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Virtual Academy

Signs and Gestures: How to read Medieval Images

Walking through the halls with medieval collection of a museum or entering a Gothic cathedral with lots of statues, stained-glass windows, altar images and frescoes, the modern viewer often gets confused. This is so not only because he does not know Biblical stories or does not remember by heart all the Hebrew prophets or Christian saints. Often the misunderstanding lays in how an image is designed and how to read it.

Where is the beginning and the end of a story? Why some figures are depicted several times on the same image? What their poses and gestures mean? Why certain objects are painted in unnatural colors, and people are in size of a church or castle’s tower? Besides, museum exhibits were not created as museum exhibits.

Every item, that nowadays has an inventory number and is inscribed in the genealogy of visual forms, served a specific – practical of symbolical – function. Without knowing why they were carved of stone, cast of metal or painted, how and by whom they were ones used, we will not be able to understand how to look at them today. In this course of seven lectures medievalist Mikhail Maizuls searches answers to these questions on the example of medieval sculptures and altar panels from the collection of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts.

Educational maraphon "Art history. Selected"

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Направление Пушкинский.Ю объединяет все программы, которые в Пушкинском музее адресованы молодежи. Это лекции, семинары, творческие проекты, молодежная конференция, исследовательская лаборатория и просто место, где можно найти собеседников и единомышленников.

В наших дальнейших планах – углубленные курсы по самым интересным периодам в мировой истории искусства: Египет, Античность, Средневековье, Возрождение, искусство Голландии и Фландрии, импрессионизм и модернизм. Мы также хотим рассказать о нашей уникальной коллекции графики, которая редко покидает запасники (японская, английская, немецкая гравюра).

Партнер Академии Пушкинского 

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