Here are the recipes for cakes of all sorts, which seem to have been part of the early celebrations of All Saints and All Souls
Archaeologists have found the remains of a long-haul truck-stop near Peissen in Sachsen –Anhalt on the road between Hannover and Dresden.
2015 a major exhibition on Luther and the Princes will be mounted. The idea behind the exhibition is to tell the story of the political side of the reformation.
The Reformation may have started when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the church-door in Wittenberg in 1517. However, without the backing of the German princes the Reformation would never have taken place. Center of this movement was the small renaissance town, Torgau, where the castle of Hartenfels was home t
o the Duke of Saxony. Here the first protestant church was built (in the chapel of the castle) and here the wife of Luther was buried.
The exhibition is mounted in the castle, which has undergone a series of restorations in the last decade.
The Reformation permanently altered not only the religious landscape of Europe but also its political map. The publication in 1517 of the 95 Theses affected every aspect of life and every section of society. Its impact was due in no small part to the Protestant princes who championed Luther’s teachings. The picturesque Renaissance town of Torgau on the Elbe, with its castle, Schloss Hartenfels, was the political centre of the Reformation. Martin Luther preached here and consecrated the castle chapel as one of the very first new Protestant church buildings. Once the residence of the electors of Saxony, Torgau is the authentic setting for the first national special exhibition to commemorate the Reformation.
On the occasion of the Luther Decade the exhibition connects this historical location with unique objects that illustrate the Reformation period. In an exhibition space measuring more than 1,500 m², it explores various aspects of the political history of the princes and their self-image during the Reformation, extending from 1515, when the plenary indulgence was proclaimed, up to 1591, when the Union of Torgau was formed. Paintings, treasury objects and ornate suits of armour, along with numerous other historical exhibits, provide a vivid impression of the interplay between politics and the Reformation and open a window on the age of confessional division.
The exhibition is organised by the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in cooperation with the “City of Torgau. Federal President of Germany, Joachim Gauck is protector of the exhibition.
Luther and the Princes. The Public Portrayal and Self-Image of Rulers in the Age of Reformation
Torgau 15.05.2015 – 31.05.2015
Christoph of Württenberg – a Renaissance Prince in the Age of the Reformation
Stuttgart, 24.10.2015 – 04.03.2016
2015 Stuttgart celebrates the birth of the renaissance duke, Christoph of Württemberg, who invoked the reformation there.
Cranach the Younger was in his own right a remarkable painter of the reformation. This year a series of exhibitions throws a spotlight on his work.
Cranach the Elder is known as the artist, who through his friendship with Luther turned into the “visualizer” of the reformation. His son, Cranach the Younger, was also a painter. Born in 1515 in Wittenberg he continued the work of his father.
In memory of his birth in 1515 one of the major exhibitions in Germany (one of the so-called “Landes-ausstellungen”) will be mounted by Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen next summer.
It is the first worldwide exhibition, which dedicates itself to the life and work of this painter. The exhibition will open at 7 different original locations: Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Dessau, Wörlitz, Eisenach, Gotha, Weimar and Erfurt. Other places may also be included in the itinerary.
In Wittenberg the exhibition tells the story of the life and work of Lucas Cranach the Younger. It presents him as a facet-rich personality: as prudent head of the family, as city treasurer, intelligent mayor and an energetic entrepreneur. Above all, however, it presents the artist Lucas Cranach as a royal contractor, as painter of reformatory altars and epitaphs, as an excellent portraitist and a highly talented draughtsman. In the years of the confessional conflicts after Luther’s death he made an important contribution for the propagation of the new faith. His societal portraits show how calculated he knew to utilize his pictorial possibilities. Up to his death in 1586 Lucas Cranach the Younger led one of the largest and most productive work of art studios of Europe in Wittenberg. He was a skillful artist who understood his craft and acted in the midst of a large personal and vocational network. Great works of art from German and international collections as well as exciting medial representations convey these connections. They enable the long time overdue discovery of Cranach the Younger as a widely unknown master from Wittenberg. The exhibition is to be seen at the Augusteum, the front building of the Lutherhaus.
Cranach’s Church and the Reformation Altar
Another venue in Wittenberg is the church of St. Mary, which holds numerous original paintings of Lucas Cranach the younger. For the exhibition in “Cranach’s Church”, Cranach’s works of the Town Church St. Marien are extravagantly restored, first of all the well-known Reformation Altar, on which Lucas Cranach the Younger together with his father worked. Further important works are the epitaphs for Johannes Bugenhagen and Paul Eber, the latter better known by his title “Der Weinberg des Herrn” (“The vineyard of the Lord”). The works are considered as particularly important testimony of Reformation history. Additional elucidations and texts complete the exhibition. The Cranach Altar in the church of St. Mary in Wittenberg has recently been restored. The result will be unveiled in Wittenberg on the 31st of October.
Cranach in Anhalt
The city of Dessau was closely connected with the reformation and the Cranach family often visited the town, which lies 35 km. from Wittenberg
With the impressive epitaphs in the Church of St. John, with the famous Dessauer “Fürstenaltar“ (“Princes’ Altar”) and other major works of Cranach the Elder as well as other masterpieces of old German painting and graphics from the Anhalt Art Gallery in Dessau, the exhibition draws a multifaceted image of the background for the art of the younger Cranach.
Cranach in the Gothic House in Wörlitz
Prince Franz of Anhalt-Dessau (1751 – 1817) was an avid collector of the work of both Cranach the Elder and Younger. All in all he acquired 20 works, which will be displayed in accordance with the original hanging scheme.
The Luther Portraits of the Cranach Workshop at Wartburg
Between 1520 and 1546 seven different graphic and painted portrait models of Martin Luther developed in the workshop of Cranach the Elder and Younger.
All these portraits served as both propaganda and documentary and were deliberately used for didactic purposes. The portrait of Luther thereby assumed a substantial function as ambassador for the reformatory program and a complete illustration of his biographical background.
The exhibition presents this typology but is also concerned with the organization of the Wittenberg workshop. Painted and graphic portraits of the monk and reformer were focal points, which were supplemented by portraits of other contemporaries. The exhibition aims to show that the Luther portrait has remained current in contemporary art up to today.
Cranach in Weimar
The focus of the Cranach exhibition in Weimar are the particular rich collection of paintings, designs, prints, graphics, book art and much as well as the unique winged altar in in the church St. Peter and Paul (Herderkirche). Completed in 1555 it represents one of major works of reformatory art. The exhibition especially explores this altar donated to the memory of Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous and Sibylle von Cleve and other works from the Cranach workshop created for the Ernestinian court.
Cranach in the service of the Court and the Reformation in Gotha
Within the decade of Luther the 500th Birthday of Lucas Cranach the Younger provides the opportunity to delve into the early modern period and the beginning of the Reformation. Emphasis of the prodigious special exhibition in the Herzoglichen Museum (Ducal Museum Gotha) will be the official character of the Cranach workshop in the service of the Elector of Saxony and the Reformation. The exhibition explores how political messages of the Ernestinian dynasty and the teachings of Luther were illustrated. The extremely productive Cranach workshop developed new image concepts. By means of top-notch works from international collections the productivity and innovative strength of Cranach family will be demonstrated. An exciting look at an early form of “picture propaganda” that allows a new view of old German painting.
Controversy and Compromise in Erfurt
The museum in Erfurt highlights the pictures in the Erfurter Cathedral, which originated in 1506. In Erfurt a unique dual-confessional culture developed between town councillors and the prince bishop. This lead to a dispute carried out not only through to word and scripture, but also through “images”. The exhibition explores the theological, liturgical and culturally historical background and places them in the context of the emerging reformation.
Lucas Cranach the Younger – Discovery of a Master
Wittenberg 26.06.2015 – 01.11.2015
Lucas Cranach and the Old German Painters
Johannbau in Dessau-Rosslau, 26.06.2015 – 01.11.2015
Cranach in the Gothic House in Wörlitz
Wörlitz, 16.05.2015 – 04.10.2014
The Luther Portraits of the Cranach Workshop
Wartburg 02.04.2015 – 19.07.2015
Controversy and Compromise
Angermuseum Erfurt 16.05.2015 – 23.08.2015
Cranach in the service of the Court and the Reformation
Gotha 20.03.2015 – 19.07.2015
Cranach in Weimar
Schiller Museum 03.04.2015 – 14.06.2015
In connection with the focus on Cranach twelve German cities have come together to develop a Cranach-Route: Kronach, Coburg, Nuremberg, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Dessau-Rosslau, Meissen, Neustadt and der Orla, Gotha, Erfurt, Schneeberg, Eisenach, Weimar.
In connection with the route a booklet has been made available:
In the Footsteps of Cranach. A Journey of Discovery.
Serpent and the Lamb. Cranach, Luther and the Making of the reformation
By Stephen Ozment
Yale University press 2011
The Cranach Digital Archive (cda) is an interdisciplinary collaborative research resource, providing access to art historical, technical and conservation information on paintings by Lucas Cranach (c.1472 – 1553), his sons and his workshop. The repository presently provides information on more than 1,100 paintings including c. 10,400 images and 790 pdf documents from 146 contributing institutions as well as 150 digitized and transcribed archival documents and 2,750 literature references.
Started in 2009 the project is in its second phase (2012 – 2014). In this period the cda aims to expand the existing network, to develop the shared infrastructure and to increase its content in order to build the foundations for an innovative, comprehensive and collaboratively produced repository of knowledge about Lucas Cranach and his workshop that will be significantly different from the traditional model of the single-author catalogue raisonné.
The Cranach Digital Archive is a joint initiative of the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf and Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences / Cologne University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with nine founding partner institutions, 19 associate partners and many project contributors. The project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Cranach.net is the interdisciplinary research-wiki, which functions as a virtual Cranach Institute. The aim is to further research into the work of Lucas Crananch the Elder, his sons and their workshops. Another project is directed towards developing a comprehensive catalogue of their works (Corpus Cranachs).
New exhibition - Popes 2017 - is being planned in Mannheim. The point is to make room for Catholic presence at the reformation festivities 2017.
The Maison de Piasa in Paris announces an auction of a marble head of Jeanne de Bourbon (1338 – 1378), wife of King Charles V
New book tells the full story of the Viking-Age Settlement and Fortress at Aggersborg in Northern Jutland from the reign of Harold Bluetooth
Between 1945 – 52 the National Museum of Denmark carried extensive excavations out at Aggersborg, the largest of the Viking Ring fortresses. Later other explorations were carried out. Unfortunately the reports were never published. For a couple of years a dedicated group of medieval archaeologists from The National Museum of Denmark as well as the University of Århus have worked diligently to amass, complete and rethink this vast material. This spring the group presented not only a report in Danish but also a translation into English of most of the Danish publication. With more than 477 pages the English edition should answer a whole lot of those questions posed by archaeologists and historians without proficiency in the “Danish Tongue” (as the Vikings used to call their language).
It is of course a complicated book to review: dense and knowledgeable it presents us with a very detailed overview of not only the location and the history of the pre-fortress settlement and the fortress itself but also a catalogue of the finds, the zoological finds plus not least the view of the editors on the purpose of the fortress.
The fortress was probably the earliest of the ring-fortresses built between AD 970 and 980 (the fifth, the most recent, is still awaiting a proper dating). It overlaid an earlier settlement consisting of an impressive amount of sunken huts connected with a couple of large farms. Perhaps it was already a royal manor at the time when the fortress was constructed on a morainic island sloping down to the Firth of Lime (Limfjorden) between the later church to the North and the medieval manor (to the South). Even though it was abandoned very quickly (20-30 years after its construction) it continued to be prominent in the landscape. Today the rampart, the ditch and the axial streets between the four gateways of the fortress can be seen in the landscape marked out for the visitor by stones. Visiting the site even today, It is evident that it occupied a strategic location controlling the traffic of ships from Norway (entering through a channel from the North) as well as ships passing through the firth (which was at that point not a firth proper, but a belt or strait of narrow water connecting The North Sea and Kattegat. Visually it would have been possible to see bonfires lit as warning from afar (p. 24).
Aggersborg was laid out within a rampart enclosing a circular area covering approximately 240m in diameter. The rampart was laced with timer and fitted with four impressive gateways, from which four axial timber-paved roads divided the circle into four quadrants. Each of these quadrants held a group of four timber-houses of the Trelleborg Type positioned symmetrically around a courtyard. All-in-all the fortress contained 48 identical timber-houses. Excavations have yielded an elaborate number of archaeological finds – pottery, jewellery, tools etc. demonstrating that the site was inhabited while in use.
As to the current understanding of the fortress the primary investigators have obviously struggled to make proper sense of not only Aggersborg, but also the other ring-fortresses belonging to the military system, of which they were obviously a part (witness their design).
It appears, though, that the current most plausible theory is that the ring-fortresses were erected as part of a defensive system developed in view of the the militant aggressions of the German emperors Otto I and II and the new forms of warfare developed in the 10th century, characterised by wintering armies. In view of this Harold Blutooth not only strengthened the border at Dannewerck near Haithabu, but also built the ring fortresses as inland defensive structures, where dues and taxes could be collected, stashed and defended. But it also explains why they were abandoned soon after. In AD 983 Otto II died and left his reign in the hands of a three-year old boy. Until 994 his mother and later his grandmother were busy defending the boy from a Bavarian rebellion as well as the incursion of Slavs across the Eastern border. When at the age of sixteen, Otto III took over the reign, he marched to Rome in order to claim the titles as both King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor. During this power vacuum the son of Harold, Sweyn Forkbeard was able to mount his consistent raids on England, which ended in the final conquest in AD 1013. During this period the need to maintain the costly defensive ring fortresses seemingly disappeared. After the year 1000 they were history. (see p. 393 ff). We know that Sweyn revolted against his father post 983. Perhaps the fight between father and son was about where to allocate the military resources of the realm – for defense against a German aggressor or as investment in a major conquest?
The present report is obviously directed at specialists. Nevertheless it is very interesting as it makes not only Aggersborg but in fact the context of all the impressive ring-fortresses accessible to an English-speaking public. This is not least pertinent in view of the present endeavours to seek World Heritage Status for the ring-fortress at Trelleborg as well as a number of other Viking sites and monuments.
It is to be hoped that the editors and authors of the volume will consider a smaller publication presenting all the fortresses and their monumental context in Jelling as well as near Haithabu in Schleswig.
Aggersborg. The Viking-Settlement and Fortress.
By Else Roesdahl, Søren M. Sindbæk, Anne Pedersen and David M. Wilson
Jutland Archaeological Society
Århus University Press 2014
The Ring Fortresses of Harold Bluetooth represent a remarkable engineering feat of 10th century Scandinavia. New book presents the latest research
Trelleborg, Aggersborg, Fyrkat, Nonnebakken and now Vallø are five of the most intriguing witnesses to the grandeur of the Royal project of Harold Blutooth.
Although they differ slightly in terms of size and the type of fortifications (some were fitted with moats, others not), it is obvious the circular fortresses were all built to the same specifications around AD 970 to 80. It is immediately obvious that the individual fortresses functioned as parts of a larger military system. However, the exact character of this military complex and its function (s) has been heavily debated for a long time. Were they defensive structures? Meant as ports for ships going on state-sanctioned Viking raids? Or were they perhaps regarded as ready camps for fugitives?
One of the challenges in answering these questions, is that there is in fact a lot to be learned from further excavations in and around the fortresses. Some of these are being withheld as part of the general opinion among archaeologists that it pays of to let future and more clever archaeologists do the work. Other explorations have simply not been carried out as yet.
Between 2007 – 10 a specific set of questions were raised and a number of archaeological explorations were undertaken in order to answer these. The overall question was whether it had been possible to sail up to the fortresses and to what extent this had played a part in their location.
Recently the finds from this campaign were published in a report. The overall conclusion was that yes, the fortresses had been built in close connection with central transport routes running through the landscape and that they especially had access to the central water ways of that time. Whether located on the open coast as Aggersborg or on rivers like Fyrkat and Trelleborg, it was definitely possible to sail up through the waterlogged foreland and marshy wetland. However, only at one of the fortresses (Trelleborg) has it been possible to find remains of actual handling of Viking ships. The investigation concludes by pointing to the fact that actual shipyards might have been located even further inland, where sourcing of tree was simply easier.
The results of the excavations and explorations from 2017 – 2010 were recently published. Although in Danish, there is a very extensive English summary and anyone especially interested in the warfare of the Vikings should try and lay their hands on it.
Kongens Borge [The Fortresses of the King]
Rapport over undersøgelserne 2007-2010
By Andres Siegfried Dobat (ed)
Århus University Press 2013
ISBN 978 87 888415 76 6
Fascinating new book by Anders Winroth introduces the reader to an updated version of The Age of the Vikings
The Medieval Court of Llys Rhosyr to be rebuilt at St. Fagans
Reconstruction of the medieval court of the princes of Gwynedd, excavated a decade ago, has begun at St. Fagans, the National Museum in Wales.
In 1992 the archaeologist Neil Johnstone discovered the remains of Llys Rhosyr, one of the royal courts of llywelin Fawr, prince of Gwynedd in the 13th century. It was located in the South West of isle of Anglesey near Newborough on the way to Llanddwyn island.
The Llys Rhosur was one of the royal courts, through which the princes ruled when in residence. These ‘Llys’ were placed at regular interval in the Welsh Kingdom, each covering an administrative region, called a ‘commotes’. Llys Rhosyr was at the heart of the ‘Menai Commote’.
After king Edward I’s conquest in 1282, Rhosyr was largely abandoned. Perhaps stones and timber was removed from the dismantled court and used in his large castles. Later in 1332 the area became covered by sand-dunes, where it lay undisturbed until it was discovered in 1992.
The site has since then been partially excavated, revealing the remains of the main hall and a building believed to have housed the private apartment of the prince. The site has also yielded a number of finds like coins, pottery and other small artefacts. Much of this is exhibited at the local museum in the Prichard-Jones Institue in the nearby village.
The royal court occupied 1.3 acres, while the royal demesne is believed to have extended over the 600 acres, on which the new town of Newborough was established after the conquest. The prince’s tenants worked the land, while other peasants were responsible for the repair and maintenance of the royal buildings: the fence, the hall, the chapel and the lord’s privy and stable. These and other buildings (kilns, barns etc.) were outlined in the Welsh laws as the responsibility of the local peasants to keep and repair. Fair and markets were of course part of the regular on-goings at the Llysoedd
Although more than ¾ of the site is still waiting to be excavated it has recently been decided to spend funding on a reconstruction in the National Museum of Wales.
Reconstruction at St. Fagans
The complete court cannot be replicated without damage to the adjoining woodland so it is proposed that the main hall and adjacent chamber with only part of the surrounding wall should be constructed. These comprise replicas in rubble walling bonded with clay beneath thatched roofs. The hall will have a footprint 11m x 17m and the chamber 7.5m x 13m. With 9 meters high stone walls and a thatched timber roof, the building of the court will provide apprenticeships and trainee placements within the Historic Buildings Unit.
After the reconstruction the plan is to use the buildings for overnight stays so children may improve their understanding of medieval life.
The project feeds into the overall plan of Cadw (the Welsh Government’s historic environment service to focus on the Princes of Gwynedd and the places associated with that medieval dynasty as part of a development of the “ Wales Heritage project”.
Cae llys, Rhosyr: A Court of the Princes of Gwynedd
By Neil Johnstone
In: Studia Celtica 2000, Vol. 33, pp. 251 – 295
A Brief Report on Pen y Bryn and Aber Llys and castles of Gwynedd
By Paul Martin Remfry
Castle Studies Research and Publishing 2012
Political Power in Medieval Gwynedd. Governance and the Welsh Princes
By David Stephenson
Series: Studies in Welsh History
2014, 2. edition (1984)
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd: Prince of Wales
By Beverley Smith
University of Wales Press; 2014 New edition (2001)
The medieval 'Maison des Chevaliers de Pont-Saint-Esprit' boast of a remarkable painted ceiling
The small French village, Lagrasse, can boast of a remarkable treasure of medieval painted ceilings
Capestang is a sleepy village not far from Narbonne in Southern France. In the Middle Ages it belonged to the Archbishops in Narbonne.
Painted ceilings became all the fashion in the later Middle Ages in Le Midi reaching from Catalonia to Northern Italy
In the later Middle Ages in Le Midi it became fashionable to lower the ceilings of the great halls in palaces by installing wooden ceilings constructed with wooden beams. Usually these beams were painted in glorious colours. Often the top of the wall was at the same time painted with a frieze – as in Palazzo Davanzati in Florence – or painted wooden boards were installed as part of the decoration, as in the Stag Room in the Papal Palace in Avignon – .
However, these examples represent no more than a gentle sounding board for the real treasures still found in public and private medieval houses in Le Midi (and further North). For more than a decade a group of dedicated art historians, archaeologists, architects and conservators /have worked to uncover and present this iconographic heritage, which gives an extremely important glimpse into the daily life of merchants, prelates and craftsmen from the 14th and especially 15th century.
One challenge here is that the ceilings are to be found in private homes. Many are not even known to the owners themselves as the painted celings still live a hidden life behind the white or stuccoed ceilings installed when that became fashionable. A third challenge is that French Law does not protect any old medieval house nor these precious pieces of art. Owners have been known to simply pry the painted boards from the ceilings and sell them on Ebay. Accordingly much work remains to be done, as is shown be a preliminary overview, which was published in 2011. Here 28 locations are presented in detail accompanied by sumptuous photos. The generosity of the group of academics should be complimented!
One of the places, where the public may fully enjoy the vibrant colours and funny vignettes is in the archiepiscopal palace in Capastang near Narbonne. Another place is the small village, Lagrasse, where the group has its organisational headquarters and where an exhibition recently opened in the ancient presbytery, telling the story of the painted ceilings. A third place is the La Maison des Chevaliers de Pont-Saint-Esprit in Nimes, where it is also possible to get a feeling for the late-medieval elite contexts of these painted treasures.
At the same time a new video has been released by the CNRS in Paris, which tells the story in detail about some recently uncovered wooden paintings in Lagrasse and elsewhere.
The main introduction to the “Plafonds peints médiévaux” – the medieval painted ceilings – can be found in a publication from 2011, which may be downloaded from the website of RCPPM or requested by post from DRAC du Languedoc-Roussillon (5 rue de la Salle L’évêque, Montpellier) or from “RCPPM: email@example.com (Post will be charged):
Images oubliées du Moyen Age. Les plafonds peints du Languedoc-Roussillon
Montpellier, DRAC, 2011
Another publication of interest may also be downloaded from the website:
Plafonds peints médiévaux en Languedoc, Actes du colloques de Capestang, Narbonne, Lagrasse, 21-23 février 2008
Études réunies par Monique Bourin et Philippe Bernardi.
Presses Universitaires de Perpignan, Perpignan, 2009, 249 p, 110 illustrations.
From 1093 - 1286 Scotland became a nation, fully recognized by the rest of Europe. This book offers new perspectives on the role of literacy and the growing institutions of Medieval Scotland