"EARLY MEDIEVAL ART AND CIVILIZATION, GOTHIC ART AND CIVILIZATION, BYZANTINE ART AND CIVILIZATION. 3 vols, gold cloth with black titling and cover design, gilt edges, a few minor scuffs and scratches to slip case. A handsome set.
This handsome and lavishly illustrated volume invites the reader to explore the exotic and distant world of Greek culture--not primarily the conventional literary idea of that culture but the range of experiences presented in its iconography. Between the sixth and fifth centuries B.C., Athenian artisans flooded the Mediterranean world with remarkable decorated vases depicting a large variety of images. Using the resources of social and religious anthropology, the authors exploit the richness of this material to re-create the intellectual and emotional milieu of the inhabitant of a Greek city-state.
Surprises multiply in this innovative work, translated into English for the first time. The Greeks incorporated the ambiguous and problematical aspects of human existence into their representational repertory, and many images are disconcerting in their brutality, their violence, and their strangeness. Paradoxically it is through pursuing this strangeness in its multiple contexts that we come the closest to ancient Greek civilization.
The book presents the great cultural themes of the time: the hunt, war, erotic love, and the festival. The earlier chapters lead to the discussion of the most disquieting figure in the Greek universe--Dionysus, god of sacred wine, magic masks, and animal metamorphoses. Many reproductions in the work are in private collections and have been rarely seen by the public.
AND SOCIETY IN INCIENT GREECE.
As the 587 colorful images in this magnificent volume reveal, animals were a constant -- and delightful -- presence in illuminated manuscripts throughout the Middle Ages. Many proto-zoological illustrations, of great charm but variable accuracy, are found in the bestiaries, or compendiums of animal lore, that were exceedingly popular in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. But animals are depicted in every other sort of illuminated manuscript as well, from the eighth-century Echternach Gospels, with its geometrically schematized symbols of the Evangelists, to the early fifteenth-century Tr s Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, with its famously naturalistic scenes of peasant and aristocratic life.In his insightful opening chapters, the noted art historian Christian Heck explains that the prevalence of animals in illuminated manuscripts reflects their importance in medieval thought, an importance due in part to the agricultural society of that age, in which a variety of species--and not just docile pets--were the daily companions of man. Animals also had a greater symbolic significance than they do today: in popular fables, such as those of Reynard the Fox, they held up a mirror to the follies of mankind, and on the religious plane, they were understood as an integral part of God's creation, whose attributes and behaviors could be taken as clues to His plan of salvation. The main part of the book explores the complex and fascinating iconography of the individual creatures most frequently depicted by medieval miniaturists. It is arranged in the manner of a proper bestiary, with essays on one hundred animals alphabetized by their Latin names, from the alauda, or lark, whose morning song was thought to be a hymn to Creation, to the vultur, which enjoyed a certain respect due to its impressive appearance, but whose taste for carrion also made it a symbol of the sinner who indulges in worldly pleasures. The selection includes a number of creatures that would now be considered fantastic, including the griffin, the manticore, and of course the fabled unicorn, tamable only by a gentle maiden. Not merely a study of art history, The Grand Medieval Bestiary uses a theme of timeless interest to present a panorama of medieval life and thought that will captivate even the most sophisticated modern reader.
Mosaic has been called "painting for eternity," and it is in fact one of the few arts of antiquity to survive in something like its original condition and variety. Mosaic pavements with geometric and figural motifs first appeared in Greece at the end of the fifth century BC and subsequently spread throughout the entire classical world, from the palaces of the Greco-Bactrian rulers of present-day Afghanistan to the villas of Roman Britain. Local workshops cultivated many distinctive regional styles, while traveling teams of Hellenistic craftsmen produced figural mosaics of stunning refinement, often modeled after famous paintings; indeed, their work constitutes one of our only records of classical Greek painting, which has been almost entirely lost.The styles and techniques of the ancient mosaicist's art are given a concise yet authoritative exposition in the first part of this handsome volume. The second, and larger, part conducts the reader on a chronological tour of the most important centers of the art form's development, from the Macedonian capital of Pella, whose compositions in natural pebbles set a high artistic standard for mosaics at the very beginning of their history, to the Basilica of San Vitale at Ravenna, whose wall and vault mosaics, with their glittering vision of a triumphant Christianity, mark the transition between antiquity and the Middle Ages. Special attention is given to Pompeii and its surroundings, where the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 preserved intact an astonishing variety of mosaics, including such ambitious figural scenes as the famous Alexander mosaic, composed of some four million miniscule tesserae, as well as characteristically Roman pavements in black and white, and the brightly colored wall mosaics of garden grottoes. Featuring more than two hundred newly commissioned photographs, Greek and Roman Mosaics is the first survey of its subject to be illustrated in full color. It will be a necessary addition to every art lover's library, and a worthy companion to Abbeville's Italian Mosaics: 300-1300.
8vo, 343pgs + plates. Full bound in blue buckram with gilt stamped seal on front board and gilt titling on spine. Book contains 32 black and white plates, photographic reproductions of Archaic sculptures. Mild wear to extremities and bumped corner tips. Front free endpaper has note from previous owner in pen and very light toning to interior edges. Dust jacket has very little wear, though there is heavy foxing on spine and light foxing on front and rear covers.
This is an indispensable reference for museums, galleries, collectors, artists and academics, covering some 50 artists, with over 300 colour plates and many never-before-published works on American Tonalism.
Three-quarter bound in leather and marbled paper. Five raised bands on spine; also gilt titles in red title labels. All pages with red edge-stain. Moderate shelfwear and rubbing to boards overall. Leather has cracked down the front hinge (terminating about halfway down), but boards and block are holding.
Distributed in North America for Mercatorfonds.Charles the Bold (1433 1477) was ambitious, well educated, and tireless in his pursuit of power and recognition. At the close of the Middle Ages, in the fourth generation of his dynasty, he made the duchy of Burgundy into a significant European power. The house of Burgundy celebrated its rise by establishing a glittering court life, in which objects of exquisite taste were constantly sought after. The essays in Splendour of the Burgundian Court biographies of rulers, political history, and analyses of court art form a comprehensive portrait of the Burgundian court. Its splendid full-color illustrations vividly bring to life both the brilliance and the drama of the epoch.The dukes of Burgundy ruled over a conglomeration of territories, each with its own political and legal traditions. Because their dynasty was relatively new and flanked by the much more powerful French kingdom and German empire, Burgundian dukes invested in lavish public ceremonial displays to assert their status and reinforce the court's position as a center of power. The theater of Burgundian rule depended upon the display of ever more elaborate objects, from clothing and armor to furniture, tableware, tapestries, and paintings-many of which are of outstanding quality. Charles the Bold grew up on this ritualized stage, and his eventful life is reflected in the ceremonies and objects that conveyed his authority. Splendour of the Burgundian Court welcomes readers into that world."
The papers in this volume constitute a substantial body of work that provides a wide-ranging overview of current research on the technology and practice of Old Master paintings, covering some 700 years of European painting, from the thirteenth century to the early twentieth century, including works by Guido da Siena, Bellini, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Fernando Gallego, Holbein, Caravaggio, El Greco, Rubens, Murillo, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Whistler, van Gogh and Munch. Six of the contributions focus on technological or historical aspects of specific artists' materials. These papers were presented at a conference held at the National Gallery to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the National Gallery Technical Bulletin. The Bulletin has a long history of publishing interdisciplinary research on the technical examination of paintings to inform both art-historical study and issues relating to the material history of a work. This type of research was the central focus of the conference and provided the overall thematic link between the contributions presented. Contains essays on the work of a wide range of artists, including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Hans Holbein, Albrecht Altdofer, Caravaggio, Rubens, Thomas Gainsborough, Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Christen Kobke, Bartolome Esteban Murillom and El Greco."