The question of how to represent a person was of great importance to artists and patrons in the later Middle Ages. While much attention has focused on the development of facial likeness in portraiture, the concurrent fashion for expressing identity through symbolic codes has been comparatively ignored. Heraldic badges – a form of symbolic representation whereby individuals are represented through objects, plants, animals, letters or mythological beings – were extremely popular in the royal and aristocratic courts of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, proliferating across a wide range of artistic media and contexts.
This one-day conference brings together experts from across Europe, and aims to stimulate cross-cultural conversations on the display, function and circulation of heraldic badges in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The theme ‘Miniature to Monumental’ focuses on the size and context of badges, interrogating why these devices were represented in radically different scales, and the shifts in meaning incurred in these transformations.
10:00 – 10:15 REGISTRATION (Front Hall)
10:15 – 10:40 Jessica Barker (University of East Anglia) and Jana Gajdošová (University of Cambridge / Christie’s Education), What is a Badge and What are its Meanings?
Session 1: What is a Badge?
10:40 – 11:05 Laurent Hablot (Université de Poitiers), English and French Secular Badges 1350-1450, Interaction and Comparison
11:05 – 11:30 John Goodall (Country Life), Beasts and Badges in the Lancastrian Court.
11:30 –11:55 Jessica Berenbeim (University of Oxford), Chivalry in the Cloister.
11:55 – 12:10 Discussion
12:10 – 13:20 LUNCH
Session 2: Miniature
13:20 – 13:30 Lloyd de Beer (University of East Anglia / British Museum), The Digital Badge and the Potential of Miniature Things.
13:30 – 13:55 Maria Theisen (Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften), The Badge of the Royal Order of Wenceslas IV and its use in the King’s Willehalm manuscript (Vienna, ÖNB, Cod. Ser. n. 2643).
13:55 – 14:20 Hanneke van Asperen (Radboud University Nijmegen), Secular or Sacred? The Secular Design of Some Religious Badges in the Low Countries.
14:20 – 14:45 Milada Studničková (Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences), ‘Signum draconis’: Visual sources, Written Documents and Legends behind Sigismund of Luxembourg’s Badge of the Monarchical Order.
14:45 – 15:00 Discussion
15:00 – 15:30 TEA/COFFEE BREAK
Session 3: Monumental
15:30 – 15:55 Michael Carter (English Heritage), Azure, three horseshoes or: The Arms of Fountains Abbey, An Enduring Puzzle.
15:55 – 16:20 Matthew Payne (Westminster Abbey), Richard II’s White Hart Badge at Westminster Abbey.
16:20 – 16:45 Joana Ramôa Melo & Begoña Farré Torras (Universidade Nova, Lisbon), Heraldic Polychromy at the Monastery of Batalha: Presentation of a Work in Progress.
16:45 – 17:10 Miguel Metelo de Seixas (Universidade Nova, Lisbon) and João António Portugal (Instituto Português de Heráldica) Under the Sign of Our Lady and St. George: Dynastic Memory and the Use of Badges in the Portuguese Royal Shrine of Batalha.
17:10 – 17:25 Discussion
17:25 – 17:30 Closing Remarks by Alixe Bovey (Courtauld Institute of Art).
17:30 – 18:30 RECEPTION