Colour and Chaos

Speaker: Beate Fricke (University of Bern, Switzerland)

The “Holkham Bible Picture Book” is a unique manuscript in manifold ways. This talk will suggest a new reading of the manuscript’s frontispiece. A feature of this particular manuscript, the combination of artistique techniques (lead, tint, pigment), though the explanation has remained a riddle to art historians so far and has even lead to the suggestion two hands created the illustrations, one draughtsman and another artist applying the painted elements. Furthermore, the inclusion of the Wheel of Fortune and references to encyclopedic compendia will be addressed.

Beate Fricke’s research focuses on the history of images, objects and places, using perspectives from philosophy, cultural anthropology, history of the sciences, economy and theology. She received her PhD in History of Art from the University of Trier (2005). Before joining the University of Bern (Switzerland) in 2017, she was Professor for Medieval Art and Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. Her current research projects are Trading Architecture, which analyses the loci of exchange of merchandise, knowledge and culture in the Mediterranean with the Middle and the Far East. Object Histories. Early Modern Flotsam. Together with Finbarr Barry Flood she was awarded a collaborative research grant from the American Council of Learned Societies (2017-19). Global Horizons in Pre-Modern Art, for which was awarded an ERC consolidator grant (2018-23, She is the author of Fallen Idols – Risen Saints. Sainte Foy of Conques and the Revival of Monumental Sculpture in Medieval Art, Turnhout: Brepols, 2015. She is co-founder and editor of

Organised by Dr Jessica Barker (The Courtauld) 

This event has passed.

12 Feb 2020

Vernon Square, Penton Rise, Kings Cross, London