Exhibition in Rome: “La nave dei folli” by Patrizia Comand (until November 12th 2017)

The exhibition “La nave dei folli” (2013-2014) by Patrizia Comand, is inspired by the famous satyrical work “Das Narrenshiff” by Sebastian Brant (1494). The works will be shown at Palazzo Cipolla in Rome until November 12th 2017. A good opportunity to admire a contemporary interpretation of a work that has strongly influenced the iconography of justice over the centuries.

More information HERE.

CONFERENCE: The Art of Law (Bruges, Groeningemuseum, 16-18 Jan 2017)

conference-the-art-of-law

The Art of Law: Artistic Representations and Iconography of Law & Justice in Context from the Middle Ages to the First World War

In Bruges (Belgium), at the occasion of the art exhibition De Kunst van het Recht, an international conference on the topic of legal iconography is being organized at the Groeningemuseum on 16, 17 and 18 January 2017. The Bruges conference has multiple links to our Law and the Humanities courses. Amongst the organizers are two former teachers within the Rome Law and the Humanities program: professor Georges Martyn and PhD fellow Stefan Huygebaert, both from Ghent University. The conference’s Key Note Speaker will be dr. Carolin Behrmann, who is leading the Minerva Research Group The Nomos of Images at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (Max-Planck-Institut). Several speakers at the Bruges conference have been fellows within this Nomos of Images research group. One of them, Felix Jäger, was the Law and the Visual teacher in our Law and the Humanities course in 2015.

 

An introduction on the conference as well as the final program, registration and practical details can be found on the conference websitetaolconference.wordpress.com

29-30 November and 1st December 2016: Stefania Gialdroni on Law and Architecture

stefania-con-comitato-luglio-2015Abstract:

“Rome was not the world of religion, of abstract sciences, of literature, of fine arts, because in all those fields other people could defeat it; Rome was the world of law. For law, Romans had a historical vocation, deriving from their intellectual genius, from their moral virtue, from their character, from the force and the persistency of will”. These words, pronounced by the Italian Minister of Justice Giuseppe Zanardelli during the foundation laying ceremony of the Palace of Justice (now seat of the Supreme Court of Cassation) in 1889, summarize his ideological program: to make the law one of the cornerstones of unified Italy (1861) with Rome, and especially its glorious and lay legal tradition, as its geographical as well as ideological center. During his long service as Minister of Justice, Zanardelli demonstrated his faith in law as a tool for unifying territories and people realizing two great works: the first Italian Criminal Code and the Palace of Justice

Lesson 1: The politicization of the landscape of Roma Capitale

Lesson 2: The iconography of the Italian Supreme Court

Lesson 3 (Thursday): Visit to the Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione): meeting at Piazza dei Tribunali, 10:00 am

Dear students,

the visit to the Supreme Court on Thursday December 1st is considered as a lesson.  It includes the access to the Aula Massima and constitutes therefore a unique opportunity to explore one of the most important symbols of justice in Italy. You are therefore kindly invitated to participate!

Reading:

Terry Rossi Kirk, The Politicization of the Landscape of Roma Capitale and the Symbolic Role of the Palazzo di Giustizia, in “Mélanges de l’Ecole française de Rome: Italie et Méditerranée”, 109.1 (2006), pp. 89-114.

22-23-24 November 2016: Stefan Huygebaert on “The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted”

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Topic:

In the fall of 2016, the Law and Iconography classes in the Roma Tre Law and the Humanities course will be entirely devoted to The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted (De Kunst van het Recht: Drie eeuwen Gerechtigheid in Beeld), an art exhibition which opened at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges, Belgium on 28 October, 2016 and will run until 5 February 2017.

We will take a virtual tour through the exhibition, following its structure from the Last Judgement as a key image in late-medieval court rooms, past other so called exempla iustitiae, inspiring images for judges, and a focus on the gruesome story of the Judgement of Cambyses, a depiction of which is one of the Groeningemuseum’s most famous art works. Following the rooms about the execution of justice in the late-medieval and early-modern cities, with abuses of law and long forgotten kinds of punishment, the class will focus on the omnipresent yet intriguing image of Lady Justice, to whom the last exhibition room is devoted. While we will work primarily with art works that are featured in the exhibition, the virtual tour and auditorium format allows us to make short excursions to Italian examples, or to those art works that simply could not be moved to the museum, either because they are an inherent part of a building, or because their seize simply does not fit the museum’s exhibition space.

Key topics that will be discussed are the close link between legal history and religion; the legitimation of judicial power through art; and the function and consequences of iconic legal imagery.

Readings:

  1. Martyn, Divine Judgement, Worldly Justice, in: Huygebaert, S., Martyn, G., Paumen, V., Van Poucke, T., The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted[exhibition catalogue], Tielt: Lannoo, 2016.
  1. Kemp, From Christ to Coke: How Images become IconsOxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. (Introduction)
  1. Moore, A., & Lloyd, D. (1988). V for Vendetta: Vertigo. (specifically chapter five, pages 37-45, the first 37 pages are optional)

Bio:

Stefan Huygebaert is an Art Historian (Ghent University, 2011). Since October 2012, he is preparing a PhD thesis at Ghent University, Department of History/Institute for Legal History, titled Visual idea(l)s of Law & Justice. This PhD research questions both the national character as well as the continuity and change of the visual language of law & justice in the Southern low countries and Belgium during the long nineteenth century. Since October 2015, he is a Flanders Research Fund (FWO) PhD fellow. In 2014-2015, Stefan was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, within the Minerva Research Group The Nomos of Images. Manifestation and Iconology of Law. He has published on legal and constitutional iconography and iconology, artistic revivalism and nineteenth-century art. Recently, he co-edited the exhibition catalogue The Art of Law: Three Centuries of Justice Depicted (Groeningemuseum (Bruges, Belgium) 28-10-16 – 05-02-17).

 

13-14-15 April: Stefan Huygebaert on Law and Iconography

Dear all,

next classes will be devoted to legal iconography and the first class will deal with one of the most beloved topics of the “Law and the Humanities” course: the iconography of Lady Justice! Here a detailed description:

Legal iconography: an introduction

Stefan Huygebaert, Ghent University

Willem Jacobsz. Delff, Robert de Baudous, Maria Strick-Becq, Justice before the judgement of Zaleucus and Cambyses, ca 1600 (detail), Rijksmuseum

Willem Jacobsz. Delff, Robert de Baudous, Maria Strick-Becq, Justice before the judgement of Zaleucus and Cambyses, ca. 1600 (detail), Rijksmuseum

First class: Icon and iconoclasm of Justice

The first class of this introduction to legal iconography deals with what might be one of the best known personifications in Western art and/or iconographic history. Justice, Justitia, Lady Justice,… the often blindfolded lady with balance & sword is omnipresent in today’s world of law, and its courthouses, law books, law faculty buildings, newspaper websites and even the bodies of (ex-)convicts. Because of her ubiquitous nature, she became an icon – or as an icon, she became ubiquitous. In this class, we will discuss how this omnipresence came to be, by looking at the origins of both the figure of Justice and her attributes, by interpreting their iconography as symptoms of an underlying legal culture, and by analysing both the general icon of Justice as well as a specific case of Pomeroy’s Justice on the Old Bailey in London.  Continue reading

More about the iconography of Lady Justice in Literature & Art

“The press of the Spoon River Clarion was wrecked,

  And I was tarred and feathered,

  For publishing this on the day the

  Anarchists were hanged in Chicago:

  “l saw a beautiful woman with bandaged eyes

  Standing on the steps of a marble temple.

  Great multitudes passed in front of her,

  Lifting their faces to her imploringly.

  In her left hand she held a sword.

  She was brandishing the sword,

  Sometimes striking a child, again a laborer,

  Again a slinking woman, again a lunatic.

  In her right hand she held a scale;

  Into the scale pieces of gold were tossed

  By those who dodged the strokes of the sword.

  A man in a black gown read from a manuscript:

  “She is no respecter of persons.”

  Then a youth wearing a red cap

  Leaped to her side and snatched away the bandage.

  And lo, the lashes had been eaten away

  From the oozy eye-lids;

  The eye-balls were seared with a milky mucus;

  The madness of a dying soul

  Was written on her face–

  But the multitude saw why she wore the bandage.”

This is a very famous peace of poetry on Lady Justice. Do you know the author of this text and the title of the work? Let’s post here quotations and images about Lady Justice! If you can’t post images, just send them to the address: lawandhumanitiesrome@gmail.com.

Some interesting questions on legal iconography by Stefan Huygebaert

Roma3_blogspot_law_iconography_0.png

This is one of the most intriguing art works I came across when researching Belgian legal iconography, and I’m very interested in reading your interpretations, views, thoughts,… Give it a go. How do you read the different personifications in this sculpture group (here shown on a post card), by means of their attributes? What about their interaction? Bearing this in mind, what could this allegory be about, according to you? What do you think the artist had to say about law & justice?

Stefan Huygebaert on “An introduction to legal iconography”

David Bruto

Jacques-Louis David, ‘The execution of Brutus’s sons’ (sketch), ca. 1785, New York, Morgan Library & Museum, Thaw Collection. 

An introduction to legal iconography

  1. Justice as an icon

The first class of this introduction to legal iconography deals with what might be one of the best known personifications in Western art and/or iconographic history. Justice, Justitia, Lady Justice,… the often blindfolded lady with balance & sword is omnipresent in today’s world of law, and its courthouses, law books, law faculty buildings, newspaper websites and even the bodies of (ex-)convicts. Because of her ubiquitous nature, she became an icon – or as an icon, she became ubiquitous. In this class, we will discuss how this omnipresence came to be, by looking at the origins of both the figure of Justice and her attributes, by interpreting their iconography as symptoms of an underlying legal culture, and by analysing both the general icon of Justice as well as a specific case of Pomeroy’s Justice on the Old Bailey in London.

Readings: Kemp, Martin. 2012. Christ to coke. How image becomes icon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Introduction (pp. 1-10)

  1. Exempla Iustitae

Since the late middle ages, artists have been asked to depict certain scenes and stories on the walls of courthouses in western Europe, located in Town Halls, Palazzi Comunali, Rathäuser,… Their function, as can be read in an early-fifteenth century description of a local customary law, was to inspire the judges in their task of judging. Originally rhetoric devises, these exempla iustitiae became important examples of good (or bad) judgement, also known as Gerechtigheidsbilder. In this second class, we will look at the history of these exempla, starting with the Last Judgement as the key biblical exemplum. After having discussed the iconographic specificities of several of the most important stories, drawn from diverse sources such as the bible, antique myths, history and legends, we will finish by questioning the function of an exemplum in the modern world by means of a late-nineteenth, early-twentieth century case study.

  1. Visualising the constitution

Much like the notions of ‘law’ and  ‘justice’, a constitution is an abstract thing, and therefore not easily visualised. From the French revolution onwards, however, a certain iconography was used to make the fundamental law visible. This last class first focuses on this ‘revolutionary’ iconography and its somewhat surprising sources. Next, we will look into the a specific part of constitutional iconography, in which artists where commissioned to visualise, in different media, the key moments from constitutional history, often as a means to legitimise that constitution. Drawing on the notions of ‘the constitutional moment’ and ‘the decisive moment’, coined by, respectively, constitutional law scholar Bruce Ackerman, and photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, we will thus analyse what the notion of “the decisive constitutional moment” might be.

Readings: Pitkin, Hanna Fenichel 1987. The Idea of a Constitution. Journal of Legal Education 37 (2):167-169.

Stefan Huygebaert’s CV:

Stefan Huygebaert studied History (UGent, 2006-2007), Art History (UGent, 2007-2011) and Specific Education Degree in History, Art & Music (KULeuven, 2011-2012). He was an intern at the Mu.Zee museum in Oostende, Belgium, during the 2010 James Ensor exhibition Bij Ensor op bezoek. As an art historian, he graduated with a master thesis on neogothicism in nineteenth century painting of the Academy of Brugge.
Since October 2012, he is preparing a PhD thesis at Ghent University, Department of History/Institute for Legal History, titled Art, society & law. An iconological study of continuity & change in Belgian legal iconography, 1787-1914. (Supervisors Prof. Dirk Heirbaut, Prof. Georges Martyn and Prof. Bruno De Wever). This PhD research questions both the national character as well as the continuity and change of the visual language of law & justice in the Southern low countries and Belgium during the long nineteenth century. It is framed within and funded by the Belspo IAP Justice and populations. The Belgian experience in international perspective, 1795-2015. In 2014-2015, Stefan was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, within the Minerva Research Group The Nomos of Images. Manifestation and Iconology of Law, led by Carolin Behrmann. He has published on legal and constitutional iconography and iconology, artistic revivalism and nineteenth-century art.

An incredible body of images on legal iconography from the Yale Law Library’s rare book collection

Dear all,

I would like to drow your attention on this absolutely amazing collection of images on legal iconography by Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian & Lecturer in Legal Research at the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

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All the images come from printed books in the Yale Law Library’s rare book collection. They include over 400 images of Lady Justice, 138 images of legal trees, 132 images of court scenes, and suites of images from illustrated law books such as Ulrich Tengler’s Layenspiegel (1514), the 1508 and 1580 editions of the Bambergensis, Gobler’s Rechtenspiegel (1558), the Coutumes d’Artois (1756), Justinian’s Institutes (1514), and Damhoudere’s Enchiridion Rerum Criminalium (1554).

THE COLLECTION IS AVAILABLE HERE: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/yalelawlibrary/sets/

Enjoy!