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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

God is in the Details: Colour, Design and Meaning in the Lindisfarne Gospels

12th March 2013, 17:30, Pemberton Lecture Theatre PG21, Palace Green , Dr Heather Pulliam, Edinburgh University

This talk investigates the brilliant and varied colours present within the Lindisfarne Gospels, arguing that in addition to representing the splendour of God, the use of colour articulates specific theological meanings.

In so doing, it also considers the many questions that arise when studying medieval colour from the Insular period: To what extent have these colours changed over time? How were colours made and/or acquired in medieval Northumbria? How do we determine what organic and inorganic materials were used? How might the material substance of colour--whether it was created from clay or copper--alter its meaning within the manuscript? Does colour as much as line convey meaning within the Lindisfarne Gospels?

Heather Pulliam earned her doctorate at the University of St Andrews. Her 2006 monograph, Word and Image in the Book of Kells, explored the marginalia and decorated initials of the Book of Kells. In 2007, after several years as a lecturer in the U.S., Heather became a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. She has published on numerous topics ranging from the Lewis Chessmen to Pictish sculpture and the Ruthwell Cross. Heather is currently researching a book-length project that examines the relationship between colour and meaning in the early medieval west, c.600-1000.

The lecture will be followed by a reception and opportunities for further discussion in the Birley Room, Hatfield College.

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