Ars Sacra: 800-1200 (Pelican History of Art)

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9780140560367: Ars Sacra: 800-1200 (Pelican History of Art)

The magnificent bronze doors of Hildesheim Cathedral, the ivory, gold, enameled, and bejeweled book covers made to contain superbly illuminated manuscripts, the startling reliquary caskets made in the shape of the part of the body supposed to be contained within them--these and other sacred objects were contained within church treasuries and cloisters in the early Middle Ages in Europe. This beautiful book traces the development of these so-called Minor Arts and the major role they played alongside the other pictorial arts and architectural sculpture of the period. Although it is impossible to establish a strict chronology of this period, since styles evolved concurrently and with varying speed across diverse regions of Europe, Peter Lasko has established an object-based chronology that enables him to trace the developments of these styles. In addition, he describes the personalities, stylistic traits, and influence of some of the great craftsmen whose names are briefly recorded in cathedral treasury records. He surveys the sacred arts from Scandinavia to Spain and from Italy to England, examining the impact of English art on the court of Charlemagne and investigating external influences on English art both before and after the Norman Conquest. Lasko records the wide range of opinions on style and method and also explicates his own; his comprehensive survey of craftsmanship alters previous assumptions about chronologies, creates new groupings of materials, and reassesses stylistic sources.

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Product Description:

For an understanding of the art of the Early Middle Ages it is essential to consider reliquaries and shrines, book bindings and ivory carvings, goldsmith's work and bronze casting, as much as major sculpture and painting. This volume covers these Ars Sacra from 800 to 1200. The objects discussed in this volume are "sacred", for the most part made to contain the most precious mortal remains of saints or for the celebration of the mass and other Sacraments, or the decoration of the altar. Even imperial or royal regalia, which might be thought to be secular, were regarded as divine gifts, symbolic of the sacred power of the ruler: rex et sacerdos, God's vicar on earth. Such regalia were necessary to the anointing and the dedication of kings, part of the ritual of the Church.

From the Back Cover:

This book deals with the art of church treasuries and cloisters in the early middle ages in Europe - the work of goldsmiths, ivory carvers, bronze casters, enamellers and wood carvers. These so-called 'Minor Arts' played a major creative role alongside the other pictorial arts and architectural sculpture. The book traces the unbroken development of the Sacred Arts and their interrelationships throughout Europe from the Renovatio of the arts - the 'Rebirth of Antiquity' - encouraged under the Emperor Charlemagne in the late eighth century, until a renewed and fresh appreciation of the natural world - the Gothic - began to replace the powerful stylisations and the last vestiges of the classical tradition of the Romanesque in the early thirteenth century.

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Peter Lasko
Published by Penguin Books (1973)
ISBN 10: 014056036X ISBN 13: 9780140560367
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Peter Lasko
Published by Penguin Books (1973)
ISBN 10: 014056036X ISBN 13: 9780140560367
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Irish Booksellers
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