Conferencistas convidados · Ponentes
Ana de Oliveira Dias, University of Durham
Archetype, model and variation: archaism and renovatio in the Beatus of Saint Mamas of Lorvão
The only surviving illustrated copy of Beato de Liébana’s Commentarium in Apocalypsin, in present-day Portugal, is considered to be one of the most enigmatic and «eloquent» specimens in the tradition of the Hispanic Beatus. Produced in 1189, in the monastery of Saint Mamas of Lorvão, this late copy has been the subject of rigorous scrutiny by contemporary scholars, who seek answers to questions that concern not only its formal aspects, but also its rich symbolic qualities.
Although the model for the copy of Lorvão remains unknown, the most recent studies have revealed the deeply conceptual nature of its illustrations, and also a deliberate archaism in their style. These latest results have strongly reinforced the thesis of a stylistic and iconographic connection between this manuscript and the earlier illustrated versions of Beatos’ Commentarium.
Notwithstanding these recent contributions, there remain several intriguing and still uncharted visual elements, which raise new and important questions for the study of the model for the Lorvão Commentary, as well as regarding the copying and production method of this scriptorium.
Consequently, taking the aforementioned manuscript as our central subject, this study aims to analyse its visual imagery and establish comparisons with surviving specimens from this tradition – dating from the late 9th to the 12th century – together with other coeval artistic media. To this end, we will focus on the rendition of contemporary objects that formed the material culture in which this manuscript was produced – these being crucial elements for the understanding of the practice of renovatio in this scriptorium; an aspect which merits careful consideration.
In this perspective, our research aims to unearth clues about the model at the base of the copy of Lorvão, but also about the practices of «visual updating» – to a new time and taste – in this monastic community.