This article examines cuttings from a now-lost manuscript decorated by the
little-known Florentine illuminator Littifredi Corbizzi
(1465–c.1515) at the turn of the sixteenth century.
This manuscript, a choirbook produced for the monks at San Benedetto in Gubbio
in 1499–1503, was dismembered in the nineteenth century. Until now, all
but one of its cuttings were believed to be lost. Through the emergence of
several key pieces of evidence, most notably the identification of tracings of
the manuscript made by the German artist Johann Anton Ramboux in the mid-1830s
before its dismemberment, I have been able to link definitively three initials
to this largely unresearched commission. Two of these are in a previously
unstudied manuscript album at the John Rylands Library, recently digitised.
Considering the cuttings stylistically and, critically, interrogating their
provenance, I propose that a further ten cuttings can also be linked to
Littifredi’s work for the monastery, and argue that Ramboux played a
significant role in their initial collection.
The beautiful Latin MS 198 of the John Rylands Library preserves one of two
currently known manuscript copies of the Servite Lorenzo Opimo of
Bologna’s Scriptum on the Sentences,
the only such text by a Servite that survives. In 1494, the Chapter General of
the Servite Order made Lorenzo the order’s teaching doctor, since the
representatives declared that his work, primarily his questions on the
Sentences, would be required reading for Servite students
and masters of theology. No doubt as a result, Lorenzo’s
Scriptum was printed in Venice in 1532. To most medieval
intellectual historians, the printing, the author, and even the religious order
are virtually unknown. This two-part article puts this unique text in its
doctrinal and institutional context. Part I argues that Lorenzo delivered his
Sentences lectures at the University of Paris in
1370–71, presents and analyses the tradition of the three textual
witnesses, and offers a question list.
Celebrated as a leader of London’s ‘Underground’ in the
1960–70s, and a leading British poet and performance artist of his time,
Jeff Nuttall found fame through his critique of post-nuclear culture,
Bomb Culture, which provided an influential rationale for
artistic practice through absurdism but lost that recognition a decade or so
later. Less well recognised, and with greater influence, is the distinctively
visceral sensibility underlying much of his creative work, notably his poetry
that draws on Dylan Thomas and the Beat Movement, his graphic drawing and
luscious painting styles, and his pioneering performance art. This article
argues that it is through these artistic expressions of visceral intelligence
that Jeff Nuttall’s art and its long-term influence can now best be
understood. It is intended to complement the Jeff Nuttall Papers in the Special
Collections of The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, University of
Manchester, deposited by the gallerist and poetry publisher Robert Bank
(1941–2015), to whose memory this article is dedicated. Further papers
have been added by Nuttall’s friends and relatives.
The twenty-three Ur III cuneiform texts presented in this article are housed in
the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts. This article publishes
thirteen Neo-Sumerian tablets from Puzriš-Dagan which primarily deal with
animals, and a further ten texts from Umma, including five messenger texts. The
aim of the article is to offer an edition and an updated catalogue of these
texts, with a special focus on the Neo-Sumerian administration.
This afterword summarises the book’s findings and argues that feminist movements can find strong allies in contemporary arts produced by men. The final focus is on Carrington’s compelling use of the feminist grotesque in Simphiwe Ndzube’s recent painting-assemblage As They Rode Along the Edge (2020) and China Miéville’s novella The Last Days of New Paris (2016). Both Ndzube and Miéville make explicit reference to Carrington’s wartime drawing I am an Amateur of Velocipedes (1941), whether collaging it into text or recycling the composition. Interestingly, both Ndzube and Miéville use examples of Carrington’s wartime output, and both use her characters as forms of exquisite corpse disguise, ultimately as acts of resistance to patriarchal landscapes. The afterword closes with a word of warning around misappropriation, namely David Cameron’s ill-advised visit to Magical Tales (2018).
Chapter 2 is a consideration of Carrington in the realm of fashion photography and performance art, leading to a discussion around cult status intersecting with pop culture. Tim Walker and Tilda Swinton (b.1960) summoned Leonora Carrington most potently in two iconic fashion stories, firstly for W Magazine (2013) then for i-D Magazine (2017). In these colourful and sumptuously upholstered scenes, with their eccentric perspectives, Swinton inhabits the irrational corners of the imagination, embodying the characters of Carrington’s visual narratives and borrowing from her distinctive iconography. Swinton portrays figures such as the medieval jester in Carrington’s painting Darvault (1950) and the robed creature in And Then We Saw the Daughter of the Minotaur (1953), among others. The overall effect is one of embodied storytelling, an intergenerational dialogue with Carrington as a medium to be working in and through. The sense of excess and abundance presented here is a contrast to a sparer, cooler aesthetics found in other facets of Swinton’s practice such as The Maybe (1995) where the actor displayed herself asleep in a vitrine. Swinton’s more recent curatorial projects are also considered, thus segueing into the next chapter.
This chapter introduces the salient features of Leonora Carrington’s esoteric art and writing. It unpacks the multiple meanings of the term “medium,” encompassing both its literal application (such as egg tempera paint) and its more poetic sensibility, both Carrington’s own interest in the occult as well as the idea of her work as a conduit for contemporary makers. This chapter uses an archaeological approach to Carrington’s key themes in order to mind her epistemologies or theories of knowledge. It considers her own extensive bibliographic sources such as children’s picture-book illustration as well as recurrent motifs with her work (e.g. the carousel horse, flying vehicles and dollhouse architecture).
Political agitation and public intervention in the new millennium
In the twenty-first century, Vaucher’s work rekindled its overtly political content in the aftermath of the Iraq War. A preoccupation with Palestine emerged, again mirroring her contemporary Peter Kennard. She formed a friendship with Banksy and contributed works to his Santa’s Ghetto project among others. Her work is situated in the context of the street art scene, anti-globalisation campaigns, the Occupy movement and collaborative art. Her work received renewed attention from younger generations with a quest for authenticity – both from people trying once again to carve out a genuine outsider space, and from ‘hipsters’, whose interest could be seen to tip over into cultural appropriation. While she returned to themes of pacifism and anti-militarism that were a key component of her work with Crass, her later output reveals a more subtle and varied aesthetic. This output is examined in the context of a period of political polarisation and social discontent, following years of austerity in the United Kingdom, and war, disasters and a refugee crisis worldwide, highlighting its relevance to a young, post-postmodern generation. Over this period, the process of her recognition also gathered pace, and 2016 saw both her first major retrospective exhibition and her work adopted as the abiding visual response to the election of Donald Trump. The impact of social media on both dissemination and meaning is discussed, while Vaucher’s unique approach to controlling the art market is revealed to be the overriding source of her autonomy.
This chapter explores the influence of Vaucher’s working class childhood in post-war Dagenham on her outlook and artwork. The roots of her pacifism, autonomy (in particular with regard to gender roles) and embrace of communal living, are all shown to originate in this milieu, as opposed to the counterculture or women’s movement. The chapter goes on to explore the role of art schools in engendering cultural change in Britain during the 1960s. It explores Vaucher’s experience of attending South East Essex Technical College and School of Art (1961–65), where her capabilities as a solo artist flourished. Her largely figurative early work is shown to embody a social realist quality that would become pronounced in her later illustrations for magazines, her journal International Anthem and Crass. It was also in this context that she met her lifelong creative partner, Penny Rimbaud, and their bond was formed through their shared ‘innate disobedience’ as well as their love of Pop Art and the Independent Group. The social mobility of the post-war decades facilitated cultural protagonists, including Vaucher, to emerge from the newly democratised art schools and universities, from a wider social background than was previously the case. Despite this, Vaucher’s experience of the art school environment was as an overwhelmingly middle-class environment that invoked reticence in her. The chapter also explores the formative role of the Aberfan Disaster (1966) on her world view.