by Ivan (Author)
About this book we are told:
This book explores the nexus of art, personal piety, and self-representation in the last centuries of Byzantium. Spanning the period from around 1100 to around 1450, it focuses upon the evidence of verse inscriptions, or epigrams, on works of art. Epigrammatic poetry, Professor Drpić argues, constitutes a critical - if largely neglected - source for reconstructing aesthetic and socio-cultural discourses that informed the making, use, and perception of art in the Byzantine world. Bringing together art-historical and literary modes of analysis, the book examines epigrams and other related texts alongside an array of objects, including icons, reliquaries, ecclesiastical textiles, mosaics, and entire church buildings. By attending to such diverse topics as devotional self-fashioning, the aesthetics of adornment, sacred giving, and the erotics of the icon, this study offers a penetrating and highly original account of Byzantine art and its place in Byzantine society and religious life.The second also comes to us from Cambridge UP. Authored by Cecily J. Hilsdale, Byzantine Art and Diplomacy in an Age of Decline, at 424pp. is a hefty tome about which the publisher tells us:
The Late Byzantine period (1261 1453) is marked by a paradoxical discrepancy between economic weakness and cultural strength. The apparent enigma can be resolved by recognizing that later Byzantine diplomatic strategies, despite or because of diminishing political advantage, relied on an increasingly desirable cultural and artistic heritage. This book reassesses the role of the visual arts in this era by examining the imperial image and the gift as reconceived in the final two centuries of the Byzantine Empire. In particular it traces a series of luxury objects created specifically for diplomatic exchange with such courts as Genoa, Paris and Moscow alongside key examples of imperial imagery and ritual. By questioning how political decline refigured the visual culture of empire, Cecily J. Hilsdale offers a more nuanced and dynamic account of medieval cultural exchange that considers the temporal dimensions of power and the changing fates of empires."
The third collection treats biblical art in Byzantium but also more widely: Scot McKendrick and Kathleen Doyle, The Art of the Bible: Illuminated Manuscripts from the Medieval World (Thames and Hudson, 2016, 336pp.).
About this book we are told:
A beautiful and informative exploration of the illuminated manuscripts of the Bible over a millennium and across the globe, shedding new light on some of the most significant, yet rarely seen, paintings of the Middle Ages
For two millennia the Bible has inspired the creation of extraordinary art. Within this history illuminated biblical manuscripts are among the best tools for understanding early Christian painting and artistic interpretations of the Bible.
This extensively illustrated new book, compiled and written by two internationally renowned experts, transports readers, by way of forty-five featured manuscripts, across the globe and through 1,000 years of history. Passing chronologically through many of the major centers of the Christian world, from Constantinople and imperial Aachen to Canterbury, Mozarabic Spain, Crusader Jerusalem, northern Iraq, Paris, London, Bologna, and Rome, Scot McKendrick and Kathleen Doyle shed light on some of the finest but least-known paintings from the Middle Ages, and on the development of art, literature, and civilization as we know it.