"Painting Against Time: The Anagni Frescoes and the Cultivation of Worldly Knowledge at the Thirteenth-Century Papal Court" - Prof. Marius Hauknes (Notre Dame)

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Location: Zoom

The Center for Italian Studies will inaugurate the Fall 2020 Series of the Italian Research Seminar with a lecture on the Anagni Frescoes by Marius B. Hauknes, Assistant Professor of the History of Art at Notre Dame.

Anagni Hippocrates Galen
Hippocrates and Galen as representatives of medicine, ca. 1231-1255, fresco on wall, Anagni Cathedral, crypt.

The all-embracive frescoes in the crypt of Anagni Cathedral required viewers to practice multi-sensory forms of beholding that combined bodily movements with sight, memory, and intellect. The crypt’s viewing conditions generated distinct relationships of interdependency between paintings and beholders. These relationships were thematically reflected in the mural’s complex visual program whose representations of medical, astrological, and cosmological theory stressed the connectedness of all things. This presentation will argue that the monument’s thematic focus and spectatorial demands worked jointly to stimulate viewer reflection on humankind’s material and temporal entanglement vis-à-vis the compensatory potential of astrology and medicine.

Prof. Hauknes is a historian of medieval art whose primary research focuses on the intersections of art, science, and theology. His current book project, The Image of the World in Thirteenth Century Rome, examines encyclopedic wall paintings sponsored by the papacy in relation to the profound changes in the period’s theories of knowledge.

The meeting will be held via Zoom and is accessible to members of the Notre Dame community by invitation only. If you would like to attend, please fill out this form or contact the Center for Italian Studies via email. Invitations will be sent to affiliates of the Center in advance of the meeting.


The Italian Research Seminar, a core event of the Center for Italian Studies, aims to provide a regular forum for faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and colleagues from other universities to present and discuss their current research. The Seminar is vigorously interdisciplinary, and embraces all areas of Italian literature, language, and culture, as well as perceptions of Italy, its achievements and its peoples in other national and international cultures. The Seminar constitutes an important element in the effort by Notre Dame's Center for Italian Studies to promote the study of Italy and to serve as a strategic point of contact for scholarly exchange.

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Originally published at italianstudies.nd.edu.

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