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  December 9, 2008 16:00

The Transfigured Mountain. Sacred Topography and the Icons at Saint Catherine's monastery (4th to 13th century)

CEU, Monument Building, Popper Room


Prof. Gerhard Wolf

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut

The lecture is about the changing nature of pilgrimage to Mount Sinai from Early Christianity to the Crusades. It questions the relation between the walled monastery and the holy sites in the desert and discusses the collecting of icons, focusing on their specific aesthetics and role within and beyond the monastery. And finally, it iuxtaposes the scriptural tradition of the holy sites of Moses and Elijah with the establishing of the cult of Saint Catherine from the 12th century on.


Born in 1952 in Karlsruhe. Studies of art history, Christian archeology and philosophy at the University of Heidelberg, PhD (1989), German Habilitation at the Free University of Berlin (1995), Directeur d’études invité of the EHESS, Paris (1997), Richard Krautheimer Professor at the Bibliotheca Hertziana (2001/02), Chair of Art History at the University of Trier (1998-2003). Visiting Professor: HU Berlin (1994/95), Vienna (1996/97), Basel (2000/01), Buenos Aires (Getty Foundation) (2002), Mexico City (2003). Director and Scientific Member at the Art History Institute in Florence - Max Planck Institute (since 2003).

Dr. Wolf's area of research includes Italian art and visual culture in the Mediterranean and European framework from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern Period. His research also addresses areas such as the pictorial world of Italian cities from the 12th to 15th century, theories of the "image," historical anthropology of image and media, artistic exchange between Mexico and Europe in the 16th/17th century, interrelations between artistic and scientific world views, and the history of methodology.

Scientific Awards, Honors, Memberships:
• "Hanno und Ilse Hahn" Prize (1994)
• Member of the German Committee of the CIHA (seit 2004)
• Honorary Member of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno (Florence) (since 2004)
• Honorary member of the Amici delle pietre dure, Florence (since 2005)

Offices held:
• Board of the Contributing Editors, Res (Harvard University) (since 2002)
• Advisory board: Rivista di Iconologia (Firenze, Pisa) (since 2002)
• Advisory board: Anales de Investigaciones Esteticas (Mexico) (since 2003)
• Minerva Committee
• German Network of the Anna Lindh Foundation (Mediterranean and EU countries)
• Research network (DFG) "Estrangement and Poverty", University of Trier, subproject speaker
• Member: Graduate College, HFG Karlsruhe

Select publications:
Calderoni Masetti, Anna Rosa, Colette Dufour Bozzo, and Gerhard Wolf. ed. Intorno al Sacro Volto: Genova, Bisanzio e il Mediterraneo (secoli XI - XIV). Collana del Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut; 11. Venice: Marsilio, 2007.

Wolf, Gerhard, Colette Dufour Bozzo, and Anna Rosa Calderoni Masetti, eds. Mandylion. Intorno al Sacro Volto, da Bisanzio a Genova. Exhibition catalogue (Museo Diocesano, Genova; 18. 4. - 18. 7. 2004). Milan: Skira, 2004.
- Wolf, Gerhard. “Il Volto che viaggia”, 6-24.

Thunø, Erik and Gerhard Wolf, ed. The miraculous image: in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance: papers from a conference held at the Accademia di Danimarca in collaboration with the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte), Rome, 31 May - 2 June 2003. by. Rome : "L'Erma" di Bretschneider, 2004.
- Wolf, Gerhard. “Le immagini nel Quattrocento tra miracolo e magia. Per una ‘iconologia’ rifondata.” In: E. Thunoe and G. Wolf, ed., L’immagine miracolosa nel tardo medioevo e nella prima età moderna, 305-320.

Wolf, Gerhard. “Icons and Sites: Cult Images of the Virgin in mediaeval Rome”, In: Images of the Mother of God, ed. M. Vassilaki, 23-49, Aldershot, 2005.

Wolf, Gerhard. “Urbilder des Antlitzes Christi”, in: Ansichten Christi: Christusbilder von der Antike bis zum 20. Jahrhundert, ed. Roland Krischel. Cologne: DuMont, 2005, 97-139.

Wolf, Gerhard and Christoph L. Frommel, eds.
L'immagine di Cristo: dall’Acheropita alla mano d’artista; dal tardo medioevo all'età barocca. Bibliotheca Hertziana. Città del Vaticano: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 2006

Wolf, Gerhard and Giovanni Morello, eds. Il volto di Cristo / Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. Exhibition catalogue (Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Roma; 9. 12. 2000 - 16. 4. 2001). Milan: Electa, 2000.
- Wolf, Gerhard. “Dal volto all’immagine, dall’immagine al volto”, 19-21.
- Wolf, Gerhard. “ ‘Or fu sì fatta la sembianza vostra?’: sguardi alla ‘vera icona’ e alle sue copie artistiche”, 103-114.

Wolf, Gerhard. “La Veronica e la tradizione romana di icone”, in: Il ritratto e la memoria: materiali, ed. Augusto Gentili. Rome: Bulzoni, 1989 – 1993, 9-35.

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