Jitske Jasperse

Dr. Jitske Jasperse

Antonio López García, Figuras en una casa, 1967. Museu Fundación Juan March, de Palma. Photo: Michael Pouwels.

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin
Professur für Bildkulturen des Mittelalters



At the Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte at the Humboldt-Universität I am part of “Bildkulturen des Mittelalters” led by Prof. Kathrin Müller.

In my current project “The Art of Concealment: The Display, Storage, Burial and Loss of Seals (ca. 1100-1500)”  I explore the material culture connected with medieval seals – charters, seal-bags, chronicles, cartularies, and grave goods – in order to understand how and why seals were not only displayed, but also stored and buried. Using insights from anthropology and archaeology, the acts of dipslay and concealment are connected with seals’ movement and stasis. This allows us to understand medieval practices of storing, curating, and concealing, together with modern ideas concerning retrieving and reconstructing the past.

Office Hours (Sprechstunde)

Tuesday, 09.00-10.00 (please make an appointment by email)

Curriculum Vitae

My art historical path started in Amsterdam, where I studied at the Vrije Universiteit (BA) and University of Amsterdam (MA), where I also wrote my dissertation about Duchess Matilda of Saxony (defended 2013). I was a lecturer in the Department of Art History at the University of Amsterdam (2007-2015). In 2015 I received the prestigious Juan de la Cierva-Formación, a two-year postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity. This brought me to Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas in Madrid (2016-2018), where I participated in Therese Martin’s project The Medieval Treasury across Frontiers and Generations: The Kingdom of León-Castilla in the Context of Muslim-Christian Interchange, c. 1050-1200. Currently I am  involved in The Medieval Iberian Treasury in Context: Collections, Connections, and Representations on the Peninsula and Beyond (PI Therese Martin, 2019-2022), which addresses broad socio-cultural questions concerning the role of sumptuary collections as evidence of contacts both within and beyond Iberia during the central Middle Ages.


Winter semester 2021/2022: Seminar “Geschickt geschmückt im Mittelalter” und Übung vor Orginalen “Sex in der Gemäldegalerie. Körperdarstellungen”.

Summer semester 2021: Seminar “Seals and Medieval Practices  of Display, Concealment and Loss”.

Winter semester 2020/2021: Seminar “Mittelalterliche Kleinobjekte: Eine Forschungsreise”, Praxisorientierte Lehrveranstaltung “Tiere auf Papier: Eine Onlin-Ausstellung in Kooperation mit der Staatsbibliothek”, und Exkursionsäquivalent: “Dem Mittelalter auf der Spur: Es ist fast alles Gold, was glänzt”.

Winter semester 2019/2020: Seminar “Oustiders in Medieval Art” und Übung vor Orginalen “Unraveling the Medieval Mantle: Iconography, Medium, Materiality”.

Summer semester 2019: Seminar “(In)visible Medieval Artefacts”.

Winter semester 2018/2019: Research leave.

Summer semester 2018: Seminar “Gendering the Master Narrative: Patrons and Makers, Sinners and Saints in Medieval Art”.


Het vrouwelijk oog wil ook wat. Vrouwen als opdrachtgevers, verzamelaars en kunstenaars (Sterck & De Vreese, 2021). Reviews: Stretto. Magazine voor Kunst; Vrij Nederland, Kunsttijdschrift Vlaanderen; Beauty & Books Magazine, dezondvloed.be; Museumtijdschrift; NRC

Medieval Women, Material Culture, and Power: Matilda Plantagenet and her Sisters (Leeds: Arc Humanities Press, 2020). Also in Open Access (free download). Reviews: Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter 85 (2021): 284-285; Royal Studies Journal 8.2 (2021): 224-225.

Getting the Senses of Small Things / Sinn und Sinnlichkeit kleiner Dinge, eds. Jitske Jasperse and Karen Dempsey, special issue, Das Mittelalter. Perspektiven mediävistischer Forschung 25, no. 2 (2020).

“San Isidoro de León and Saint Blaise at Braunschweig: Treasuries as Windows to the Medieval World,” in Authorship, Worldview, and Identity in Medieval Europe, ed. Christian Raffensperger (New York: Routledge), forthcoming 2022.

“With This Ring: Forming Plantagenet Family Ties,” in Relations of Power: Women’s Networks in the Middle Ages, eds. Emma O. Bérat, Rebecca Hardie and Irina Dumitrescu (Bonn: Bonn University Press, 2021), 67-84.

“Between León and the Levant: The Infanta Sancha’s Portable Altar as Material Evidence for Medieval History,” in The Medieval Iberian Treasury in the Context of Cultural Interchange (Expanded Edition), ed. Therese Martin (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 145-170. Complete book in Open Access.

with Karen Dempsey,“Multisensorial Musings on Miniature Matters,” Getting the Senses of Small Things / Sinn und Sinnlichkeit kleiner Dinge, eds. Jitske Jasperse and Karen Dempsey, special issue, Das Mittelalter. Perspektiven mediävistischer Forschung 25, no. 2 (2020), 249-270. Also in Open Access

“Loss and Triumph in the Rolandslied: Cultural Poetics of Space and Gender,” in Gewalt, Krieg und Geschlecht im Mittelalter, ed. Amalie Fößel (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2020), 46-78. Also in Open Access

“Of Seals and Siblings: Teresa/Matilda (d. 1218), Queen of Portugal and Countess of Flanders,” Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies 12, no. 3 (2020). Also in Open Access

“Matilda of Saxony’s Luxury Objects in Motion: Salving the Wounds of Conflict” in Moving Women, Moving Objects 300-1500, eds. Tracy Chapman Hamilton and Mariah Proctor-Tiffany (Leiden: Brill, 2019), 83-104.

Between León and the Levant: The Infanta Sancha’s Portable Altar as Material Evidence for Medieval History.” The Medieval Iberian Treasury in the Context of Cultural Interchange, ed. Therese Martin, special issue, Medieval Encounters (2019): 124-149.

“Medium en Macht in de Middeleeuwen,” Leidschrift: Historisch Tijdschrift 34, no. 1 (2019): 75-91. Website

Manly Minds in Female Bodies: Three Women and their Power through Coins and Seals,” Memoria, género y poder en la Edad Media, ed. Ana Rodríguez, special issue, Arenal. Revista de historia de las mujeres 25, no. 2 (2018), 295-321.

“Visualizing Dynastic Desire: The Twelfth-Century Gospel Book of Henry and Matilda,” Studies in Iconography 39 (2018), 135-166.

Women, Courtly Display and Gifts in the Rolandslied and the Chanson de Roland,” Mediaevistik. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Medieval Research 30 (2017), 125-141.

Matilda, Leonor and Joanna: The Plantagenet Sisters and the Display of Dynastic Connections through Material Culture,” Journal of Medieval History 43, no. 4 (2017), 523-547. It is Feminae Article of the Month (November 2018).

“To Have and to Hold: Coins and Seals as Evidence for Motherly Authority,” in Royal Mothers and Their Ruling Children. Wielding Political Authority from Antiquity to the Early Modern Era, eds. Carey Fleiner and Elena Woodacre (Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2015), 83-104.

 “A Coin Bearing Testimony to Duchess Matilda as Consors Regni,” Haskins Society Journal 26 (2014 appeared in 2015), 169-190.

“Wendelien van Welie-Vink, Body Language: The Body in Medieval Art. Rotterdam: nai010 publishers, 2020,” in Art and Christianity journal 104 (2020), 13-14.

“Johanna Dale, Inauguration and Liturgical Kingship in the Long Twelfth Century: Male and Female Accession Rituals in England, France and the Empire. Woodbridge: York Medieval Press, 2019,” in Royal Studies Journal 6 (2019), 228-230.

“Penelope Nash, Empress Adelheid and Countess Matilda: Medieval Female Rulership and the Foundations of European Society. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017,” Royal Studies Journal 5 (2018), 185-187.

“Martin Homza, Mulieres suadentes – Persuasive Women: Female Royal Saints in Medieval East Central and Eastern Europe. East Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 450–1450, 42. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2017,” Mediaevistik. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Medieval Research 30 (2018), 298-300.

“Linda E. Mitchell, Joan de Valence: The Life and Influence of a Thirteenth-Century Noblewoman. Palgrave Macmillan: New York, 2016,” Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality 52, no. 1 (2016), 110-112.

“Mary Dockray-Miller, The Books and Life of Judith of Flanders. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015,” Royal Studies Journal 3, no. 1 (2016), 86-87.

“Hans Eberhard Mayer and Claudia Sode, Die Siegel der Lateinische Könige von Jerusalem, Monumenta Germaniae Historica Schriften, Band 66, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2014,” The Medieval Review, 2015.09.19.

Recent Panel Organisation:
23 February 2021, Panel “Out of Sight: Artefacts and Assemblages in the Medieval Mediterranean.” The Medieval Mediterranean: Local and Global Perspectives. A panel with Prof. Anne E. Lester (Johns Hopkins University) and Dr. Verónica Carla Abenza Soria (CSIC Madrid). The session has been recorded and can be accessed here.

13-14 June 2019, International workshop “Rethinking the In/visibility of Medieval Objects,” Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

2-5 July 2018, Panel “Recollecting Medieval Artefacts: A Global Approach,” International Medieval Congress Leeds. Selected for sponsorship by the International Center of Medieval Art.

Other Activities

I serve on the Medieval Academy of America’s Leeds Program Committee, on the editorial board of CARMEN Visual and Material Cultures, Arc Humanities Press and am an International Associate on the Board of Directors of the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA).


Gespräch über mein Buch Het vrouwelijk oog wil ook wat im Radioprogramm Nooit meer slapen, 10.08.2021.

Gespräch über mein Buch Het vrouwelijk oog wil ook wat im Radioprogramm Nieuwsweekend, 14.08.2021.

Reddit, r/AskHistorians, 17.07.2020.

Sancha trajo a León trozos de la cuna y la mesa de Jesús, Diario de León 12.09.2018.

Fragmentos de la cuna y la mesa de Jesús que trajo infanta Sancha a León, Castilla y León Televisión 18.09.2018