About

Camera Picta is a blog dedicated to the visual arts in late medieval Europe. It is written and maintained by Christian Nikolaus Opitz, an art historian based in Vienna, Austria. I am currently employed at the University of Vienna where I do research on the ways in which visual culture contributed to shaping and representing the identities of different social groups in the period of c. 1250 – 1400.

Camera Picta (meaning Painted Chamber) is, of course, also a term used in medieval and early modern sources to describe rooms decorated with wall paintings in palaces and castles. This kind of mural decoration actually forms the subject of my PhD thesis which I recently submitted. While these camerae pictae in the narrow sense of the word are still rather dear to me, they are, however, not the sole focus of this blog. Rather, the blog name is meant to be read in a metonymic way: The painted chamber in this context represents a larger phenomenon, i.e. spaces that are decorated and configured through the means of art. The spaces I discuss on this blog may include pretty much everything, from rooms in townhouses and castles to cloisters, churches and village squares. As regards the means of art, the emphasis will be on wall painting, but there will also be forays into neighbouring fields such as stained glass windows or monumental sculpture. Occasionally, I might even include posts pertaining to the performing arts, e.g. theatrical representations and music. Come to think of it, there is a long list of things that might come up on this blog eventually, so it’s probably best if you just have a look around for yourself…

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You can also find me on Twitter as @c_n_opitz

…or contact me via e-mail at: c.n.opitz[at]gmail.com

Unless otherwise noted, all images on these pages are by the author and may be used under the Creative Commons licence CC-BY 4.0.

Finally, for those who read German, I am also the author of a blog dedicated to Austria’s architectural heritage called Baudenkmäler in Österreich. Being aimed first and foremost at a local audience, it is written in German, but a short English summary is provided at the end of each entry.

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Thanks for the e-mail on the Magi, I’m doing my dissertation at Birkbeck UCL London, on the influence of the Confraternity of the Magi, Medici patronage on certain works of art in 15th c Florence. Seeing the two beautiful examples in Austria reminds me how widespread the theme was and as your commentary stated gave artists the chance to really cut loose with the fashions. Great web site !!
    Regard Edward Wynne.

  2. a good initiative.we are trying for almost 20 years to explain to the people who want to hear that the medieval art could be a living art even in our days.we are trying hard to revive the practical aspect of illuminated manuscripts,an almost extinct art.illuminated manuscripts prints,prints after gorgeous paintings,you can see everywhere,people are talking about,but the art of making these masterpieces is disappearing,because there are not people to do it any more.only machines.maybe in the world are 20 people capable to do an illuminated manuscript of minimum 40 pages.and are many other art fields dying.
    a good initiative of you.good luck!

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