Postdoc and Ph.D. researchers working on memoria: Issue 1, September 2008


Dissertations on the commemoration of the dead



Bini Biemans
University Affiliated member of the OGC (Research Institute for History and Culture), Utrecht University
Title research ''God heb altoos danc ende loff'. De laatmiddeleeuwse memoriecultuur in de Klaaskerk te Utrecht'
Project The functions of art, ritual and text in medieval memoria
Promotor Prof Mayke de Jong
Co-promotor and supervisor Dr Truus van Bueren
Year of promotion 2012

A summary of this research project will be presented in the next issue of MMR.
________________________________________________


Douglas Brine (postdoc researcher)
Institution National Gallery of Art. Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, Washington, DC
Dissertation Piety and Purgatory: Wall-mounted memorials from the southern Netherlands, c.1380-1520, 2006

Summary
My current work is concerned with revising my Ph.D. for publication in book form. It considers the wall-mounted memorial as a functional category of early Netherlandish art, akin to the altarpiece or devotional diptych, and explores - through examination of both extant works and documentary sources - their patronage, usage, content and context. Although my Ph.D. exclusively concentrated on memorials from the southern Low Countries, my book will include additional comparative material from the northern Netherlands, while retaining its focus on the south. It will also incorporate new archival research undertaken since the completion of my thesis.

My work has also recently focussed on the gilt-brass memorial commemorating the foundations of Jacques de Croy, Bishop of Cambrai (d. 1516) in Cologne Cathedral. Although admired as an early manifestation of the 'Netherlandish Renaissance' due to its all'antica ornament, de Croy's memorial draws on preceding conventions for foundation memorials and, intriguingly, utilises a mid-fifteenth-century design by Rogier van der Weyden for the Virgin and Child at its heart.
________________________________________________


B.J. Diemel
University Ghent University
Research institute PhD Fellow of the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Title research 'Enthralled by death. Comparative research into the formation of religious group cultures influenced by the Devotio Moderna in the Late Medieval Low Countries'
Promotor Prof Jeroen Deploige
Year of promotion 2010
Website www.medievalhistory.ugent.be/basdiemel/

Summary
Death played an important role in late medieval religious communities. On the one hand, remembrance of the dead created a continuity with the past, because the dead remained part of the group and their live histories set a good example for further generations. On the other hand, there was the constant prospect of one's own death. Which role did this perception of death play in the creation and continuation of group cultures? Based on both historiographical texts and sermons I will explore the way in which different religious communities built their identity through this double perception of death and afterlife.
________________________________________________


Charlotte Dikken
University Utrecht University
Research institute OGC (Research Institute for History and Culture), Utrecht University
Title research 'Stained glass windows and their social, cultural, political and memorial functions in medieval society. A comparative study'
Project The functions of art, ritual and text in medieval memoria
Promotor Prof Jeroen Stumpel
Co-promotor and supervisor Dr Truus van Bueren
Year of promotion 2012

A summary of this research project will be presented in the next issue of MMR.
________________________________________________


Douwe Faber
University Affiliated member of the OGC (Research Institute for History and Culture), Utrecht University
Title research 'Zorgen voor de Ziel. Het getuigenis van de 'Leidse memorieboeken''
'Care for the Soul: The Testimony of the 'Memorial Registers of Leyden''
Project The functions of art, ritual and text in medieval memoria
Promotor Prof Mayke de Jong
Co-promotor and supervisor Dr Truus van Bueren
Year of promotion 2011

Summary
From late medieval Leyden we possess a unique collection of sources relating to memoria. These 'Leidse memorieboeken' (the Leyden memorial registers) are basically calendars giving the dates on which anniversary services (memories, jaargetijden) were to be held for specific persons or groups in the Leyden parish churches. In total, there are ten important memorial registers. Most of them also contain additional information, rather than just the dates of the memorial services. Additionally, there exists a wealth of related material in other sources. Most of these can be found in the Regional Archives at Leyden.
About half of these memorial registers were kept by non-ecclesiastical, civil authorities, such as church wardens and administrators of charitable institutions. This situation may well have been unique to Leyden. (If similar situations also existed elsewhere, it would be greatly appreciated if this were to be brought to my attention.)
My research in these memorial registers has a twofold purpose. Chronologically considered, the first objective is the analysis of the main sources as such, and the building of a database of the entries (the memories). I intend to publish this database once it is completed. Secondly this material is to be analysed with the intention to study piety and practices concerning dying and death.
________________________________________________


Daantje Meuwissen
University Utrecht University
Research institute OGC (Research Institute for History and Culture), Utrecht University
Title research 'De traditie getrouw. De portretreeks met de landcommandeurs van de Ridderlijke Duitsche Orde, Balije van Utrecht'
'Faithful to tradition. De portrait series with the land commanders of the Teutonic Order, Utrecht Bailiwick'
Project The functions of art, ritual and text in medieval memoria
Promotor Prof R.E.O. Ekkart
Co-promotor and supervisor Dr Truus van Bueren
Year of promotion 2009

Summary
The portrait series of the land commanders of the Teutonic Order, Bailiwick of Utrecht, is unique in the Netherlands. Today the series consists of 78 portraits of all successive governors of this institution, which was founded in 1132. At the end of the sixteenth century the bailiwick became a Protestant institution, which exists till the present day.
The first part of the succession series was created between 1576 and 1580. This was a period of political and religious conflict, during which the bailiwick even feared to lose their land, houses and other properties. As the series was meant to represent all dignitaries from the start of the institution, some 30 fictive portraits had to be painted. After the first campaign it became a tradition for each new commander to have his portrait painted and added. Underneath each portrait a text has been added with the name, date of death and rank of the portrayed commander. Until the first Protestant commander, a plea for the salvation of the portrayed person's soul was also included.
In my research project I concentrate on the respective functions of this series throughout the ages. Therefore I am looking into the history of the institution and its land commanders, the religious and political situation in the Netherlands and Utrecht in particular, and into the choice of painters and the iconography.
________________________________________________


Vincent Robijn
University Affiliated member of the Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen
Title research 'Memoriecultuur in Kampen (1300-1580)'
'The culture of remembrance in Kampen (1300-1580)'
Promotor Prof Dick de Boer
Co-promotor and supervisor Dr Hanno Brand
Year of promotion 2010

A summary of this research project will be presented in the next issue of MMR.
________________________________________________


Annemarie Speetjens
University Affiliated member of the Faculty of Arts, VU University
Title research 'In dienst van de doden. Een kwantitatief onderzoek naar twee aspecten van de laatmiddeleeuwse dodenmemorie in de Nederlanden: misfundaties en caritas, 1400-1580'
'In service for the dead. A quantitative study of the transformations of two forms of late medieval piety in memory of the dead in the Northern Low Countries: the foundation of chantries and charitative piety, 1400-1580'
Promotor Prof Koen Goudriaan
Year of promotion 2010

Summary
This research project focuses on in the popularity of 'intercessory provisions', such as bequests for prayers, masses and other services in the Northern Netherlands during the later Middle Ages. The popularity of memorial services for the souls of the deceased spread among an increasing part of the population during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, as did other forms of (outward) lay-devotion. On the medieval 'salvation of the souls-market' the faithful could choose one or another institution to confide the care for their souls in the hereafter, and thus they bequeathed for example monasteries, hospitals and parish churches in return for intercessory masses, or they founded chantries or charitable institutions.
During the first half of the sixteenth century, however, the interest in masses for the souls of the dead diminished. Some historians have mentioned several causes for this sharp decline around the year 1520. They suggested that the rise of humanism, the spread of the ideas of Luther, economic crises and political troubles may explain the decreased interest in masses for the souls of the dead.

The aim of this research-project is to study the process of diminishing interest in intercessory provisions, during the period from 1400 to 1580, from a quantitative point of view, and to analyse the changing of the objects of the curves themselves. Thus it is possible to show that acts and behaviour, which are usually seen as religious utterances, partially consist of non-religious elements and that political, economical, or status and family related issues also played a role.
The examples of chantries and charity are chosen, because no pre-existing studies explore the changing piety in these fields. Sources of a quantitative, serial nature are used for this project, such as wills, foundation-acts of chantries, memorial registers and accounts of charitative institutions. A database has been developed, in which the assembled data can be elaborated in several ways. Thus, besides the question of the 'conjuncture' of the foundations and pious gifts to these institutions of lay-devotion, a number of other questions will be examined. To name a few examples, this database may shed light on the role of the priest as mediator between the realm of the living and the dead, and his relation to the laymen, the share of priests and clerics in foundations and gifts, the weekly amount of masses to be held at the various altars and chantries and the gifts to the poor that were part of the intercessory provisions.
By trying to pinpoint changes in the religious 'conjuncture' in time and space, I expect to offer some new perspectives of late medieval lay-devotion at the dawn of the Reformation.
________________________________________________


Rolf de Weijert
University Utrecht University
Research institute OGC (Research Institute for History and Culture), Utrecht University
Title research 'Schenken, begraven, gedenken: Memoria in het Utrechtse kartuizerklooster Nieuwlicht 1391-1580'
'Gift giving, burials and remembrance: Memoria in the Carthusian monastery Nieuwlicht near Utrecht, 1391-1580'
Project The functions of art, ritual and text in medieval memoria
Promotor Prof M.B. de Jong
Co-promotores and supervisors Dr Truus van Bueren, Dr P. Doorn
Year of promotion 2009

Summary
Rolf de Weijert researches late medieval gift giving practices to the Carthusian monastery Nieuwlicht (1391-1580) near Utrecht and the network of benefactors of this monastery. In this research special attention will be paid to the donated art objects and their role within the commemoration of the dead in the monastery. The starting point of this research is the four remaining memorial registers of the monastery. These registers have been analyzed using innovative IT techniques, and therefore the research is also a test case for the usability of these techniques for other historical research.
________________________________________________



Dissertations on other aspects of the culture of commemoration

Anique de Kruijf
University University of Amsterdam
Research institute Instituut voor Cultuur en Geschiedenis
Title research ''Stof zijt gij…' Een onderzoek naar de relieken van de oud-katholieke Gertrudiskathedraal te Utrecht: betekenis en functie van een vergeten schat' (werktitel)
''For dust thou art…' The relics of the Old-Catholic cathedral of Saint-Gertrude in Utrecht: significance and function of a forgotten treasure' (working title)
Promotor Prof C.A. Chavannes-Mazel
Year of promotion 2010
Website http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/a.c.dekruijf/

Summary
Through research dead substances come to life once again. The two altars of the Old-Catholic Saint Gertrude's cathedral in Utrecht shelter a treasure of relics, numbering over 1700 objects. It is a treasure in the true meaning of the word, containing objects with both religious and art-historical value.
Because the relics are no longer being used for liturgical reasons, the collection of holy materials had been almost forgotten. The first part of my research was to make an extensive inventory of all the objects. Most of the relics - bone parts, textiles and dust - were originally preserved by the chapter and parish churches of medieval Utrecht. Many of the medieval Utrecht relics were removed from their original depositories during the Reformation. They were hidden elsewhere - often abroad - to keep them safe from the Calvinists.
In this research project I am, using old church inventories and correspondence, reconstructing the different ways through which these 1700 objects ended up in the Saint Gertrude's cathedral. In collaboration with the Royal Institute for the Study and Conservation of Belgium's Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Brussels, some of the most outstanding objects are being scientifically dated and given the required treatment to conserve them.
________________________________________________


Suzan Folkerts
University University of Groningen
Research institute Instituut voor Cultuur en Geschiedenis
Title research 'Heiligenlevens van dertiende-eeuwse vrome leken: functie, receptie en transformatie (circa 1275 tot 1525)'
'Saints' Lives of Thirteenth-century Lay Persons: Function, Reception, and Transformation (ca 1275-1525)'
Promotores Prof B.A.M. Ramakers, Dr R.I.A. Nip
Year of promotion 2009
Website http://www.rug.nl/staff/s.a.folkerts/index/

Summary
This project aims to study the transmission of thirteenth-century saints' lives of lay saints in the late Middle Ages, focusing on the vita of Christina Mirabilis. The adoptation and adaptation of her vita are studied through the intensive investigation of the manuscripts. How did religious communities, who produced or possessed these manuscripts, make (the vita of) Christina their own?
________________________________________________


Mariëtte Verhoeven
University Radboud University Nijmegen
Research institute Christian Cultural Heritage
Title research ''Nothing perishes, everything changes': transformations and perceptions of the Early Christian monuments of Ravenna'
Promotor Prof Sible de Blaauw
Year of promotion 2009

Summary
A dozen ecclesiastical buildings in the Italian town of Ravenna, dating from the end of the fourth until the sixth century, constitute the starting point of this research. It focuses on the transformations these monuments underwent during fifteen centuries of continuous use and tries to contextualize these changes. At the same time the research aims at establishing the relationship between the material vicissitudes of the buildings and the perceptions of the Early Christian past of Ravenna. The intended result is to give a representative picture of Ravenna's attitude towards its cultural heritage and especially of the influence of the mental perception and reception of the Early Christian past on it.
________________________________________________


Back to top


This page was last updated on: October 7th, 2010








MMR Updates


December 16th, 2016:

The seventeenth issue of Medieval Memoria Research is now available.
_________________________



March 11th, 2016:

The sixteenth issue of Medieval Memoria Research is now available.
_________________________



May 23rd, 2015:

The fifteenth issue of Medieval Memoria Research is now available.
_________________________



November 24th, 2014:

The fourteenth issue of Medieval Memoria Research is now available.
_________________________



March 25th, 2014:

The thirteenth issue of Medieval Memoria Research is now available.
_________________________



September 19th, 2013:

The twelfth issue of Medieval Memoria Research is now available.
_________________________



January 14th, 2013:

The eleventh issue of Medieval Memoria Research is now available.
_________________________



September 12th, 2012:

The tenth issue of Medieval Memoria Research is now available. This is a double issue so be sure to check out both Part One and Part Two.
_________________________



March 6th, 2012:

The ninth issue of Medieval Memoria Research is now available! In this issue you will find many new book announcements and information on projects dedicated to digitising memorial registers.
_________________________



Older updates


Disclaimer
September, 2008: MMR Newsletter launch. September, 2010: web design by Charlotte Dikken. This website was tested and works on Internet Explorer, Opera and Firefox and is best viewed on a fully maximized screen. For full functionality, please ensure your browser has JavaScript enabled. For any questions regarding this research group, the newsletter or the website please feel free to contact the webmaster.