Romina Westphal

Romina Westphal

IMS PG Researcher

Summary: Tapestries of the Late Middle Ages; Political Potential of Art; Gender and Patronage of Art; Hero Topos and Tapestries in Courtly and Civic Contexts; West-Central Europe



I obtained my BA in Art History from the University of Amsterdam where I also undertook my MA in Art History of the Middle Ages, graduating in 2014. During my MA, I focused increasingly on the study of late Medieval tapestries, investigating this medium's unique characteristics, its political potential as well as the way Burgundian rulers in particular invested in the Portable Grandeur as a means of communication and demonstration of power.

Research Interests

As of October 2014, I have commenced my PhD at the Institute for Medieval Studies in Leeds which is funded by the IMS and School of History PhD Scholarship.

I am interested in tapestry and gender and I study the involvement of both women and men in the patronage of tapestries, their roles during events in which tapestries were on display, as well as the representation of male and female figures on tapestries. Considering the latter, the Neuf Preux topos forms an interesting case with the appearance of the Neuf Preuses and the tenth Preux and Preuse.

Supervisors: Dr. Eva Frojmovic and Professor Ros Brown-Grant

I am also working as research assistant on the project 'Shedding Light on a New Science in the 12th Century: An Iconographic Study of the Hildesheim Candlesticks'. In this study, Dr Eva Frojmovic and I situate this unique pair of candlesticks in the early construction phase of a visual expression of medicine as an emerging science in the twelfth century. By doing so, we aim to trace back its iconographic development and attempt to reconstruct its stylistic influences. 

Public Engagement

I am involved with the Medieval Society, supported by the Leeds University Union, where I hold the position of treasurer and help organise events of all kinds.