Event—Scholarly Seminars

Grażyna Jurkowlaniec, University of Warsaw, and James Wehn, Chazen Museum of Art


Impious doubts and doubtful pieties: Iconography, hagiography and the graphic arts in the late fifteenth to early seventeenth centuries, Grażyna Jurkowlaniec

First testified in a late fifteenth century woodcut, the motif a person kneeling between the crucifix and the nursing Virgin was usually attributed to Augustine of Hippo, although it cannot be found in his writings or in his early Vitae. Nonetheless, the formula was widely disseminated in the sixteenth-early seventeenth centuries, when it was also referred to other persons and provoked various controversies among the Protestants, and also within the Catholic Church. The paper will investigate into the role of the printed images in the origins of this iconography and in shaping various patterns of its reception.

The Maker’s Image: Israhel van Meckenem and the Market for Devotional Engravings, James Wehn

Israhel van Meckenem was the first Northern European printmaker to experiment broadly with his identity, regularly inscribing his engravings with his first name. Through an exploration of Meckenem’s enigmatic print Ornamental with the Engraver’s Name, this paper investigates his use of the trademark ‘Israhel’ on devotional prints, where it could evoke theological connotations, including Augustine’s understanding of the Old Testament name ‘Israel’ as a promise of an eternal vision of God in paradise. This heretofore unexamined reading of Meckenem’s signature offers insights into the intertwined development of artist identity and the print market during the late fifteenth century.