Universität Erfurt

PD Dr. habil. Dominic Olariu


Forschungszentrum Gotha der Universität Erfurt (FZG)
Schloßberg 2
99867 Gotha


Curriculum Vitae

PD Dr. Dominic Olariu
Art History

Research Fellowship, Duchess Anna Amalia Library, Weimar

Visiting researcher, Gotha Research Centre of the University of Erfurt 

Habilitation and appointment as "Privatdozent" (Associate Professor), University of Marburg

Research Fellowship, Duchess Anna Amalia Library, Weimar

Research Fellowship of the University of Erfurt

Herzog Ernst Research Fellowship of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, Gotha Research Centre

Research scholar, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Berlin

Visiting Scholar, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Berlin

2009 – 2014
Associate professor („wissenschaftlicher Angestellter“) in art history, University of Marburg

2009 – 2010
Research assistant (manuscripts), Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris

2007 – 2009
Visiting Professor in art history awarded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), University of Düsseldorf

Visiting professor in art history, University of Dijon

Teaching and research qualification of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research (“Qualification aux fonctions d’enseignant-chercheur du Ministère de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherché”)

Visiting professor, substitute for the dean of the Department of Art Theory, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf

Visiting professor in art history, University of Dijon

2006 – 2007 
Associate professor (“wissenschaftlicher Angestellter”) in art history, University of Düsseldorf

2006 – 2009
Post-doctoral research scholar in the International Network Power of Faces (“Macht des Gesichts”), awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Bi-national D. phil. dissertation The First Resembling Images of Man. A Revision of Portraiture Since the 13th Century (summa cum laude), École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and ZKM/Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe; published 2014

2001 – 2009
Doctoral student and post-doctoral research scholar in the Research Training Group Image, Medium, Body. An Anthropology of Images, Karlsruhe, awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Magister Artium (D.E.A.) in art history with distinction, University of Paris I, Sorbonne


Materiality and Image. Art and Knowledge in Manuscripts with Nature Prints and Dried Plants, 15th – 17th century

My current investigation concerns early image production by means of dried plants and nature prints in books and on flying leaves. On the basis of my investigations of the Ratzenberger Herbarium (2nd half 16th c.) held in the Gotha Research Library, I aim to develop a larger project about illustrations created by natural plant material. Innovative images were generated in herbal books from the 15th century onwards using natural plants and employing systematically their physicality and substance (plant fragments, vegetable juices, plant imprints, plant colors etc.) as image-forming medium. Next to manuscripts and leaves with dried plants fixed on them, manuscripts with nature prints (ectypes) also belong to this category of books. For creating ectypes, first color was spread on plants and subsequently the plants were pressed on an underground, most often paper. The project investigates the status of these images with regard to the artists that created the pictures as well as with regard to the specialists that used them. Often, extensive drawings showing other plant parts or other various details were added to the pictures created by ectypes or glued plants. The books usually contain little textual material; their focus is manifestly on the visual aspects. The project analyzes both the production and use of these manuscripts with mainly illustrative features. It examines their importance for the contemporary phytology as well as their influence received from older plant pictures and exerted on later aesthetic-artistic plant pictures. A main focus of the project is the analysis of the illustrations’ “material” aspects, underlined by the specific image production techniques.



Plant Illustrations Before Brunfels. Plant Culture and Plant Studies in Herbals, Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century (German manuscript, habilitation in Art History at the University of Marburg)

Das Herbarium Blackwellianum. Das meisterhafte Plfanzenbuch der außergewöhnlichen Elizabeth Blackwell. Facsimile with introduction. Darmstadt, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft (contract signed, appears March 2020)

The Misfortune of Philippus de Lignamine’s Herbal or New Research Perspectives in Herbal Illustrations From an Iconological Point of View. Berlin 2015 (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Preprint).

La genèse de la représentation ressemblante de l'homme. Reconsidérations du portrait à partir du XIIIe siècle. Bern 2014.

Editor of Collections of Articles

En Face. Seven Essays on the Human Face (special issue: Kritische Berichte. Zeitschrift für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften). Marburg 2012 (with J. Kohl).

Le portrait individuel. Réflexions autour d’une forme de représentation, XIIIe – XVe siècles. Proceedings of the conference Paris, February 2004. Bern 2009.

Articles in Journals (selection)

Thomas Aquinas’ Definition of the imago Dei and the Development of Lifelike Portraiture, in: Bulletin du centre d’études médiévales d’Auxerre | BUCEMA, 2013, Nr.17.2, published 05 December, 2013, URL: http://cem.revues.org/13251 ; DOI : 10.4000/cem.13251.

Articles in Books (selection)

‘Seeing’ the Pope, in: Cambridge History of the Papacy, ed. Miles Pattenden, Joëlle Rollo-Koster. Cambridge, University of Cambridge Press (contract signed, submission August 2020).

Wolfhard’s Face, in: Die Bronze, der Tod und die Erinnerung. Das Grabmal von Wolfhard von Roth im Augsburger Dom, Hg. Gerhard Lutz und Rebecca Müller. (Planed at Veröffentlichungen des Zentralinstituts für Kunstgeschichte in München), Passau, Dieter Klinger (submitted).

Herbs under Pressure. Plant Illustrations and Nature Printing in the First Half of the Fifteenth Century, in: Naturalismen. Kunst, Wissenschaft, Ästhetik, ed. Robert Felfe, Maurice Saß, Berlin, De Gruyter 2019, p. 9-31.

Die Kunst, die Natur zu kennen. Produktion, Fixierung und Transfer von Naturwissen in der Frühen Neuzeit, in: Cranach natürlich. Hieronymus in der Wildnis, exhib. cat. Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, 1st of March – 8th of October 2018, ed. Wolfgang Meighörner, Innsbruck/Vienna, Haymon Verlag 2018, p. 152-161.

Histoires du portrait galant en France. Mode de portrait domestique au Moyen Âge tardif, in: Images de soi dans l'univers domestique, ed. Gil Bartholeyns, Monique Bourin, Pierre-Olivier Dittmar, Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes 2018, S. 215-230.

The Misfortune of Philippus de Lignamine’s Herbal or New Research Perspectives in Herbal Illustrations From an Iconological Point of View, in: Early Modern Print Culture in Central Europe (Academia Europea Wroclaw Seminars), ed. Stefan Kiedron, Anna-Maria Rimm, Wroclaw 2015, p. 39-62.

Das andere Porträt. Die Ursprünge des spätmittelalterlichen Bildnisses, in: KanonKunstgeschichte. Einführungen in Werke, Methoden und Epochen, ed. Kristin Marek, Martin Schulz, 4 vol. Munich/Paderborn 2015, vol. 1, p. 361-377.

Le portrait au Moyen Âge tardif, in: Les images médiévales („L’atelier du médiéviste“), in honor of Jean-Claude Schmitt, ed. Jérôme Baschet, Jacques Berlioz, Pierre-Olivier Dittmar, Turnhout 2015, p. 459-471.

Miniaturinsekten und bunte Vögel. Naturbeobachtung und Tierdarstellungen in Manuskripten des 13. Jahrhunderts, in: Similitudo. Konzepte der Ähnlichkeit in Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit, ed. Martin Gaier, Jeanette Kohl, Alberto Saviello, Paderborn 2012, p. 59-76.

Reviews (selection)

Sarah Kyle, Medicine and Humanism in Late Medieval Italy. The Carrara Herbal in Padua, London, Routledge, 2016, in: Renaissance Quarterly, 71.3, p. 75-76.

Danièle Alexandre-Bidon: Dans l’atelier de l’apothicaire. Histoire et archéologie des pots de pharmacie XIIIe – XVIe, Paris, Picard 2013, in: sehepunkte 15 (2015), Nr. 6.

Michael V. Schwarz; Pia Theis: Giottus Pictor. Giottos Leben. Wien, Böhlau 2004, in: Mediaevistik: internationale Zeitschrift für interdisziplinäre Mittelalterforschung, 19, 2007, S. 548-551.



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