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…
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.