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In this book, Beatrice E. Kitzinger explores the power of representation in the Carolingian period, demonstrating how images were used to assert the value and efficacy of art works. She focuses on the cross, Christianity's central sign, which simultaneously commemorates sacred history, functions in the present, and prepares for the end of time. It is well recognized that the visual attributes of the cross were designed to communicate its theology relative to history and eschatology; Kitzinger argues that early medieval artists also developed a formal language to articulate its efficacious powers in the present day. Defined through form and text as the sign of the present, the image of the cross articulated the instrumentality of religious objects and built spaces. Whereas medieval and modern scholars have pondered the theological problems posed by representation, Kitzinger here proposes a visual argument that affirms the self-reflexive value of art works in the early medieval West. Introducing little-known sources, she re-evaluates both the image of the cross and the project of book-making in an expanded field of Carolingian painting.Read more
- Introduces a wealth of little-studied and rarely published material
- Engages a prominent discussion about the value and function of images in the early medieval church
- Pairs 'high' and 'low'-level artistic productions in a thematically unified discussion
Reviews & endorsements
‘Over the past decades, multiple studies have analysed early medieval representations of the Cross, but Beatrice Kitzinger’s fresh approach to the subject sets this book apart from previous publications … Kitzinger’s probing, thoughtful, highly original study stands as a major contribution not only to modern understanding of Carolingian crosses and illuminated gospel books, but to medieval image theory as a whole.’ Celia Chazelle, The Burlington Magazine
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- Date Published: April 2019
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781108428811
- length: 322 pages
- dimensions: 262 x 185 x 21 mm
- weight: 0.98kg
- contains: 148 colour illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Part I. The Cross and the Work of Art: Introduction: temporality, utilitas, and the signum crucis
1. Making the multitemporal cross
Part II. The Cross and the Gospels:
2. Otfrid of Weissenburg's Book of the Gospels
3. Cross-image and Gospel Book
4. The angers gospels: sign and story
Conclusion: the fact of manufacture.
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