Chazen Museum of Art | “Art of Enterprise” Exhibition Celebration

5:00–6:00 PM Chazen Auditorium

Lecture, Walter S. Melion, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History, Emory University

6:00–7:00 PM Chazen Lobby

Light Refreshments & continued conversation with Walter Melion & Art of Enterprise curator, James Wehn

About the lecture:

Praying through Prints: Israhel van Meckenem’s Great Passion in a 15th-century Manuscript Prayerbook

Walter S. Melion

Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History, Emory University

Samuel H. Kress Senior Fellow, CASVA

In this special lecture, Dr. Walter S. Melion will present his study of the late-fifteenth century prayerbook on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Chazen’s exhibition Art of Enterprise. Focusing on the story of Christ’s Passion, this customized volume consists of extensive handwritten texts, in Latin and Dutch, organized around Israhel van Meckenem’s Great Passion cycle of ca. 1480.

The Dutch text, adapted from various sources, presents a distressingly vivid account of the physical and spiritual suffering of Christ. However, the Latin, excerpted from Ludolphus of Saxony’s Vita Christi (Life of Christ) and inscribed directly on the prints, is explanatory rather than emotionally evocative. Dr. Melion examines the meaning of the prayerbook’s complex visual-verbal construction, asking how, why, and for whom it served jointly to intensify and moderate the horrors of the Passion.

Art of Enterprise: Israhel van Meckenem’s 15th-Century Print Workshop is on display at the Chazen through March 24, 2024.

This lecture will be livestreamed here.

About Walter Melion:

Walter Melion is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History at Emory University in Atlanta, where he directed the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry between 2017 and 2023. He is the author of three monographs and a critical edition of Karel van Mander’s Foundation of the Noble, Free Art of Painting, co-author of two exhibition catalogues, editor or co-editor of twenty volumes, and has published more than one hundred articles. The Van Mander book was recently awarded the Roland H. Bainton Prize of the Sixteenth Century Society for best art history monograph. Melion is also editor of two book series: Brill’s Studies on Art, Art History, and Intellectual History and Lund Humphries’ Northern Lights. He was elected Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010 and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2023. He is president emeritus of the Sixteenth Century Society, current president of the Historians of Netherlandish Art, and a board member of the Print Council of America.