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06 October 2022

Panizzi Lectures – Drawing Conclusions: Diagrams in Medieval Art and Thought

The British Library is delighted to announce the 2022 Panizzi Lecture series which will be given by Jeffrey Hamburger on Drawing Conclusions: Diagrams in Medieval Art and Thought.

Diagrams constitute an omnipresent feature of medieval art and thought. From Antiquity onwards, the forms and procedures of geometric reasoning held a privileged place in the pursuit of truth, the understanding of which remained closely linked to ideals of beauty and perfection.

Drawing on the collections of the British Library, whose holdings provide virtually comprehensive coverage of all ramifications of the diagrammatic tradition, this series of lectures examines the practical, theoretical and aesthetic dimensions of medieval diagrams as matrices of meaning and patterns of thought informing diverse areas of medieval culture.

The lectures will be held in person at the British Library and also live streamed, thanks to the generosity of Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller.

Lecture 1 : 24th October. Maps of the Mind: Diagrams Medieval and Modern.

Lecture 2: 27th October. The Codex in the Classroom: Practical Dimensions of Medieval Diagrams.

Lecture 3: 1st November. Poetry, Play, Persuasion: The Diagrammatic Imagination in Medieval Art and Thought. Followed by a drinks reception.

Booking is free but required for both in person and online attendance.

Medieval cosmological diagram in the shape of a wheel, with labels in blue and red inks
A cosmological diagram, showing the relationships of elements, directions, temperaments and more, dating from the mid-13th century: Harley MS 3814 A, f. 58v

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