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(In)materiality in medieval art

(In)materialidad en el arte medieval

(In)materialité dans l'art médiéval

Complutenses of medieval art, 14th study day

XIV journées Complutenses d'art médiéval

XIV Jornadas Complutenses de Arte Medieval

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Published on Wednesday, January 29, 2020


Las XIV Jornadas Complutenses de Arte Medieval proponen centrar la mirada en la materialidad como factor esencial de la producción artística, así como en la poética de la inmaterialidad y en la dimensión intangible de la experiencia estética en los siglos medievales. Son bienvenidas las propuestas de comunicación en torno a los siguientes temas: condiciones materiales de la creación artística; prácticas y medios desatendidos; poéticas y usos semánticos de lo material y de lo intangible; historia cultural de los materiales; sensorialidad e inmaterialidad; “transmaterialidad” y “transmedialidad”.


Madrid, 12-13 November 2020 - Complutense University of Madrid, Faculty of Geography and History


Ovid's aphorism «Materiam superabat opus», evoked throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, reveals the special consideration given to skill, technique and craft in the artistic creation processes. Thus, ingenuity and mastery have been privileged qualities in our approach to works of art, according to a restricted vision assumed by Art History as a discipline. However, both the aesthetic reflections and the documents related to artistic commissions in the Middle Ages show the great importance given to the material and sensory aspects of artefacts and monuments. In line with this perception, once again valued in light of the «material turn» of the discipline in the last decades, the 14th Jornadas Complutenses de Arte Medieval propose to focus on materiality as an essential factor in the artistic production, as well as on the poetics of immateriality and the intangible condition of the aesthetic experience.

Beyond the technical analyses, which in recent decades have allowed us to reconsider common places in the study of the medieval artistic production, this congress aims to establish transversal debates in order to open up new perspectives. In this sense, the material conditions of artistic production (properties, supply, cost, transport or technology, among others), as well as their reflection in the written sources –from technical treatises to documentary and literary references– will be discussed. On the other hand, the congress will address issues related to the sensorial features of the medieval works of art and their relationship with intangible aspects, such as the material and chromatic qualities, the incidence of light, the acoustic and olfactory effects, and the impact of the natural environment. The poetics of the materials, their meaningful uses, and the symbolic values ​​of the immaterial will have room in the debates. Likewise, it will be of interest to consider new interpretative concepts, such as «transmateriality» and «transmediality», which may include the morphological transformation of elements across different materials, the transfer and circulation of ornamental patterns, or the physical traces of mental, invisible or transient phenomena. Contributions that address non-hegemonic and / or under-treated practices and media in historiography are especially welcomed.

Proposed topics:

- Material conditions of artistic creation.

- Underrated practices and media.

- Poetics and semantic uses of the material and the intangible.

- Cultural history of materials.

- Sensoriality and immateriality.

- «Transmateriality» and «transmediality».

Confirmed keynot speakers: Miquel Àngel Capellà Galmés (Universitat de les Illes Balears), Vincent Debiais (CRH – Centre national de la recherche scientifique), Beate Fricke (Universität Bern), Ruggero Longo (Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte), José Miguel Puerta Vílchez (Universidad de Granada), Elisabetta Scirocco (Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte), Noelia Silva Santa-Cruz (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Ana Suárez González (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela) and Jorge Tomás García (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid).

Submission guidelines

Researchers interested in submitting a 20-minute paper on any of the topics listed above are invited to send their proposals in Spanish, English, French, Italian and Portuguese, including the following information:

  • Title of the paper proposal.
  • Name and surname of the author and email address.
  • Abstract of about 500 words.
  • Brief academic and research CV of about 300 words.

The proposals should be sent to the email address inmaterial@ucm.es by 3 April 2020.

Authors will be notified of the outcome by 8 May 2020. Selected papers will be published later in a collective volume after peer review.

Organising committee

  • Noelia Silva Santa-Cruz (coordinator)
  • Laura Rodríguez Peinado
  • Pilar Martínez Taboada 
  • Francisco de Asís García García

Scientific committee

  • Noelia Silva Santa-Cruz
  • Francisco de Asís García García
  • Elena Paulino Montero
  • Raúl Romero Medina

Contact: inmaterial@ucm.es


  • Facultad de Geografía e Historia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
    Madrid, Kingdom of Spain (28040)


  • Friday, May 15, 2020


  • Francisco de Asís García
    courriel : inmaterial [at] ucm [dot] es

Information source

  • Francisco de Asís García García
    courriel : inmaterial [at] ucm [dot] es


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« (In)materiality in medieval art », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, https://doi.org/10.58079/14bg

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