Planet History

Author Archive for Heraldica Nova

[Paper:] Décoration héraldique et emblématique dans les salons des Rois Catholiques au Palais de l’Aljafería de Saragosse [c. 1492-1500] (María Narbona)

Le palais de l’Aljafería a été bâti au XIe siècle par les rois de la “taifa” musulmane de Saragosse. Après la reconquête de la ville par Alphonse le Batailleur en 1118 le palais fut réutilisé par tous les monarques aragonais jusqu’à la fin du Moyen Âge. Dans les deux dernières décennies du XVe siècle et le premier du XVIe, sous le règne des Rois Catholiques, le palais a souffert…

[Paper:] Impérial, dynastique ou local ? Les décors intérieurs des hôtels de ville et de châtellenies dans le comté de Flandre au milieu du règne de Charles Quint (Pierre Couhault)

Bien avant l’or des Indes et la bourse d’Anvers, la puissance économique et politique des villes de Flandre fut un des piliers de l’empire de Charles Quint. Rétrospectivement, son règne fut considéré comme une période d’apogée, entre les guerres de la fin du principat bourguignon et les troubles religieux de la seconde moitié du XVIe siècle. Dans le pays natal de l’empereur, villes et châtellenies profitèrent de leur bonne…

[Paper:] France et Castille. Les décors héraldiques de la « Salle de justice » de l’abbaye de Nanteuil-en-Valée, Charente (Matteo Ferrari)

Située à la frontière méridionale de l’ancien diocèse de Poitiers, depuis 2013 l’abbaye Saint-Benoît-et-Sainte-Marie de Nanteuil-en-Vallée fait l’objet, d’un chantier de fouilles et d’étude programmées. Parmi les bâtiments qui composent le complexe monastique, l’attention des chercheurs a été retenue par un grand édifice, appelé l’«Hôtellerie », placé au sud-est du chevet de l’église abbatiale, entièrement détruite depuis la fin du XVIIIème siècle. Construit vers le milieu du XIIIème siècle et…

[Paper:] Les programmes héraldiques des demeures patriciennes et seigneuriales du sud de la France à la fin du Moyen Âge (Laura Ceccantini, Delphine Grenet)

L’identification des fonctions originelles des espaces au sein de l’habitat civil médiéval est une des principales difficultés de leur étude, question pour laquelle l’héraldique joue un rôle privilégié. Les programmes héraldiques conservés dans les demeures méridionales françaises se caractérisent par leur emplacement sur les plafonds à poutres apparentes, contrairement aux armoriaux représentés habituellement sur les surfaces murales. Ces charpentes constituent un support privilégié dès la fin du XIIIe siècle…

[paper] Paul-François Broucke: Les procès-verbaux de prééminences héraldiques en Bretagne à la fin de l’Ancien Régime – Paris, 18 février 2016

La Bretagne, riche de ses nombreuses églises et chapelles, l’est aussi de l’impressionnant armorial monumental qui s’y déploie, pourtant pâle reflet des richesses héraldiques passées. Jusqu’aux derniers jours de l’Ancien Régime, la noblesse s’est disputée avec avidité le droit d’apposer ses armoiries en toutes les places disponibles au sein de l’espace sacré. Afin de prémunir les usurpations, les jalousies et le vandalisme, seigneurs et marguilliers dressaient des inventaires notariés de ces droits honorifiques héraldiques, les procès-verbaux de prééminences armoriées. Ces documents…

Digitized armorials list restructured with an expanded focus

Libraries and archives industriously digitize manuscripts and therefore our digitized armorials list is continuously expanding. Since last year, the list has grown from only a couple of entries to 70 armorials. To maintain an overview on this amount of armorials, we have decided to break the list down. It is now categorized by centuries. Clearly, the majority of the digitized armorials date from the 15th century, but hopefully more…

Die “Berliner Papierhandschrift” des Wappenbuchs Grünenberg ist jetzt online

In mittlerweile zehn Beiträgen haben Christof Rolker und Bernd Konrad in den letzten zwei Jahren über das Wappenbuch des Konrad Grünenberg und dessen verschiedenen Überlieferungen informiert. Eine der wesentlichen Hürden in der Bearbeitung des Wappenbuchs lag bisher darin, dass sich die Forschung bisher meist nur der Faksimile-Ausgabe von Stillfried-Alcántara bediente, die – wie Christof Rolker hier auf dem Blog eindrücklich gezeigt hat – weit weniger verlässlich ist, als man denken mag. Tatsächlich konnte…

Recent publications – Update October 2015

In the second post of this section we listed books and articles on medieval and early modern heraldry that have been published over the last year. Behind some of the titles you can click on the link for more information on the publication, such as summaries on websites of the publishers. We intend to provide an overview of recently published articles and books more regularly. To keep track all…

[Paper:] Emmanuel de Boos, Quelle date pour le Tournoi de Compiègne ?

The Société française d’heraldique et de sigillographie invites anyone interest to attend a paper by Emmanuel de Boos that is going to pose brand-new perspectives on the question ‘When was the Tournament of Compiègne?’. Following the Armorial Beyeren, the Tournament of Compiègne was believed to have taken place in 1238. However, an enquiry by Emmanuel de Boos has shown that this view is in fact false. By situating the event in its immediate context, and by comparing a variety of sources, de Boos will offer a new perspective. If you are interested, the society kindly asks you to confirm your attendance by email: liens.sfhs@laposte.fr Due to limited seating, participation is possible on a first-come, first-serve basis only. 18 June 2015, 17.00 at the Archives nationales, Salle d’albâtre at the Centre d’accueil et de recherche des Archives nationales  (CARAN), 11, rue des Quatre Fils, Paris 75003.

[Paper:] Marcus Meer (Münster), Signs of Identity, Signs of the City: Heraldic Display of Urban Identity in the Augsburg Chronicle and the Gossembrot Armorial

The Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle (2012) also features an article on ‘Heraldry’. Unfortunately, however, in this article the relation of heraldry to historiography is largely limited to its place as a ‘border decoration’ of manuscripts and a ‘means of identifying’ the author, commissioner or owner of a chronicle. In my presentation I would like to argue—as does the ‘The Performance of Coats of Arms’ project in Münster —that heraldry in historiographical texts was more than that, that coats of arms were a in fact means of communication. I will suggest that there is a close connection between heraldry and historiography in the case of urban historiography. Heraldry was a means of historiography, and a means to communicate history. Firstly, coats of arms were fashioned as passive representations of history in the visual context of chronicle manuscripts. And secondly, heraldic display was able to become an active visual form of historiography that made claims about the past. Since the formative narratives of historiography are seen as a crucial element of identity, heraldry as a representation or visual form of historiography will emerge as a means of communication that was involved in fashioning an ‘urban’ identity, too. To do so I […]

[Paper:] Andreas Rehberg (Rome) : Heraldry in municipal Rome – some reflections on a scarcely studied topic

Even though the Eternal City today looks like a city particularly rich in heraldry, this first impression is due to the abundant use of heraldry from the sixteenth century onwards, employed as a baroque means of self-representation by the ecclesiastical estates (especially popes and cardinals) within the city’s space and its churches. In the light of this predominance of the curial world, the celebration of civil power and heraldry of the Roman families remains in the shadows. As a result of the continuous urban transformations, which Rome suffered from the Sacco of 1527 onwards, the remains of the heraldry of the Middle Ages and Renaissance are scarce and often hidden. There is no systematical study of narrative sources for a better knowledge of the use of heraldry in municipal Rome. The first armorials which survived derive from the work of a few antiquarians interested in the heraldic topic in the sixteenth century. This social-cultural approach tries to open up tracks for research regarding the role played by heraldry in Roman society from the 13th to the 16th century. It aims to identify the various groups that used it (the town of Rome, the laity, the clergy, the members and the […]

Paul-François Broucke (Amiens), Décors héraldiques et architecture sacrée dans la cité. L’exemple du duché de Bretagne à la fin du Moyen ge (XIVe – XVe siècles)

Parmi les espaces européens au sein desquels l’héraldique s’est épanouie dans ses développements les plus féconds, la Bretagne des ducs de la maison de Montfort aux XIVe et XVe siècles tient une place éminente. En particulier, le goût immodéré de la noblesse pour les droits honorifiques et les prééminences d’église armoriées, a légué à la Bretagne un patrimoine héraldique monumental des plus riches et des plus abondants. Dans plusieurs cités bretonnes, depuis les villes épiscopales jusqu’aux bourgs paroissiaux plus modestes, de véritables programmes héraldiques investirent le sacré, sculptés dans la pierre aux façades et aux portails des cathédrales et des églises. Qui a conçu et ordonnancé ces compositions armoriées ? Quels messages délivraient-elles, symbolisant quels pouvoirs, cristallisant quels antagonismes ? De quelle manière la topographie de la ville fut-elle parfois exploitée pour mieux les mettre en scène ? Comment ces décors héraldiques influencèrent-ils l’évolution des formes architecturales, et leur succès se transposa-t-il à l’habitat civil urbain ? Par comparaison aux villes, ces questions amènent à réfléchir sur le discours emblématique articulé aux monuments dans les zones faiblement urbanisées : existait-il ou non une héraldique des villes et une héraldique des champs ? Conference: Heraldry in the Medieval City: The Case […]

[Paper:] Luigi Tufano (Turin), I segni della fidelitas del nobile: Scudo regio e committenza nobiliare tra devozione e propaganda – Il caso dei Carafa nella Napoli del Quattrocento

In this paper the use of Aragonese coat of arms in the noble commission of Diomede Carafa (1406-1487), count of Maddaloni and right-hand man of Ferrante, will be analyzed, not as the expression of conceptual proximity to the Crown but as the vehicle of a large-scale effort political speech. In Naples the custom of adorning the noble palace with the King’s coat of arms is not something new: indeed there are many examples comparable to Diomede’s case. However in the case of the Carafas’ commission the amount, the heterogeneity and the multiplicity of the sources (documentary, narrative and iconographical) allow the development of the analysis about the political value of fidelitas as the virtue that characterizes the nobleman. The signs of the devotion to the King and the signs of the family promotion are related, on one hand, to the political rule practiced by the members of the family at the service of the Crown as officiales consiliarii and, on the other hand, to the peculiarity of the Carafas’ belonging to the Neapolitan elite of the noble “seggi”. Conference: Heraldry in the Medieval City: The Case of Italy in the European Context (Journées Héraldiques 5), Rome, 5th-7th May 2015

[Paper:] Marc von der Höh (Bochum), Heraldry and the City – the case of Cologne (13th-15th century)

Die Heraldik einer der größten Städte nördlich der Alpen ist bislang nicht Gegenstand einer methodisch und theoretisch zufriedenstellenden Untersuchung gewesen. Der vorgeschlagene Vortrag wird Ergebnisse einer langjährigen Beschäftigung mit der heraldischen Praxis im mittelalterlichen Köln bündeln. Dabei werden drei Aspekte besonders in den Fokus genommen: Zunächst die materialgebundene Rekonstruktion des spezifischen Zeichensystems der bürgerlichen Heraldik innerhalb der Stadt, die in Beziehung zur verwandtschaftlichen Strukturierung der Kölner Führungsschichte vom 13. bis zum 15. Jahrhundert gesehen werden muss. Hierbei wird insbesondere von der reichen Siegelüberlieferung auszugehen sein. Gezeigt werden wird, dass sich innerhalb der Stadt spezifische Konventionen der heraldischen Assoziation und Differenzierung rekonstruieren lassen, die nicht als Abweichung vom heraldischen System sondern als eigenständige Ausprägungen des heraldischen Bezeichnungspotentials ernstgenommen werden müssen. Als besondere mediale Konkretisierung heraldischer Zeichen soll zweitens auf die Ausstattung privater Wohnhäuser eingegangen werden, insbesondere auf Wappendecken und Freskierungen, wobei auch auf die besonderen Überlieferungsbedingungen in nordalpinen Großstädten einzugehen sein wird. Von einem konkreten Fall ausgehend wird dann drittens die Bedeutung der Materialität heraldischer Darstellungen durch den Bezug zu den Produzenten von Wappendarstellungen (Schildermaler, Goldschmiede, Wappensticker) herausgearbeitet werden.” Conference: Heraldry in the Medieval City: The Case of Italy in the European Context (Journées Héraldiques 5), Rome, 5th-7th May 2015

[Paper:] Luisa Gentile (Turin), L’héraldique dans les villes des Lombards

Les opérateurs économiques du nord de l’Italie, qui étaient connus dans toute l’Europe médiévale comme « Lombards », mirent en place entre la fin du XIIe siècle et celle du XVIe un vaste réseau de petites sociétés financières, qui faisaient crédit à toutes les classes sociales. Les médiévistes européens et italiens (surtout l’école du regretté Renato Bordone) ont redonné son importance à cette activité et à ses implications politiques et culturelles. Dans leurs villes d’origine, essentiellement Asti et Chieri au Piémont, les Lombards faisaient partie de la classe dirigeante; grâce aux profits gaignés à l’étranger, ils achetèrent des châteaux, ils adoptèrent un train de vie nobiliaire et chevaleresque, ils importèrent des goûts litteraires et artistiques du Nord de l’Europe. Lorsque Asti et Chieri tombèrent sous domination princière (des Visconti-Orléans et Savoie) ces familles firent leur entrée dans les cours respectives. L’héraldique jouait un rôle central dans la représentation de ces élites, comme le volume Araldica astigiana (éd. R. Bordone) a déjà mis en exergue en 2001. La relation sera donc focalisée sur les signes des villes d’origine des Lombards, à l’époque des libertés communales comme sous la domination princière; les emblèmes des familles, et leur genèse, par rapport avec l’activité […]

[Paper:] Christoph Dartmann (Münster/Hamburg), Heraldry as element of the visual culture of late medieval Italian cities

The density of heraldic imagery in the Italian cities of the Late Middle Ages is the result of an interaction between different aspects: The cities are places where a large number of noble families live together in a situation of permanent competition. The fierce competition of the families leads to aggressive strategies of visualization of a family’s or a person’s status. The permanent ascent of new families increases the dynamics of this rivalry in visibility. As other corporations the city-communes adopt heraldry as a means to represent its identity and its claim to be the embodiment of legitimate public authority. Therefore it uses its symbols on a large variety of occasions where the government interacts with the people of the town itself or the inhabitants of other cities. Since the 13th century the culture of northern and central Italy experiences an immense increase of visual signs; this visual revolution permits a highly increased number of places and/or occasions where heraldic imagery can be displayed. The political dynamics of city-republics developing new forms of government change the system of visual representation of familial and governmental structures from the 14th century onwards. My paper will discuss the interaction between the aspects listed […]

[CfA:] Heraldry and Piracy in an Age of Chivalry: The Jurisdiction of the Constable and Marshal(s) and of the Admiralty in Later Medieval England and France (Conference at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, 4-5 June 2015)

Under the presidency of the Constable and Marshal of England, the Court of Chivalry heard cases that arose out of acts of war, including disputes over rights in prisoners and their ransoms as well as about rights to particular coats of arms. It also took cognisance of appeals of treason, in which battle was offered by the appellant. As with the Admiralty, its jurisdiction took clearer form in the second quarter of the fourteenth century. The wars waged by the English in France led to the need for a tribunal that could deal with disputes that arose on land or sea, beyond the reach of the common law—resulting in tribunals that operated in accordance with the Continental civil law. The developing European cult of chivalry gave greater prominence to the Prince’s position as head of an apparatus that would resolve disputes between members of the noble and knightly ranks, and comparable jurisdictions accordingly also developed in France, under the Constable and Marshals of the kingdom and certain of its duchies as well as under the Admiral. Thursday 4 June REGISTRATION (from 1.30pm) 2.00 Welcome and Introduction: Anthony Musson 2.15: Richard Barber, ‘Knights, Heralds and Gentlemen: the Court of Chivalry and […]

[Paper:] Elena Paulino Montero (Madrid/Florence) & Alicia Inés Montero Málaga (Madrid), L’héraldique nobiliaire dans une cité du domaine royal – le cas des Velasco à Burgos au milieu du XVe siècle

Les Velasco furent une des familles nobles les plus puissantes de Castille au bas Moyen-Âge. Leur seigneurie s’étendait dans le nord du royaume, zone au sein de laquelle se détache la ville de Burgos, caput Castellae et cité marchande de premier ordre. Cette ville, où ils s’installèrent définitivement au milieu du XVe siècle, présentait pour eux un intérêt complexe (territorial, politique, économique). À cette date, Pedro Fernández de Velasco, et son épouse, Mencía de Mendoza, y construisent un palais et une chapelle funéraire ; de nouveaux édifices sur lesquels se déploient leurs armoiries. L’historiographie traditionnelle voyait l’héraldique de ces édifices comme un moyen d’exalter le lignage lui-même sans prendre en compte d’autres processus plus complexes et plus subtils, tels que les négociations de pouvoir entre le groupe nobiliaire et les échevins. À travers cette communication nous prétendons analyser les constructions réalisées par les Velasco à Burgos, en examinant dans un premier temps ce qu’elles supposèrent de négociation avec les pouvoirs publics (de l’obtention de terrain et de l’usage des eaux, à la création d’un nouvel espace de prise de décision…). Dans un second temps, nous souhaitons étudier les armes qui apparaissent -ou qui n’apparaissent pas- sur ces ouvrages. Ainsi, la façade […]

[Paper:] Marta Gomes dos Santos (Coimbra),Heraldry in Portuguese Medieval Towns: A unique context?

The aim of this paper is to analyse the practice and usage of municipal heraldry in Portuguese towns from the first known municipal town seal in 1205 to the beginning of a new reign in 1495, a watershed moment for Portuguese heraldry. Through an already concluded collection and classification of extant sources (sigillographic, monumental and iconographic) it will be possible to present an iconographical mapping considering region, chronology and aesthetical modifications. This will illuminate the evolution not only of medieval Portuguese civic heraldry in a wider perspective but also the development of local arms. Seal-stripped documents will also be considered. These ghost-sources provide clues to usage of seals in earlier and now disappeared documents, introducing issues such as social and institutional agency in sealing practices with city arms, as well as allow us to reconstruct a more accurate database on which towns had heraldic representation. This will show that it is possible to study medieval civic heraldry with scarce remaining sources, unlike other countries, which still preserve their material heraldic heritage. The paper will provide updated information and highlight the relation between heraldry and the city, the specific usage and role of arms as materialization of town corporate identity through […]

[Paper:] Emmanuel de Boos (AIH), Deux documents armoriés d’origine municipale : Le Biccerne de Sienne et les Annales de Toulouse

Très rares sont les villes qui ont produit des documents héraldiques assimilables à des armoriaux. Les fameuses tavolette dipinte dites della Biccherna de Sienne, en raison de leur qualité artistique, constituent l’ensemble le plus connu (1258-début du XVIIe siècle). Mais l’Italie n’est pas seule à avoir fourni à l’histoire de l’art et de l’héraldique un ensemble de cette nature : les volumes des Annales de la ville de Toulouse (1352-1778) en sont un autre exemple. Les deux ensembles documentaires sont d’origine différente (administrations financières pour l’un, fastes consulaires pour l’autre), la possible influence des habitudes d’une ville sur l’autre reste très improbable (les relations entre les deux ne dépasse pas celles des villes entre elles au Moyen Age). Pourtant, ces deux villes ont été à l’origine de documents présentant d’indéniables parentés. Ma communication aura pour but de mettre en évidence ces parentés, en particulier stylistique (présentation en trois zones : une scénographie, un registre d’armoiries, un texte explicatif), et d’essayer de déterminer pour quelles raisons ces deux villes particulières ont ressenti le besoin d’initier de tels documents. Il semble que l’idée de « liberté » (libertas), ne soit pas étrangère à cette parenté… Conference: Heraldry in the Medieval City: The […]

[Paper:] Tania Lévy (Brest), Les lys et le lion : les armoiries dans la ville de Lyon autour de 1500

A partir du règne de Louis XI (1461-1483), la ville de Lyon connaît un essor économique conséquent, notamment grâce à l’octroi d’une quatrième foire et l’installation de banquiers et marchands italiens dès 1466. L’implantation de l’imprimerie dans la cité en 1473 contribue à faire de Lyon une place financière et politique d’importance, quasi capitale lors des expéditions militaires italiennes des années 1490 et des premières décennies du XVIe siècle. Durant cette période – mais déjà dès la fin du XIVe siècle – les armoiries urbaines apparaissent régulièrement à des endroits stratégiques de la cité, que ce soit dans le cadre des entrées royales, bien sûr, mais pas uniquement. Il convient donc de s’interroger sur la place que les consuls accordent aux armoiries de la cité, dans tous les sens du terme : où figurent-elles dans la ville, sous quelle forme et quelle est leur importance ? Les riches archives consulaires permettent de retracer l’apparition des armes, leur utilisation dans divers contextes (pérennes ou non ; en association avec d’autres armes) et sur divers supports et enfin d’appréhender le rôle qu’elles jouent aux yeux des consuls. Conference: Heraldry in the Medieval City: The Case of Italy in the European Context (Journées […]

[Paper:] Laurent Héry (Brest), Armoiries et communication héraldique lors des entrées d’Anne de Foix dans les cités de Vénétie (1502)

Anne de Foix, lors du périple qu’elle accomplit en 1502 pour rejoindre son futur époux Vladislas II Jagellon, traverse plusieurs cités de Terre Ferme (Crema, Brescia, Vérone, Vicence, Padoue) avant d’arriver à Venise et d’embarquer pour la Hongrie. Pierre Choque, le héraut d’Anne de Bretagne qui l’accompagne, a laissé un récit de ce voyage : sa description des entrées dans les villes italiennes s’avère particulièrement intéressante pour appréhender la manière dont le monde urbain est mis en signe. Ce technicien de l’héraldique, lorsqu’il dépeint les fastes déployés en la circonstance par les cités, identifie en effet de nombreuses armoiries et en reproduit plus d’une centaine dans son manuscrit. Il décrit les armoiries des podestats et capitaines portées en tête des cortèges, celles ornant les litières transportant les membres de l’élite citadine ou décorant la vaisselle des banquets. Il décrit également, outre celles du doge, les armoiries parant les barques réunies lors des parades nautiques organisées par la Sérénissime. Le récit de Pierre Choque, au-delà de l’importance du corpus rassemblé, témoigne des différentes façons dont s’opère la communication héraldique des villes italiennes. Il semble donc utile de porter un regard neuf sur ce manuscrit, sur les armoiries qui y sont dépeintes […]

[Paper:] Katja Putzer (GNM), Heraldry in Nuremberg’s Sacred Spaces: Memorial Shields of the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times

Until today Nuremberg’s church interiors display a vast amount of coats of arms, which can be found, for example, on altars, windows and epitaphs endowed by the city’s most influential and wealthy inhabitants. Particularly outstanding, however, are the memorial shields hanging high on the pillars and walls. In the middle ages and early modern times they were made for the male dead of the city’s elite and hung up close to their burial places, displaying the coat of arms of the deceased, his name and the date of his death. The interdisciplinary research project “Provision for the hereafter and cooperative representation. Memorial shields from the 14th to the 17th century” is currently looking into the shields from art historical, historical and art technological perspectives. The paper will focus on some of its questions, such as the social background of the persons whose memorial shields are to be found in the churches, their presentation, and whether there were any connections between the influence or reputation of the deceased and the design of his shield. Another emphasis will be placed onto the impact of the city’s authorities: Since Nuremberg’s council supervised the city’s churches and every new display or change of coat […]

[Paper:] Laura Cirri (Florence): Sacred space and family representation in Florence during the Trecento and the Quattrocento

In the Florentine urban space, churches soon became the medium, where families left lasting signs in the history and topography of the city. This paper aims to highlight the rich heraldic heritage, still existing in the different family chapels of the Florentine churches, other then the historical and architectural reasons. Many families were from the contado and moving to the city, they usually settled in the the district that was closer to the original places and built their chapels near their residences. In this lecture such cases will be explained and how these functional choices had implications in the display of family coats of arms in the Florentine topography, both private and public. The lecture will then consider the reasons, why the building of private chapels was forbidden inside the Cathedral. The need for self-representation of Florentine families had a great role in defining the architectural development of the largest churches. The lecture will examine the case of the original project for the church of Santo Spirito, in which Brunelleschi had ruled out the family coats of arms and how he was forced to retrace his steps. Finally, emphasis will be given to the value of self-celebration of the Rucellai […]

[Paper:] Marco Bogade (Potsdam), Coats of arms within the Representative Iconographic Programmes of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor

In 2000 Ivo Rosario published a monograph whose title –“Art and propaganda. Charles IV of Bohemia” – already indicates the specific of the reign of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1316-1378): the absorption of art for political means. The term “propaganda”, with its negative connotation in terms of influencing the attitude of the addressees of these artistic monuments, should be considered in this context despite its undoubtedly also manipulative role or effect rather from the perspective of the sovereign or state representation, proceeding from a medieval self-conception of rule or sovereign respectively. The patronage of Charles IV is based upon the sovereign’s appreciation of art just as much as upon the need to stage a self-conception of sovereign or state in the public as well as in the non-public area between the poles of what Franz Machilek called already in 1978 “private and public piety”. From no other medieval ruler before him are so many portraits and pictures delivered to posterity. Some of these are embedded in intricate iconographic and heraldic programmes, whose design was probably (co-) created by Charles IV himself. The presentation will have a closer look at two of these programmes – the Old Town Bridge Tower […]

[Paper:] Matteo Ferrari (Poitiers), Héraldique et « mise en signes » de l’espace urbain dans le Poitou médiéval

Dans l’Italie médiévale, et notamment dans les régions qui ont connu le développement du système communal, les figurations héraldiques constituaient un trait essentiel de l’environnement iconique urbain. Pourtant, s’agit-il vraiment d’une spécificité italienne ? Les recherches que je conduis depuis un an sur le patrimoine héraldique monumental médiéval du Poitou-Charentes, ont révélé une richesse figurative surprenante, jusqu’à présent méconnue. Edifices religieux, bâtiments résidentiels, structures défensives (remparts et portes) étaient très souvent porteurs d’images héraldiques, dont on conserve encore des nombreux vestiges matériels. En outre, des attestations documentaires (registres de délibérations, représentation urbaine, recueils d’érudits etc.) documentent ce qui a disparu à la suite des destructions causées par les guerres et par les démolitions perpétrées aux XIXe et XXe siècles. Ce phénomène apparaît plus évident dans les centres urbains principaux, mais il intéressait d’une façon pas moins significative une large partie des bourgs à la campagne. Mais qui avait le droit d’exposer les armories dans les espaces publics ? Quels lieux étaient intéressés prioritairement par les images héraldiques et quelle finalité communicative leur était confiée ? Quels supports étaient utilisés ? De quelle époque date cette explosion de l’emploi de l’héraldique dans les espaces urbains et est-ce que ce développement trouvait-il des raisons dans une […]

[Paper:] Emiliano Bultrini (Rome), The power and its symbolism: Nobility, heraldry and topography in Rome between the 12th and 14th centuries

Since the last quarter of the Thirteenth century in Rome began a slow, but steady, use of Heraldry by the urban aristocracy. In particular, the most prominent aristocratic Roman baronial families, such as Colonna Orsini or Savelli, use it everywhere possible. An accomplice of this attitude was, also, influenced by the Angevin court following the French victory at Tagliacozzo. However, if on the one hand, it seems that the aristocracy is not eminent used Heraldry to mark only his lands, on the other hand many iconographic materials, and documentary claims evidence as the barons of Rome used the arms in a unique way. Rome, in fact, unlike any other European city inherited from the classical world, an extension without equal. Surrounded by twenty kilometers of Aurelian Walls it occupied an area of more than 1500 hectares where, however, lived only a few tens of thousands of inhabitants. This urban environment, unique in its kind, allowed the most prominent baronial families to realize, starting from the middle of the 13th, imposing fortified structures, similar to the castles of the countryside they were Lords, able to accommodate hundreds of men at arms. Thanks to the presence of these fortresses, the barons, were […]

[Paper:] Philippa Woodcock (Warwick), Heraldry and Regime Change: the Trivulzio Chapel at San Nazaro, Milan, 1499-1522

Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, a disaffected Milanese mercenary in French service was appointed as Governor of Milan for Louis XII in 1499. As the duchy’s leading aristocrat he commissioned heraldic tapestries, medals and emblazoned campaign tents. The symbols of Ludovico Sforza’s Milan were effaced or defaced, just as the evidence of French rule would be covered over by emblems of subsequent regime change, under Sforza, Spanish and Austrian rulers.  ​ This paper will examine the heraldic significance of Trivulzio’s most significant commission in Milan, the chapel at San Nazaro. Designed by Bramantino, and completed c.1519 it still dominates the Porta Romana, a key ceremonial route into Milan. Firstly, I will ask why the heraldic devices on the chapel, and their clearly political texts survived subsequent hostile regime change: indeed, Trivulzio’s heraldry is amongst the rare survivals from French Milan. Secondly, the paper will discuss how Trivulzio’s heraldic scheme allowed him to convey multiple identities: military commander; Milanese aristocrat and Lombard magnate. In particular, it will outline the importance of heraldry belonging to female members in conveying Trivulzio’s ambitions. Finally, it will suggest that the survival of the chapel and its heraldry was due to its position within the city, and the sophisticated […]

[CfP:] Héraldique & papauté : Moyen Age – temps modernes, histoire – histoire de l’art (Rome, 19-21 Mai 2016)

Au Moyen Age comme à l’époque moderne, la papauté dispose d’imaginaires variés pour alimenter sa communication institutionnelle. On pense d’abord à l’Ecriture Sainte ou à l’hagiographie, à l’histoire, antique ou récente, à la mythologie, mais on aurait tort de négliger l’héraldique. Un nouveau pape apporte avec lui les images de son blason qui paraissent sur les monnaies, sur les sceaux, sur les médailles, sur la vaisselle et les ornements liturgiques, sur les reliures et les illustrations des livres, dans les armoriaux et dans la littérature de célébration ou de satire (pasquinades), sur les façades et les décors peints ou sculptés des bâtiments (succès dans la grotesque), dans les diverses fêtes et cérémonies, sur les monuments et les tombeaux, sans oublier les jardins, les fontaines, etc… Les cardinaux augmentent souvent leurs armoiries de celles du pape qui les a créés. Ce n’est pas un hasard si la Rome pontificale peut être considérée comme l’une des capitales les plus héraldiques du monde. Dans la peinture, cet imaginaire prend des formes allégoriques, depuis Raphaël et avant lui (Portrait de Léon X, ornement du fauteuil emprunté aux armes du portraituré, trait commun à de nombreux papes), jusqu’au Caravage et après lui (L’Amour triomphant, globe […]

[Paper:] Edouard Bouyé (Dijon), Pontifes et urbanistes : le marquage héraldique des papes dans les villes de leurs États (XIII-XVIe siècles)

Timide encore avant le départ d’Avignon, le marquage héraldique de leurs États par les papes français fut motivé par le double objectif de matérialiser leur présence nouvelle dans le Comtat Venaissin et de représenter leur pouvoir en leur absence de l’autre côté des Alpes. Marqueuses d’obédience durant le Grand Schisme, les armoiries pontificales matérialisent ensuite l’œuvre urbanistique de Martin V et de ses successeurs. A partir du milieu du XVe siècle, la profusion presque obsessionnelle des armoiries pontificales, permanentes ou éphémères, à Rome et dans les États pontificaux au fil de leur agrandissement, est le signe d’une volonté de manifester l’évidence de l’omniprésence des papes, pontifes et urbanistes. L’héraldique pontificale se combine naturellement, dans les villes de leurs États, avec celle des différents pouvoirs urbains et seigneuriaux ; la disposition de l’image héraldique rend compte des positions respectives de ces pouvoirs. A travers l’analyse des décors en place ou documentés par la comptabilité, les images ou descriptions anciennes, on tentera de comprendre les objectifs de représentation des papes et, quand ils sont documentés, les modifications éventuelles apportées à ces décors et l’intelligence qu’en ont eue, jusqu’à aujourd’hui, les destinataires de ces images (curialistes, autochtones, visiteurs et étrangers). Conference: Heraldry in […]

[Paper:] Vittoria Camelliti (Udine), Heraldry in the cities’ images between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

My paper focuses on the heraldry as a marker of identification of the cities between the Middle Age and the Renaissances. It considers in particular the function of the heraldic signs from the point of view of the urban iconography (as it happens with the walls, the city gates and the buildings, which represent civic and religious power). With this prospéctive it is important to recognise the coats of arms which actually existed and which are able to reveal the identity of the city and its political orientation, for example the imperial eagle and the crossed keys of the Church (which we can see, among others, in the Chronicles of Villani and Sercambi and in the Codex Astensis). It is also interesting to find the coat of arms of one dominus (as the case of the bas-relief ‘El fare le mura’ of the cenotaph of Bishop Tarlati) or notice the presence of the so called ‘totemic animals’, that is to say the symbolical representatives of a parallel civic heraldry. On the other hand it is interesting to observe the invention of the coats of arms to characterize imaginary cities (such as coats of arms with a devil’s head, placed on the gate […]

[Paper] Ambre Vilain, « SIGILLA » Base numérique des sceaux français : Projet pour un outil électronique uniformisé base de données sigillographiques et archivistiques, Paris, 19 mars 2015

Summary: Next to armorials, seals are the most important source for heraldry, and thus seals are an indispensable source of any cultural history interested in heraldry, too. In France, the project SIGILLA is working towards a comprehensive database of seals from French archives. On 19 March 2015, Ambre Vilain will introduce the project to the public at the Archives nationales, Paris, as part of one of the Société française de l’héraldique et de sigilographie’s talks. Contact: liens.sfhs@laposte.fr Les sceaux constituent une source inestimable du patrimoine culturel européen, trop longtemps négligée et aujourd’hui en péril. Les moyens actuels offerts par l’image numérique et la diffusion internet permettent de valoriser cette ressource. Le programme SIGILLA vise à élaborer une base de données illustrée des empreintes, matrices, moulages et dessins des sceaux conservés dans les collections et archives françaises. L’aboutissement de ce projet ambitieux permettra d’offrir aux chercheurs un outil uniformisé de consultation, d’analyse et de comparaison de cette source essentielle de l’histoire et garantira en partie la sauvegarde de ce patrimoine. Les institutions de conservation concernées accèderont aux moyens nécessaires à la constitution de cette ressource à savoir un logiciel adapté à l’objet et aux outils de catalogage archivistiques, une  grille d’analyse […]

Programme: Heraldry in the Medieval City: The Case of Italy in the European Context (Journées Héraldiques 5), Rome, 5th-7th May 2015

The heraldic heritage of the Italian cities is still a monument to the ubiquity of heraldry in the Middle Ages. However, research into the heraldry of the Italian cities in particular, and in fact heraldry in the city in general, has remained relatively scarce. The conference ‘Heraldry in the Medieval City: The Case of Italy in the European Context’, which will take place 5-7 May 2015 in Rome, sets out to change this by bringing together heraldists, historians, art historians, historians of visual culture and urban history to propose new pespectives on heraldic signs in the city and open up new tracks for future research. (See the full call for papers for more information.)   Programme Tuesday, 5 May 14:00-14:30 Arrival of participants Introduction 14:30-15:30 Laurent Hablot (Rome/Poitiers)/Torsten Hiltmann (Münster): Introduction Christoph Dartmann (Hamburg/Münster) : Heraldry as element of the visual culture of late medieval Italian cities. Some remarks on culture and society of the city-communes 15:30-16:00 Coffee break Heraldry in the city 16:00-17:00 Andreas Rehberg (Rome) : Heraldry in municipal Rome – some reflections on a scarcely studied topic Matteo Ferrari (Poitiers) : Héraldique et « mise en signes » de l’espace urbain dans le Poitou au Moyen-Âge 17:00-17:30 […]

[CfA] #inspireHeraldicaNova: Help us to make good things better!

For almost two years now Heraldica Nova has been around. We set out to create an interactive platform for people interested in research on cultural history and heraldry, and the feedback from you, our readers, has been extraordinarily positive. Ever since then, our audience kept growing—in January, we welcomed 5,000 unique visitors on our blog. A retrospect: research, resources, methods We want to offer scholars the chance to present and discuss research that approaches heraldry from the perspective of cultural history to the public, both within and outside of academia. Most recently, research that was introduced on Heraldica Nova included an international collaboration exploring the use of heraldry in royal political communication in late medieval Portugal (Torsten Hiltmann/Miguel Metelo de Seixas), a project on (heraldic) representations of patricians in Transylvania (Marco Bogade), and a project investigating the Germanisches Nationalmuseum’s collection of memorial shields. We also aim to introduce people interested in heraldry and cultural history to the most important sources, resources, tools and methods. In this effort, we compiled a comprehensive list of armorial manuscripts available online in digital format, allowing you to access an essential source of heraldic research that has hitherto not yet been approached by cultural history— […]

[CfA] Make a wish: Suggest Swiss manuscripts for digitisation at the ‘e-codices’ project

For historians working on manuscripts that are held in Swiss libraries, the e-codices project currently offers a unique opportunity: Until 1 March 2015, anyone can suggest manuscripts in Swiss archives or libraries for digitisation and publication in the project’s virtual library. In this way, 25 medieval and modern manuscripts, ‘which should be of major significance for research’ are meant to be made available in 2015, as the call for collaboration states. The e-codices project aim is to make late antique, medieval and early modern manuscripts that are held in Switzerland available on the internet. This also incorporates additional information in the respective manuscripts, e.g. manuscript descriptions, which are published in German, French, Italian and English. Since 2008, more than 1.200 manuscripts have been made accessible in this way. On this blog, the e-codices virtual library is particularly well known for the digitisation of the Züricher Wappenrolle (Zurich armorial), which we recently introduced on Heraldica Nova. Thanks to e-codices, this unique source of medieval heraldry, including 559 coats of arms on a four meter long parchment roll, is now available in an up to now unprecedented quality. While you can suggest any manuscript that is being held in a Swiss library or […]

[Update:] The Zürich armorial available online – plus many more additions to our list of digitised armorials

Thanks to the Swiss digitisation project e-codices, one of the most important sources of medieval heraldry is now available in a hitherto unprecedented quality: the Zürcher Wappenrolle (Zürich armorial). Its importance for heraldists and historians alike stems from the fact that this extraordinary armorial is considered to be one of the oldest collections of coats of arms of the medieval Holy Roman Empire. Besides that, it is the only (?) armorial from the continent which has been conserved not in the shape of a codex but as a roll of arms. Taken together, its four parts make up a roll of an impressive four meters in length, listing, on both sides of the parchment, 559 coats of arms in total. The depicted arms include a list of kings from Europe and abroad, the higher and lower nobility from northern Switzerland, southern Germany and western Austria, but also arms of local cities as well as banners of German dioceses and monasteries. Steen Clemmensen previously prepared a new edition of the coats of arms in the Zürich armorial. The new digital copy now allows for everyone to see this unique heraldic document for themselves in an astonishing quality which offers a completely […]

New resources from the Genealogical Office of Ireland

Thanks to Breandán Ó Corráin, who kindly sent us a message, we are able to add another resource to our growing collection of heraldic documents on the internet. The Chief Herald of Ireland has recently published a series of about 35 volumes, which are available as digitised copies on the website of the National Library of Ireland. These include heraldic grants and confirmations of coats of arms, a register of knights, funeral entries (with the coats of arms of the deceased) as well as pedigrees. Most of them date from the seventeenth century onwards. The collection contains also one volume dating back to the fifteenth century, giving the names and the genealogy of the English monarchs from Biblical times to the reign of Henry VI (1422-1471). If you made a similar find, please do let us know!

Dictionary of heraldic terms used in Steen Clemmensen’s ‘Evaluating armorials (II) – Variant coats of arms’

Steen Clemmensen’s blogpost contains some heraldic terms that might, for the uninitiated, look like a secret language. The purpose of these particular vocabulary and the fairly strict manner of describing a coats of arms (= blazoning), is that it should enable a reader or an artist to imagine and recreate a coat of arms in an exact manner. In order to make the article intelligible for the novices, we have provided a short dictionary of the heraldic terms and overview of heraldic basic rules as practised by Clemmensen.[1]   Colours In heraldry, colours are divided into two groups: metals (yellow and white) and colours (the other colours). The basic colour rule is that metal should not touch metal and colour should not touch colour. The underlying idea is that the alternation of metal and colour provides a visual contrast and hence makes the coats of arms clearly visible and identifiable from a distance. The heraldic terms for the metals and colours are as follows: Or Yellow Argent White Gules Red Azur Blue Sable Black Vert Green            Charges For the visibility of the coats of arms, it is important that the charges are drawn as clearly as possible. The heraldic […]

How to evaluate medieval armorials and their contents? A new series of blogposts by Steen Clemmensen

For identifying medieval coats of arms, medieval armorials are very important sources. They have been transmitted to us in a fair number (for a list of digitised armorials see here on our blog), they are relatively easy accessible and – contrary to the other important source for coats of arms such as seals – they show the colours of the blasons. So if you are trying to identify a specific coat of arms, chances are big that you end up browsing through an armorial. Armorials are, however, difficult sources. They can be quite deceiving. For example, it is not uncommon to find that a coat of arms does not belong to whom the legend says it should belong to. How is this possible? And this problem just addresses the level of a single coat of arms. Makers of armorials often copied whole sections from each other, a process that proved to produce many mistakes. Knowing this, how should one assess an armorial if one wishes to use it as a source? And how should we compare different armorials in order to gain knowledge on the relations between the various sources? These questions have spurred the editors of Heraldica Nova to invite an expert in […]

Redefining Heraldica Nova: New Stucture and Content

New Heraldica Nova Heraldica Nova is a blog that wishes to create a platform for everybody interested in approaching medieval and early modern heraldry from a cultural-historical perspective. Next to hosting articles, publishing ideas and creating a platform for discussions, it aims to provide information and hints for people doing heraldic research. In order to focus on these aims, the editors of Heraldica Nova have altered the structure of the site and created several new sections.   The sections Projects: This part of the blog remained unaltered. It presents descriptions of current heraldic research and publishes regularly updates of these studies. Research Notes: This section of the website presents posts, ideas or new perspectives on heraldry and heraldic research. As always on this blog, you are more than welcome to comment on these contributions. Publications: This part of the website contains two sections: a regularly updated overview of recently published articles and books on medieval and early modern heraldry as well as reviews of recent publications. Events: This section is all about conferences, talks, lectures, workshops and other events concerning heraldry from a cultural-historical perspective, including both announcements and conference reports. Conferences organised by members of the project ‘The Performance of Coats of Arms’ […]