Masha Goldin, M.A.
University of Basel, eikones – Center for the Theory and History of the Image (march - may 2023)
PhD project: Establishing Law, Imagining Justice: Juridical Visual Culture in the Late Medieval Holy Roman Empire
Masha Goldin earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Art History from Tel Aviv University. From 2019 to 2021, she worked as a student research assistant at the Department of Art History, Tel Aviv University (Prof. Assaf Pinkus). In 2021, Masha was awarded the First Prize in the Graduate Student Essay Award competition by the International Center of Medieval Art. Since 2021, she has been a member of the Graduate School in Eikones - Center for the Theory and History of the Image at the University of Basel. From March to May 2023, she will be conducting research as a DKF Paris scholarship holder.
Establishing Law, Imagining Justice: Juridical Visual Culture in the Late Medieval Holy Roman Empire
Spanning three centuries – from the 13th up to the 15th – and covering the entire German-speaking world, the current project seeks to consider the central role of visual culture in the medieval juridical sphere from an art historical perspective, and to address questions such as: why did law require objects? How did this abundant visual culture – which included artworks, monuments, objects, and performative gestures – dictate the experience of law? And what can be learned about the medieval legal past, essentially the foundational phase of many contemporary legal institutions, from the juridical visual culture that came down to us? During the Late Middle Ages, significant developments occurred in the juridical domain, including the codification of legal norms, the establishment of juridical professions, and the transfer of jurisdictions between different authorities. These shifts were conceptualized and formed by visual means, as we learn from the fact that legal codices were illustrated or that visual attributes helped defining the image of professionals. Legislative bodies, which in the Holy Roman Empire were integral to the hierarchical structure of the Empire, relied on visual culture to establish their authority to judge and enforce the law. It is therefore the purpose of the project to shed light on the ways in which juridical spaces, objects, signs, and gestures shaped communication between legal authorities and the public.