French Visiting Scholar Lecture Series: Anne-Orange Poilpré (Professor of Medieval Art History, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University)

When and Where

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
The Faculty Club
41 Willcocks Street, Toronto, ON


Prof. Anne-Orange Poilpré (Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University)


The Department of Art History is pleased to present the next installment of our French Visiting Scholar Lecture Series, featuring Prof. Anne-Orange Poilpré of the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

"Re-composing biblical time with images in Carolingian Bibles"
When: Tuesday, Feburary 27th, 2024 - 4:30pm
Where: The Faculty Club, University of Toronto

Reception and drinks will follow - all are welcome!


The one-volume Bibles illuminated from the 840s onwards in the Carolingian Empire contain an inexhaustible wealth of visual material, in terms of the depiction of Biblical stories. These lavish, scholarly manuscripts bear witness to the Carolingians' highly intellectual approach to images, and can be compared, in their visual and textual economy, to three-dimensional monuments. The complex interplay between text and images, as well as the decoration in general, call for subtle correspondences that act as commentaries on the text. All of which suggests visual and mnemonic peregrinations akin to those of monumental, three-dimensional ecclesiastical buildings.

In this way, the notion of pictorial space is combined with the concept of time: a time inherent in the completion of visual and textual journey(s). Superimposed on this first temporal scheme is that of the textual content of these manuscripts, which conceal sacred history. The decorative and figurative program is designed to highlight a rhythm that results in a re-composition of the entire biblical narrative content, guided by two ideas: the possibility or impossibility of seeing God, and the major importance of the book as an earthly medium for accessing the divine message.


Anne-Orange Poilpré is Professor of Medieval Art History at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University. Her work focuses on biblical images in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages, with special interest in manuscripts, ecclesiastical space, and cult objects. She co-directed the scientific program Imago-Eikon. Regards croisés sur l'image chrétienne entre Orient et Occident, with Sulamith Brodbeck (2015-2020). She published a first personal book in 2005 : Maiestas Domini. Une image de l'Église en Occident (IVe-IXe siècle), Paris, Editions du Cerf. A second is about to be released (in 2024): Histoires du Christ en images. Evangiles latins (VIe-XIe siècle), Presses Universitaires de Rennes, result of a 4 years research program about narrativity in Christian medieval images. On this topic, a collective book has already been issued, co-edited with Ioanna Rapti : Histoires chrétiennes en images : espace, temps et structure de la narration. Byzance et Moyen Age occidental, Paris, Editions de la Sorbonne, 2022.

French Visiting Lecture Feb 24 Poster AOP