliane von Fircks (Mainz), Liturgical Vestments made of Silks from Asia Venerated as Relics of the Emperor: The so-called Heinrichs- gewänder in the Alte Kapelle in Regensburg; Birgitt Borkopp-Restle (Bern), Striped Gold Brocades with Arabic Inscriptions in the Gdask Treasury of Liturgical Vestments; Michael Peter (Riggisberg), A Head Start through Technology. Early Oriental Velvets and the West; Louise Mackie (Cleveland), Italy and Istanbul: Italian Textiles and the Ottoman Court; Summary, by Regula Schorta (in collaboration with Juliane von Fircks)
Registration and further information: firstname.lastname@example.org