Rebekah Pratt: Postcolonialism and Chivalric Identity in the Frescoes of Runkelstein Castle

Join us in Glasgow for the Association of Art Historian’s 36th annual conference, from the 15th to the 17th of April, 2010. On Saturday 17th, Postcolonising the Medieval Image will be convening Medieval Art/Postcolonial Questions, including the following paper:

Rebekah Pratt (Arizona State University)

Postcolonialism and Chivalric Identity in the Frescoes of Runkelstein Castle

Decorated with images of caged exotic and domestic animals, the vibrant fourteenth-century frescoes of Runkelstein Castle in Bolzano, Italy demonstrate how the construction of chivalric identity was partially established by its relationship to both a physical, geographical East (comprising the Middle East, Africa and Asia) and the imagined places of popular medieval romances. The wall paintings link the patron, Niklaus Vintler, with an important part of chivalric culture, the conquering and control of the East both in reality and fantasy.  Postcolonial theories illuminate both the purposes for commissioning such images and their reception by medieval aristocratic audiences.