Image in Iberia and the Medieval West ca. 700-1080: an Intellectual History
Ana's project investigates attitudes towards religious images in Iberia, ca. 700-1080, within the broader intellectual and cultural panorama of the early medieval West and the Mediterranean world.
The creation and use of images, and engagement with them, were the subject of continuous debate not only by Eastern and Western theologians but also by secular rulers, who sought to validate these practices within the Christian Church while preserving orthodoxy. One of the earliest attested discussions was held in Iberia ca. 300-6, yet subsequent approaches to sacred images remain unexplored due to the scarcity of written records.
This project explores how, and to what extent, Iberia responded to theological and intellectual debate about visual art in the early Middle Ages. It will take a completely new approach by assessing these questions through a methodology centred on the study of Iberian visual culture. It considers how ideas about images formed and transformed over the centuries, and how the unique multi-confessional environment of the peninsula influenced Christian perceptions of art.
In doing so, this study will deepen our understanding of early Christian practice and thought, while also furthering our knowledge of how they shaped modern Western approaches to visual expression.