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Beastly Imagery in the Medieval World

Sunday, May 19, 2019
Dodd Hall 248,

CMRS/Getty Conference

This symposium (held in conjunction with the exhibition Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World at the J. Paul Getty Museum May 14-August 18, 2019) highlights new research on animals in medieval visual culture. The focus of the exhibition is the bestiary, perhaps the most important source of information about animals in the period. The animal stories and images contained within the bestiary served as inspiration for public sermons, daily reading for the religious, and entertainment by the nobility, thereby exerting a powerful influence over the understanding and interpretation of animals in the medieval world.

This symposium complements and expands this focus by exploring the influential role of animal imagery in a wide variety of media. Speakers will address how bestiary iconography was mobilized for usage in other media, the specific social and cultural contexts in which animal imagery was produced/viewed, and human relationships to the animal world.

Organized by the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies and ­ The J. Paul Getty Museum.

SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2019
9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30 Welcoming Remarks by the Organizers:
Meredith Cohen (UCLA)
Elizabeth Morrison (The J. Paul Getty Museum)
Session 1 – Chair: Meredith Cohen (UCLA)
9:45 Xavier Dectot (National Museums Scotland)
“Beyond the Bestiary: The Unicorn in 13th-century Natural History”
10:10 Madeline Caviness (Tufts University)
“Beasts on the Farm and in the Forest in Medieval Saxony: Legal Possession, Control, and Compensation for Loss”
10:35 Questions
11:00 Break
Session 2 – Chair: Larisa Grollemond (The J. Paul Getty Museum)
11:30 Kirk Ambrose (University of Colorado, Boulder)
“A Camel on the Fjord: The Capitals of Urnes”
11:55 Christian Heck (Université de Lille)
“A Bestiary for Lay People: The Animal in the Miniatures of the Ci nous dit of Chantilly (c. 1340)”
12:20 Xenia Muratova (Emerita Université Rennes 2)
La parole et la peinture: Story of the Miniature Cycle of Richard de Fournival’s Bestiary of Love
12:45 Questions
1:15 Lunch break and travel to the Getty Museum (on your own) to view the exhibition Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World.
Session 3
The Getty Center,  Harold Williams Auditorium
4:00 Christopher de Hamel (Emeritus Corpus Christi College, Cambridge)
“Medieval Bestiaries and their Original Purpose”


Sunday, May 19, 2019


Dodd Hall 248


View Organizer Website