The Routledge Companion to Medieval Iconography: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Routledge Companion to Medieval Iconography

1st Edition

Edited by Colum Hourihane


548 pages | 8 Color Illus. | 148 B/W Illus.

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Sometimes enjoying considerable favor, sometimes less, iconography has been an essential element in medieval art historical studies since the beginning of the discipline. Some of the greatest art historians – including Mâle, Warburg, Panofsky, Morey, and Schapiro – have devoted their lives to understanding and structuring what exactly the subject matter of a work of medieval art can tell. Over the last thirty or so years, scholarship has seen the meaning and methodologies of the term considerably broadened.

This companion provides a state-of-the-art assessment of the influence of the foremost iconographers, as well as the methodologies employed and themes that underpin the discipline. The first section focuses on influential thinkers in the field, while the second covers some of the best-known methodologies; the third, and largest section, looks at some of the major themes in medieval art. Taken together, the three sections include thirty-eight chapters, each of which deals with an individual topic. An introduction, historiographical evaluation, and bibliography accompany the individual essays. The authors are recognized experts in the field, and each essay includes original analyses and/or case studies which will hopefully open the field for future research.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Plates


Biographical Notes on the Contributors

Medieval Iconography, An Introduction

Colum Hourihane

Part I


1. Andrea Alciato

Denis L. Drysdall and Peter M. Daly

2. Ripa, the Trinciante

Cornelia Logemann

3. Adolphe-Napoléon Didron (Paris 1867–Hautvilliers 1906)

Emilie Maraszak

4. Louis Réau

Daniel Russo

5. Émile Mâle

Kirk Ambrose

6. Aby M. Warburg: Iconographer?

Peter van Huisstede

7. Fritz Saxl: Transformation and Reconfiguration of Pagan Gods in Medieval Art

Katia Mazzucco

8. Erwin Panofsky (1892–1968)

Dieter Wuttke

9. Charles Rufus Morey and the Index of Christian Art

Colum Hourihane

10. Hans van de Waal, A Portrait

Edward Grasman

11. Meyer Schapiro as Iconographer

Patricia Stirnemann

12. Michael Camille’s Queer Middle Ages

Matthew M. Reeve

Part II


13. The Anthropology of Images

Ralph Dekoninck

14. Classifying Image Content in Visual Collections: A Selective History

Chiara Franceschini

15. Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sherman Clarke

16. Iconclass: a Key to Collaboration in the Digital Humanities

Hans Brandhorst and Etienne Posthumus

Section III


17. Religious Iconography

Marina Vicelja

18. Liturgical Iconography

Karl F. Morrison

19. Secular Iconography

Harald Wolter-von dem Knesebeck

20. Erotic Iconography

Madeline H. Caviness

21. The Iconography of Narrative

Anne F. Harris

22. Political Iconography and The Emblematic Way of Seeing

György E. Szönyi

23. Picturing the Stars – Scientific Iconography in the Middle Ages

Dieter Blume

24. Medicine’s Image

Jack Hartnell

25. Patronage: A Useful Category of Art Historical Analysis

Elizabeth Carson Pastan

26. Royal and Imperial Iconography

Joan A. Holladay

27. The Iconography of Architecture

Elizabeth Valdez del Álamo

28. Heraldic Imagery, Definition, and Principles

Laurent Hablot

29. Medieval Maps and Diagrams

Diarmuid Scully

30. The Iconography of Gender

Sherry C.M. Lindquist

31. Feminist Art History and Medieval Iconography

Martha Easton

32. The Iconography of Color

Andreas Petzold

33. Flowers and Plants, the Living Iconography

Celia Fisher

34. The Iconography of Light

Sharon E. J. Gerstel and Michael W. Cothren

35. The Visual Representation of Music and Sound

Susan Boynton

36. The Other in the Middle Ages, Difference, Identity, and Iconography

Pamela A. Patton

37. Animal Iconography

Debra Higgs Strickland

38. Monstrous Iconography

Asa Simon Mittman and Susan M. Kim

About the Editor

Colum Hourihane received his PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, in 1983 for a thesis on the iconography of Gothic art in Ireland, part of which was subsequently published as Gothic Art in Ireland 1169–1550: Enduring Vitality (2003). He was deputy director of the Witt Computer Index in the Courtauld Institute until 1997 before becoming director of the Index of Christian Art, Princeton University, where he was until retirement in 2014. He has edited over twenty volumes of art historical studies and has single-authored five volumes. Among the latter are The Processional Cross in Late Medieval England: The Dallye Cross (2005) and Pontius Pilate, Anti-Semitism, and the Passion in medieval Art (2009). A fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, he was elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Irish Academy in 2015.

About the Series

Routledge Art History and Visual Studies Companions

Routledge Art History and Visual Studies Companions offer thorough, high-quality surveys and assessments of the major topics in the fields of art history and visual studies. All entries in each companion are specially commissioned and written by leading scholars in the field. Clear, accessible, and cutting-edge, these companions are the ideal resource for advanced undergraduates, postgraduate students, and researchers alike.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / General
ART / History / General
ART / History / Medieval
ART / Subjects & Themes / Religious
ART / Subjects & Themes / Erotica
HISTORY / Medieval
RELIGION / Christian Rituals & Practice / Worship & Liturgy
RELIGION / Sexuality & Gender Studies
RELIGION / Christianity / Saints & Sainthood