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Sight and Spirituality in Early Netherlandish Painting

Sight and Spirituality in Early Netherlandish Painting

$140.99 (C)

Part of Studies in Netherlandish Visual Culture

  • Date Published: July 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521832786

$ 140.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Sight and Spirituality in Early Netherlandish Painting examines the importance of vision as a narrative and thematic concern in works by artists such as Jan van Eyck, Petrus Christus, and Roger van der Weyden. Bret Rothstein argues that their paintings invited the viewer to demonstrate a variety of mental skills. Depicting religious visual experience, these works alluded to the imperceptibility of the divine and implicated the viewer's own experience as part of a larger spiritual and intellectual process. Rothstein demonstrates how and why the act of seeing became a highly valued skill, one to be refined and displayed, as well as a source of competition among both artists and patrons.

    • The accent of this book on the historicity of vision should appeal not only to art historians but also philosophers and students of theology
    • The interdisciplinary approach of this book will allow it to appeal to other disciplines including history and literary history
    • Treatment of pictures gives an opportunity to reframe traditional debates between painting and self-awareness
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Sight and Spirituality in Early Netherlandish Painting is erudite and provocative in ways that will make it a vital resource for much discussion to come[...]As it compels reexamination of how we interpret early Netherlandish paintings, Rothstein's intelligent meditation also demonstrates ways in which we can and should look ever more closely at the elemental kinship between representation and belief." -- CAA Reviews

    "Bret Rothstein's fascinating new book is an exercise in sophisticated visual engagement. [...]Rothstein rewards his patient reader with an intellectual tour-de-force that makes us ponder more deeply the possible intentions of these magnificent painters." -- Historians of Netherlandish Art Review of Books

    "There is no doubt that Rothstein offers nuanced and illuminating new readings of consequential paintings. Sight and Spirituality in Early Netherlandish Painting contributes to a growing literature that demonstrates how much operant theories about vision inflect the visual culture of a given time and place. It is a significant book not least of all because it asks art historians to reconsider the meanings and values we ascribe to reflexivity in both scholarly and artistic traditions." - Sherry C. M. Lindquist, Northwestern University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2005
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521832786
    • length: 274 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 198 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.855kg
    • contains: 46 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: forms of interest in early Netherlandish painting. 1. Picturing vision
    2. The imagination of imagelessness
    3. The devotional image as social ornament
    4. Reflexivity and senses of painterly strength
    Epilogue: notes on the rise of visual skill.

  • Author

    Bret L. Rothstein

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