CONF Sep 27, 2019

Ornamenta Sacra (Brussels/Leuven, 24-26 Oct 2019)

Brussels / Leuven (BE), Oct 24–26, 2019

wendy wauters

Ornamenta Sacra. Late Medieval and Early Modern Liturgical Objects in a European Context (1400-1800)

We are pleased to invite you to "Ornamenta Sacra. Late Medieval and Early Modern Liturgical Objects in a European Context (1400-1800)" on 24-25-26 October in Brussels and Leuven. The symposium is organised in the framework of a Brain-Belspo funded project, led by Ralph Dekoninck (GEMCA, UCLouvain), Barbara Baert (IRG/Illuminare, KU Leuven) and Marie-Christine Claes (KIK-IRPA).
You can confirm your participation by registering on

The symposium is dedicated to the iconological and anthropological study of late medieval and early modern liturgical objects (1400-1800), once known as ornamenta sacra. This notion encompasses a wide range of objects made of various materials and techniques (such as chalices, censers and chasubles) which are not only essential for the rites, but also hold a central position in the religious artistic production of the past. Yet, a large portion of recent studies related to the connections between art and liturgy mainly focuses on paintings and sculptures, leaving aside other cult objects. The few studies that take these ritual instruments into account, are primarily devoted to the middle ages. The late middle ages and the early modern period have attracted far less attention, whereas liturgy underwent profound transformations. Although studies limited to certain collections or types of objects are available, we are still in need of a broader analysis instigated by recent methodological trends in historical anthropology and iconology, which have renewed our understanding of images and art objects. We have therefore invited an international group of scholars, experts in their fields and specialized in exactly these methodologies. As a result, the symposium will contribute to this broader analysis and will offer new insights on the material dimension of objects, the place of works of art within a network of relationships, the history of senses and the sensible, and the way in which ornamentation affects meaning.

24-25.10.2019, KIK-IRPA, Jubelpark/Parc du Cinquantenaire 1, 1000 Brussels
26.10.2019, KU Leuven - Erasmus building ( Justus Lipsiuszaal, 8th floor), Blijde Inkomststraat 21, 3000 Leuven

Thursday 24 October 2019
KIK-IRPA • Brussels

09:30 Welcome with coffee and tea

09:50 Welcome Speech: Hilde De Clercq (dir. KIK-IRPA) & Georges Jamart (Belspo)

10:00 Introduction: Ralph Dekoninck (UCLouvain), Barbara Baert (KU Leuven) & Marie-Christine Claes (KIK-IRPA)

10:30 Eric Palazzo (Université de Poitiers), Le Christ énergétique, la spirale et la monstrance

11:00 Discussion

11:20 Coffee break

11:40 Frédéric Tixier (Université de Lorraine), Voir et entendre ou entendre et voir? Les objets liturgiques en procession (XIIIe-XVIIe s.)

12:10 Discussion

12:30 Lunch

14:00 Cynthia Hahn (Hunter College and Graduate Center CUNY, New York), Reliquaries as Mediation in Liturgy and Ecclesiastical Space

14:30 Frédéric Cousinié (Université de Rouen-Normandie) and Alysée Le Druillenec (Université Paris 1 Sorbonne-Panthéon), Objets de dévotions: figures de la liaison au divin

15:00 Michele Bacci (Université de Fribourg), Western Liturgical Vessels and the Byzantine Rite in the Late Middle Ages

15:30 Discussion

15:50 Coffee break

16:10 Sébastien Bontemps (Ecole du Louvre, Université de Bourgogne), Le trophée d’église: système décoratif et illustration de la liturgie en France au XVIIIe siècle

16:40 Caroline Heering (UCLouvain), Ornamenta Sacra: De l’ornement des objets aux objets comme ornements

17:10 Discussion

Friday 25 October 2019
KIK-IRPA • Brussels

09:00 Welcome with coffee and tea

09:30 Herman Roodenburg (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Meertens Instituut), The Eucharist and not so sensuous worship: shedding tears among the Modern Devout

10:00 Anne-Laure Van Bruaene (Universiteit Gent), Viglius’s mitre. Clerical self-fashioning in sixteenth-century Ghent

10:30: Discussion

10:50 Coffee break

11:10 Anne-Clothilde Dumargne (Université de Versailles, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines), Ornamenta ou ministeria? Statut et fonction des chandeliers en alliages de cuivre dans l’espace ecclésial de la fin du Moyen Âge à l’époque moderne

11:40 Wendy Wauters (KU Leuven), Smellscapes and Censers: Strategies behind their Ritual Use and Iconographic Meaning

12:10 Discussion

12:30 Lunch

14:00 Marie Lezowski (Université d’Angers), Le corps du délit: les objets liturgiques volés dans les sources inquisitoriales (Italie, XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles)

14:30 Emmanuel Joly (KIK-IRPA), Financer et entretenir les ornements liturgiques. Le cas des paroisses rurales du diocèse de Liège (1400-1700)

15:00 Discussion

15:20 Coffee break

15:40 Soetkin Vanhauwaert (KU Leuven), Worthy of imitation. The Holy Sacrament and the relic cult of the Forerunner in Mechelen

16:10 Anne Lepoittevin (Université Paris-Sorbonne), Les Agnus Dei en cire: des objets de culte?

16:40 Nicole Pellegrin (CNRS-ENS, Paris), Chapes en Révolution. Quelques traces d’abandons, destructions, réemplois et mutations (France, 1790-1820)

17:10 Discussion

Saturday 26 October 2019
KU Leuven • Leuven

09:00 Welcome with coffee and tea

09:30 Ethan Matt Kavaler (University of Toronto), The Netherlandish Carved Altarpiece as Miniature

10:00 Kamil Kopania (The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art, Warsaw), Animated Sculptures of the Crucified Christ in Context of Liturgical Space, Objects and Gestures

10:30 Discussion

10:50 Coffee break

11:10 Ruben Suykerbuyk (Universiteit Gent), The Ritual Use of Memoria Monuments in the Low Countries (c. 1520-1585)

11:40 Charles Caspers (Titus Brandsma Instituut, Nijmegen), Wax and the Ghent Altarpiece. A new interpretation

12:10 Discussion and concluding remarks

12:30 Lunch

14:30 Visit to the exhibition Borman and Sons in Museum M – Leuven.

CONF: Ornamenta Sacra (Brussels/Leuven, 24-26 Oct 2019). In:, Sep 27, 2019 (accessed May 12, 2021), <>.