Recognizing that a work of art is the product of a particular time and place as much as it is the creation of an individual, Duby provides a sweeping survey of the changing mentalities of the Middle Ages as reflected in the art and architecture of the period.
"If Age of the Cathedrals has a fault, it is that Professor Duby knows too much, has too many new ideas and takes such a delight in setting them out. . . insights whiz to and fro like meteorites."—John Russell, New York Times Book Review
A Prayer Book owned by the Rothschilds, an Italian bronze casket by Antico, a lavishly illustrated Carnival chronicle from sixteenth-century Germany, an altarpiece by Pieter Brueghel the Younger - much of the artwork in this book, held by Australian collections, is essentially unknown beyond the continent. The authors of these essays showcase these extraordinary objects to their full potential,revealing a wide range of contemporary art and historical research. This collection of essays will surprise even specialists.
In this colorfully illustrated book, Rose Walker surveys Spanish and Portuguese art and architecture from the time of the Roman conquest to the early twelfth century. For generations, scholarly discussions of such art have been complicated by a focus on maps of the pilgrimage roads and images of the Reconquista. Walker contextualizes these aspects by bringing together an exceptionally diverse range of academic studies, including work previously familiar only to Hispanophone audiences. By breaking down chronological, regional, and disciplinary divides that have limited scholarship on the subject for decades, this book enriches the wider English-language literature on early medieval art.
This abundantly illustrated book examines the figure of Balthazar, one of the biblical magi, and explains how and why he came to be depicted as a Black African king.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, magi from the East, following a star, traveled to Jerusalem bearing precious gifts for the infant Jesus. The magi were revered as wise men and later as kings. Over time, one of the three came to be known as Balthazar and to be depicted as a Black man.
Balthazar was familiar to medieval Europeans, appearing in paintings, manuscript illuminations, mosaics, carved ivories, and jewelry. But the origin story of this fascinating character uncovers intricate ties between Europe and Africa, including trade and diplomacy as well as colonization and enslavement.
In this book, experts in the fields of Ethiopian, West African, Nubian, and Western European art explore the representation of Balthazar as a Black African king. They examine exceptional art that portrays the European fantasy of the Black magus while offering clues about the very real Africans who may have inspired these images. Along the way, the authors chronicle the Black presence in premodern Europe, where free and enslaved Black people moved through public spaces and courtly circles. The volume’s lavish illustrations include selected works by contemporary artists who creatively challenge traditional depictions of Black history.
The Brummer Collection of Medieval Art in the Duke University Museum of Art is one of the finest to be found in any American university museum. It is remarkable for its breadth and the variety of objects represented, with works varying in scale from monumental stone pieces to small-scale objects in wood, ivory, or metal, and ranging from the seventh to eighth centuries through the sixteenth century. This fine catalog makes available for the first time this rich but little-known collection. Five studies by leading art scholars focus on key works in the collection and contribute to a new understanding of the origins of many of the pieces. Two introductory essays comment on the character of the collection as a whole, its acquisition by Duke University, and its conservation. Finally, the catalog section discusses the more important pieces in the collection and is followed by a checklist of entries and smaller photographs of all other objects.
Contributors. Ilene H. Forsyth, Jean M. French, Dorothy F. Glass, Dieter Kimpel, Jill Meredith, Linda S. Roundhill
The act of including bystanders within the scene of an artwork has marked an important shift in the ways artists addressed the beholder, as well as a significant transformation of the relationship between images and their viewership. In such works, the “public” in the picture could be seen as a mediating between different times, people, and contents.
With The Public in the Picture, contributors describe this shift, with each essay focusing on a specific group of works created at a different moment in history. Together, the contributions explore the political, religious, and social contexts of the publics depicted and relate this shift to the rise of perspectival representation. Contributors to The Public in the Picture include Andrew Griebler, Annette Haug, Henrike Haug, Christiane Hille, Christopher Lakey, Andrea Lermer, Cornelia Logemann, Anja Rathmann-Lutz, Alberto Saviello, and Daniela Wagner.
What is it that art historians do when they approach works of art?
What kind of language do they use to descibe what they see? How do they construct arguments using visual evidence? What sorts of arguments do they make? In this unusual anthology, eighteen prominent art historians specializing in the medieval field (European, Byzantine, and Islamic) provide answers to these fundamental questions, not directly but by way of example. Each author, responding to invitation, has chosen for study a single image or object and has submitted it to sustained analysis. The collection of essays, accompanied by statements on methodology by the editors, offers an accessible introduction to current art-historical practice.
Elizabeth Sears is George H. Forsyth Jr. Collegiate Professor of Art at the University of Michigan. She has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, a Research Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, and a Paul Mellon Centre Fellowship at the British School in Rome.
Thelma K. Thomas is Associate Professor of the History of Art and Associate Curator of the Kelsey Museum, University of Michigan.
The growth in debates concerning the concept of 'the global' in medieval art history, and the more complex picture of Eurasian and African societies and material culture that has emerged in the past two decades has highlighted challenges to traditional art historical narratives, specializations, and scholarly training. And while these problems affect Byzantine, Islamic, Western medieval, and East Asian art history, there has been little conversation among scholars in these fields. A cutting-edge work on global medieval art, this volume offers a starting point for conversations among scholars working on multiple cultural regions.
The church of San Marco of Venice has long played a central role in Venetian political, ceremonial, and religious life. Its renowned assemblage of mosaics, sculpture, metalwork, and reliquaries are, in origin, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, or Venetian imitation of Byzantine designs. In San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice, the authors assess the significance of the embellishment of the church and its immediate surroundings, especially during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when most of the Byzantine material was acquired, largely from Constantinople. The church and its decoration are studied in relation to Venice’s interests abroad and on mainland Italy. The authors address the diverse styles, sources, meanings, and significance of this art, both individually and as an ensemble.
Building upon developments in scholarship since Otto Demus’s masterly studies of the church, the book offers new insights into the inspiration, purposes, and mutability of San Marco and the myths that inspired and motivated Venetians.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, some sexual and gendered behaviors were labeled “sodomitical” or evoked the use of ambiguous phrases such as the “unmentionable vice” or the “sin against nature.” How, though, did these categories enter the field of vision? How do you know a sodomite when you see one?
In Seeing Sodomy in the Middle Ages, Robert Mills explores the relationship between sodomy and motifs of vision and visibility in medieval culture, on the one hand, and those categories we today call gender and sexuality, on the other. Challenging the view that ideas about sexual and gender dissidence were too confused to congeal into a coherent form in the Middle Ages, Mills demonstrates that sodomy had a rich, multimedia presence in the period—and that a flexible approach to questions of terminology sheds new light on the many forms this presence took. Among the topics that Mills covers are depictions of the practices of sodomites in illuminated Bibles; motifs of gender transformation and sex change as envisioned by medieval artists and commentators on Ovid; sexual relations in religious houses and other enclosed spaces; and the applicability of modern categories such as “transgender,” “butch” and “femme,” or “sexual orientation” to medieval culture.
Taking in a multitude of images, texts, and methodologies, this book will be of interest to all scholars, regardless of discipline, who engage with gender and sexuality in their work.
Christ's Crucifixion is one of the most recognized images in Western culture, and it has come to stand as a universal symbol of both suffering and salvation. But often overlooked is the fact that ultimately the Crucifixion is a scene of capital punishment. Mitchell Merback reconstructs the religious, legal, and historical context of the Crucifixion and of other images of public torture. The result is a fascinating account of a time when criminal justice and religion were entirely interrelated and punishment was a visual spectacle devoured by a popular audience.
Merback compares the images of Christ's Crucifixion with those of the two thieves who met their fate beside Jesus. In paintings by well-known Northern European masters and provincial painters alike, Merback finds the two thieves subjected to incredible cruelty, cruelty that artists could not depict in their scenes of Christ's Crucifixion because of theological requirements. Through these representations Merback explores the ways audiences in early modern Europe understood images of physical suffering and execution. The frequently shocking works also provide a perspective from which Merback examines the live spectacle of public torture and execution and how audiences were encouraged by the Church and the State to react to the experience. Throughout, Merback traces the intricate and extraordinary connections among religious art, devotional practice, bodily pain, punishment, and judicial spectatorship.
Keenly aware of the difficulties involved in discussing images of atrocious violence but determined to make them historically comprehensible, Merback has written an informed and provocative study that reveals the rituals of medieval criminal justice and the visual experiences they engendered.