Anja Rathmann-Lutz

Anja Rathmann-Lutz

Senior Research Fellow am Departement Geschichte der Universität Basel

In Residence

March – May 2018

Research Project

“Microcosm Model” – On Mediality, Materiality and Epistemological Quality of Architectural Model, Founder Miniature and Reconstruction

In her artwork “I Am Monument”, the Chinese artist and product designer Li Naihan reduces the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense to the size of a double bed, triggering a reflection on dimensions, materiality, and symbolism of the original, which is decisively influenced by the medial quality of the miniature and its creation process. Such negotiation processes about prevalence and interpretation – reflected in the interaction between microstructure and macrostructure – are a trans-epochal and transregional phenomenon. The overall project therefore focuses on the material, medial, semiotic, functional and epistemological dimensions of three-dimensional (architectural) models in a diachronic and global perspective.
All models – whether votive offer in the form of a house model, miniature church in the arm of the founder, cupola roof on the master builder’s table, reconstructions of ancient buildings at court, replica of a city in museums or CAD animations in virtual space – have many (explanatory, interpretive manipulating or updating) effects on their authors and recipients as well as on their real and imagined references. In turn, they each stand in functional contexts and communication contexts that influence their dimensions and materiality just as much as they predetermine the ever-changing framework for their interpretation. Thus models can be tools of understanding, a place of cognition as well as a store of knowledge.
During my research in Berlin I will work on a first portion: the role of models in early modern Cabinets of Curiosities and courtly, scientific and museum collections of the 18th and 19th centuries, beginning with the example of the phelloplastic around 1800. In the wood and cork models courtly and bourgeois collections premodern and modern ideas of the world, political and cultural claims to prevalence as well as scientific and artistic reception and (re)construction of antiquity are superimposed.

Research Interests

  • Premodern Temporalities, Relations of Time and Space
  • Urban History
  • Visibility and Representation, Political Iconography
  • Perception and Concepts of Change
  • History oft the Historiography on Renaissances


… vide infra, … vide supra. Flipping Through the Times in the Rudimentum Novitiorum (1475) in: Temporality and Mediality in Late Medieval and Early Modern Culture, hg. v. Christian Kiening und Martina Stercken (Cursor mundi 32), Turnhout 2018 (in print)

Ordnen und Verstehen – Die Zeichnungen des Villard de Honnecourt in einem diagrammatischen Denkmodell, in: Diagramme im Gebrauch, gem. hg. m. Christina Lechtermann und Henrike Haug, Berlin 2017 (= Das Mittelalter 22/2), S. 377–391

On Time and Space in a 12th-Century Augustinian Priory (Marbach, Alsace), in: Critical Imprints V (2017), S. 1–22

ZeitenWelten. Zur Verschränkung von Zeitwahrnehmung und Weltdeutung (750­–1350), gem. hg. m. Miriam Czock, Köln 2016

Par tous les sens/Mit allen Sinnen, gem. hg. m. Ulrike Krampl, Jan-Friedrich Missfelder, und Aline Steinbrecher Zürich 2015 (= traverse 22/2)

Public Relations. Eyewitnesses in 14th century French Royal Manuscripts, in: Distinct Gazes. The Invention of the Audience, hg. v. Beate Fricke und Urte Krass (Bilder-Diskurs), Zürich 2015, S. 189–203

Liturgische Räume zwischen Stadt und Konzil, in: Music and Culture in the Age of the Council of Basel, hg. v. Matteo Nanni (Epitome Musical ), Turnhout 2014, S. 285–301.

Visibilität des Unsichtbaren. Sehen und Verstehen in Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit, Zürich 2011 (Hg.)

Images Ludwigs des Heiligen im Kontext dynastischer Konflikte des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts, Berlin 2010


Anja Rathmann-Lutz

Kolleg-Forschergruppe BildEvidenz

Arnimallee 10
14195 Berlin