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The Mystic Ark
Hugh of Saint Victor, Art, and Thought in the Twelfth Century

$127.00 (C)

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  • Date Published: June 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107037052

$ 127.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In this book, Conrad Rudolph studies and reconstructs Hugh of St. Victor's forty-two-page written work, The Mystic Ark, which describes the medieval painting of the same name. In medieval written sources, works of art are not often referred to, let alone described in any detail. Almost completely ignored by art historians because of the immense difficulty of its text, Hugh of Saint Victor's Mystic Ark (c. 1125–1130) is among the most unusual sources we have for an understanding of medieval artistic culture. Depicting all time, all space, all matter, all human history, and all spiritual striving, this highly polemical painting deals with a series of cultural issues crucial in the education of society's elite during one of the great periods of intellectual change in Western history.

    • Contextual study of Hugh of Saint Victor's twelfth-century The Mystic Ark
    • English translation and commentary
    • Highly detailed reconstruction of an often neglected work
    Read more


    • Honourable Mention, 2015 PROSE Award for Art History and Criticism

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107037052
    • length: 626 pages
    • dimensions: 260 x 187 x 32 mm
    • weight: 1.51kg
    • contains: 49 b/w illus. 29 colour illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The Mystic Ark lectures
    2. The image of The Mystic Ark
    3. Conclusion: The Mystic Ark and the multiplication and systematization of imagery

  • Author

    Conrad Rudolph, University of California, Riverside
    Conrad Rudolph is Professor of Medieval Art History at the University of California, Riverside. He has received fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim, J. Paul Getty, Mellon and Kress foundations, as well as from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the College Art Association. At the University of California, Riverside he has received both the University Distinguished Teaching award and the University Honors Faculty Mentor of the Year award. He is a member of the board of editors of Speculum and of, the online journal of reviews of the College Art Association. He is author of The Things of Greater Importance: Bernard of Clairvaux's Apologia and the Medieval Attitude Toward Art (1990), Artistic Change at St-Denis: Abbot Suger's Program and the Early Twelfth-Century Controversy over Art (1990), Violence and Daily Life: Reading, Art, and Polemics in the Citeaux Moralia in Job (1997), Pilgrimage to the End of the World: The Road to Santiago de Compostela (2004) and First, I Find the Center Point: Reading the Text of Hugh of Saint Victor's The Mystic Ark (2005).


    • Honourable Mention, 2015 PROSE Award for Art History and Criticism

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