On Friday 5 March Wendy Wauters will give a lecture on the sensory and ritual experience in the Antwerp Church of Our Lady (c. 1450-1566), organised by the Ruusbroecgenootschap (Universiteit Antwerpen): De beroering van de religieuze ruimte. De belevingswereld van de laatmiddeleeuwse kerkgangers in de Antwerpse Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk. Admission is free, but please register beforehand if you would like to attend via ruusbroec@uantwerpen.be. For more information, click here and here.

Lucien Febvre wrote in romantic terms that “ce XVIe siècle, qui ne voit pas d’abord, qui entend et qui flaire, qui hume les souffles et qui capte les bruits”. But for a society that was seemingly so odor-oriented, very few traces have survived that offer a glimpse into the olfactory experience. In this iconological study, the focus is on the daily concerns and routine actions of everyone who frequented the Antwerp church. Approached from the widespread late medieval understanding of the sensorium, the perceived impact of the sensory stimuli on body and soul is assessed.