Barbara Baert (KU Leuven)
The Johannesschüssel, also called Caput Iohannis in Disco or Saint John’s head on a platter, is a late medieval/early modern type of sculpture that was common in parts of Europe north of the Alps. The functions and uses of the Johannesschüssel are complex and heterogeneous. In this essay, I focus less on specific case studies, and more on the phenomenon of the Johannesschüssel, offering an interpretation of the relationship between these objects and the sensory apparatus.
Keywords: John the Baptist, Johannesschüssel, senses, speech, sight, silence, platter
Full text: OAJ_issue4_Baert (PDF, 1 MB)
Barbara Baert is professor of art history at Leuven University. Her research fields and projects with PhD students concern sacred topography, visual anthropology, relic- and headcults in the middle ages, gender and biblical narrative such as Mary Magdalene and the Woman with the bloodflow.