workshop registration

Visualizing the Past, Visualizing the Present
The Illustration of History in Medieval Manuscripts

Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg
5 - 6 July 2019


Moving beyond the piecemeal study of individual manuscripts, this workshop addresses fundamental questions concerning the ways history has been perceived and visualized, both in the past and into the modern era. How did how patrons and artists choose which chronicles to illustrate and how were pictures used to enhance the meaning of these texts? What was the purpose of illustration and how were visual stereotypes modified and developed in succeeding periods? In short, how is the past remembered, recreated and used? And more specifically, how is it visualised? Are the images that were created just to be thought of as ‘books for the illiterate’ or ways of reinforcing the ‘truth’?
Medieval European patrons in Europe and Iran commissioned many fine illustrated historical manuscripts, especially during the 15th century and it is helpful to explore to what extent these productions and their scholarly study provide useful parallels and points of comparison between the two cultures. How have their books been illustrated; how have images of the past varied and historical icons been created that proved resilient, evocative and formative over the evolving centuries, and remain meaningful down to the present?
One further set of questions concerns the popularity of these works, the circulation and ownership of the illuminated manuscripts, and the history of the books themselves – as precious objects, diplomatic gifts, teaching or didactic materials, scholarly resources – and how they may have been modified at the hands of different owners: all aspects of their reception.

Workshop Programme

Download the revised programme (updated 12.06.2019) and the abstracts.


The workshop will be held at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Warburgstraße 26, Hamburg, Germany.
How to find us

You may find the Hamburg Tourismus site useful for finding a suitable accommodation.
For more information please contact us.


Participation is free of charge and vistors are welcome. Please register below.

First Name:
Last Name:

EU laws require us to ask for your consent to store and process your personal information according to our privacy statement. Please note that without your consent the registration cannot be processed.

May we use your contact data in order to inform you about future events at the CSMC via newsletter?
Yes     No

Please enter the following number: