Early Drama, Art, and Music Project

Iconography: A Checklist of Some Useful Sources for Scholars and Students of Medieval Art and Drama

Compiled by Clifford Davidson

Early Drama, Art, and Music Checklists


The checklist that is presented here represents a bibliography collected over the course of three decades, at first as a personal project and then in connection with the Early Drama, Art, and Music (EDAM) project which was sponsored by the Medieval Institute of Western Michigan University from 1976 to 2002. In its initial phase, the listing of items treating iconography was developed in order to ascertain the major scholarship in British art that might have relevance to the early drama of England. The focus was then on the York cycle and the visual milieu which surrounded the production of the plays in that city. As the project continued, the listing of iconography was expanded since a bibliography was required for the EDAM handbook, Drama and Art (1977). In its present form, however, the checklist should not be construed as a formal bibliography which attempts to cover all the most vital scholarship. It is a list which has grown, a little like Topsy, as individual entries have been noted on 3x5 cards and included in the “Recent Publications” section in The Early Drama, Art, and Music Review (formerly EDAM Newsletter). Nor, I should add, has it been possible to check the entries for absolute completeness of citation in every case. If errors are found in this list, they should be called to my attention. Nevertheless, since it is a list that has been useful to quite a number of researchers from this country and abroad who have used it at the Early Drama, Art, and Music office over the years, I feel that it can serve as a convenient source of information for both advanced scholars and graduate students.

A word seems necessary concerning the final section of the current checklist. The index of publications issued under the aegis of the EDAM project by Medieval Institute Publications was prepared for the EDAM web site by Timothy Carlsen. Rather than introduce those items dealing with iconography into their appropriate places in the iconographic listing, I have decided that the entire index should be kept intact and reproduced in a separate section. The articles and books in the EDAM Monograph and Reference Series also will provide many additional references to scholarship beyond the items listed in the checklist, as will items in the EDAM Newsletter and its successor, The Early Drama, Art, and Music Review.

In creating the checklist I am indebted to a large number of persons and institutions. Perhaps my greatest debt is to the Warburg Institute library and its remarkable catalogue, but I am also most deeply indebted to the library at my own institution, to the British Library, and to the libraries of the University of Michigan. Occasional visits to other collections such as the library of the Society of Antiquaries, the Bodleian Library, the Cambridge University Library, and the University of Minnesota Library have also been invaluable. Many scholars have submitted references and offprints, and to them I am most grateful.

Clifford Davidson

The checklist of sources for scholars and students of Medieval art and drama is contained in four PDF files, one for each section. Viewing PDF files requires Adobe Acrobat Reader©, which you can download for free. Because these files are large, we recommend that you attempt to view them only if you have a high speed connection.

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        Iconography: Various Topics
       Ages of Man
       Animals and Birds
       Arbor Bonae and Arbor Mala; Trees of Life; Garden
       Castle of Virtue/Siege
       Colors and Color Symbolism
       Creed and Pater Noster
       Daughters of God
       Deadly Sins and Corresponding Virtues
       Fountain of Life
       Green Man
       Husband-Wife/Erotic Women
       Months and Seasons
       Seven Sacraments
       Wild Men/Satyrs
       Miscellaneous Topics

  Biblical Iconography
       Fall of Lucifer
       Old Testament Topics
       Fall/Adam and Eve
       Cain and Abel
       Patriarchs and Prophets
       Song of Songs
       Blessed Virgin Mary
       St. Anne, Mother of the Virgin Mary
       Blessed Virgin Mary—Early History
       Death, Assumption, and Coronation of BVM
       Miracles of Virgin
       Annunciation and Visitation
       Shepherds at Nativity
       Herod/Flight to Egypt/Holy Innocents
       Holy Family/Christ in Temple
Baptism/St. John the Baptist
       Last Supper
       The Passion
       Wounds/Body and Image of Pity
       Planctus Mariae
       Easter Sepulcher
       Last Judgment
       The Trinity
       Saints —Miscellaneous
       Saints A–Z
       Unofficial Saints

   General Iconography

       Coins and Badges
       Embroidery, Vestment, Tapestry, Painted Cloth
       Glass, Stained and Painted
       Jewelry, Including Paxes

       Manuscripts and Printed Books
       Plate and Enamels
       Sculpture, Including Alabasters
       Wall Painting
       English Churches
       Images and Iconoclasm

Adobe icon PART III: MUSIC
       Music in Medieval and Renaissance Drama

   Liturgical Drama
   Vernacular—English and Cornish
       Brome Plays
       Chester Plays
       Coventry Plays
       Cornish Plays
       Digby Plays
       N-Town Plays
       Towneley Plays
       Traditional Drama (“Folk Plays”)
   Continental Drama
       Spain and Mexico
Low Countries
       Central and Eastern Europe
       Asian Theater
   Drama in the Vernacular—General

       Processions, Wagons, Entries
       Costume and Makeup
       Production and Staging
       Theaters and Stages
       Feasts and Feasting
       Entertainments and Masques