Join Dr. Elina Gertsman, Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University, for a presentation on blank space in medieval manuscript illuminations and the importance of the parchment they are painted on. Nature, medieval philosophers exclaimed in an unsteady chorus, abhors a vacuum. The fear of empty space is often construed as a definitive feature of Gothic material culture in its many manifestations. This talk will explore complex conversations among philosophy, physics, mathematics, piety, and image-making in order to suggest that late medieval art, in its constant attempts to grapple with the unrepresentability of the invisible, is in fact predicated on new engagements with emptiness.
This program is made possible, in part, by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.