Re-inventing traditions -featured photo

Artistic Patterns in Late Medieval Manuscripts

Medieval Artists worked with artistic patterns, which were continuously collected and transmitted. In 2012 a major conference focused on the phenomena. The transactions were recently published

Re-Inventing Traditions. On the Transmission of Artistic Patterns in Late Medieval Manuscript Illumination
Ed. by Joris Corin Heyder and Christine Seidel
Series: Zivilisationen & Geschichte / Civilizations & History / Civilisations & Histoire – Volume 34
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang 2015
ISBN 978-3-631-65907-6 hb.


The volume comprises 16 papers given at the conference Re-Inventing Traditions held in Berlin in 2012. It negotiates the question of the transmission of artistic patterns in late medieval manuscript illumination. The model as such is often regarded as a mere working tool but recently the conditions of its creation and transformation have been discovered as a field of research. Among the central themes of these essays are textual tradition, workshop methods and the development and changeability of artistic models throughout different media and in various European regions.


  • Re-inventing Traditions coverJoris C. Heyder: Re-Inventing Traditions? Preliminary thoughts on the transmission of artistic patterns in late medieval manuscript illumination
  • Bertrand Cosnet : La transmission de l’iconographie des vertus dans les manuscrits italiens du 14e siècle: la réinvention de la Somme le roi
  • Sandrine Pagenot : La transmission du cycle enluminé d’un traité didactique de 1379 à la fin du XVe siècle : le Livre des deduis de Henri de Ferrières
  • Nataša Kavčič: Manuscript and Charter Decoration: The Transmission of Artistic Patterns
  • Gemma Avenoza Vera/Marion Coderch : La reproduction des modèles dans des manuscrits hispaniques du XVe siècle
  • Maria Ferroni: Sano di Pietro and the «Illustrated Initial»
  • Katja Monier : O sainct Gond tu as merité : le cas d’un saint oublié
  • Samuel Gras: The Master of Jeanne de France, duchesse de Bourbon: a bridge between Jean Fouquet and the artists in the Jouvenel Group
  • Nicholas Herman: Fouquet redivivus: Migrant Motifs in Tours, 1480-1520
  • Elizabeth L’Estrange: Beyond the 1520s: A Bellemare Workshop Manuscript in Liège (MS Wittert 29)
  • Frédéric Elsig : Itinéraire artistique et polyvalence technique : le cas d’Antoine de Lonhy – Valérie Guéant : Les modèles romains d’un enlumineur curial du Quattrocento
  • Marion Heisterberg: Exemplary martyrdoms – lost examples. Some theses on the miniatures in the so-called «martyrology» in the Cini Foundation and three related copy drawings
  • Natasa Golob: Floral Borders: Some comparative aspects
  • Laurence Rivière Ciavaldini : De la pierre au parchemin : le livre d’heures de Lodewijk van Boghem et le monastère royal de Brou
  • Brigitte Roux : Du multiple à l’unique : le cas du livre d’heures de Philibert de Viry (Genève, BGE, lat. 367).


Joris Corin Heyder holds a scholarship of the Gerda Henkel Foundation and works on his PhD at the Freie Universität Berlin.
Christine Seidel got her PhD at the Freie Universität Berlin and was Silvia Foundation Interdisciplinary Fellow at the Alan B. Slifka Foundation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.


The specific rendering of the motive “Mary and Joseph at the Inn”, has been found in at least 8 different versions in illuminated Late Medieval manuscripts from Flanders. The two here stem from

1) Mayer van den Bergh Brevier, Maximilian Master ca. 1500 – 1510. Antwerpen Museum, Mayer van den Bergh, inv. 946, fol. 158v
2) Vostre Demeure Hours. Close associate of the Vienna Master of Mary of Burgundy ca. 1470 – 1473. Madrid, BN MS Vitr. 25-5

The specific motive is discussed in:

Corporate Design Made in Ghent-Bruges? On the Extensive Reuse of Patterns in Late Medieval Flemish Illuminated Manuscripts
By Joris Corin Heyder
From: The Use of Models in Medieval Book Painting. Ed. By Monica E. Müller, Cambridge University Press 2014 pp. 167 – 202