Sacral Performance & Extended Royal Bodies in the Ottonian Empire: The Case of Henry II & Kunigunde (1002–1024)

Fall 2021 Grant Recipient

Graduate Student

Lauren Van Nest (Art) The project examines portraits of the Ottonian rulers Henry II and Kunigunde (r. 1002-1024) featured in manuscripts, altar frontals, and other liturgical implements within their early-eleventh-century cathedral treasury contexts. The episcopal seats of Bamberg and Basel serve as the central case studies of the couple’s patronage. The project details how these rulers adapted visual practices used to represent Christ and his heavenly court to fashion themselves as conduits of divine power. This research offers insight into how images constitute and disseminate personal identities, and how religious and political institutions work collaboratively to consolidate and project power.