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Alfred Kornilov
Alfred Kornilov

Set In Stone: The Face In Medieval Sculpture


The faces on many medieval heads are often extremely generalized, but some depicted actual people. This exhibition includes portrait heads from the third through the early sixteenth century, demonstrating the changes in stone portraiture that occurred over time. The tender image of the young princess Marie de France carved in marble that dates to 1381, from the permanent collection, is a particular highlight. Her elegantly coiffed head was once adorned with real jewels.




Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture



Faces in medieval sculpture are explorations of human identity, marked not only by evolving nuances of style but also by ongoing drama of European history. The eighty-one sculpted heads featured in this beautifully illustrated volume provide a sweeping view of the Middle Ages, from the waning days of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance. Each masterful sculpture bears eloquent witness to its own history, whether it was removed from its original context for ideological reasons or because of changing tastes.


In the late 1970s the handsome New York stockbroker and connoisseur retreated into the Appalachian Mountains, taking his sublime collection of medieval and Renaisance sculpture with him. Some 50 years later, it is being offered in New York


The rough surface of European limestone and sandstone sculptures was usually concealed by paint, gilding, inlaid glass, or semi-precious stones. A plain white surface like those of classical Greek and Roman marble sculptures was considered the most desirable finish, so marble was rarely decorated. In actual fact, these classical sculptures would probably have originally been painted, but by the time they were rediscovered in post-classical times, the paint had worn away.


Drawing on extensive unpublished archives, Norman reconstructs the circumstances surrounding the commission of Marian art in the three most prestigious locations of fourteenth-century Siena: the cathedral, the Palazzo Pubblico, and the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala. She analyzes similarly important commissions in the contado towns of Massa Marittima, Montalcino, and Montepulciano. Casting new light on such topics as the original site for the reliquary tomb of Saint Cerbone, patron saint of Massa Marittima, and the identity of the patrons of the Marian frescoes in the rural hermitage of San Leonardo al Lago, the author deepens our insight into the origins and meaning of Sienese art production of the late medieval period.Siena, Florence, and Padua: Art, Society, and Religion, 1280-1400 by Diana Norman (Editor)Call Number: Oversize N6913 .S53 1995ISBN: 0300061250Publication Date: 1995-02-22Contents:v. 1. Interpretative essays -- The essays contain discussions of the politics and the economics of the cities during the 14th century; the major practitioners of painting, sculpture and architecture; the significance of communal and familial patronage of art in the three cities; the relation of art to the religious belief and devotional practice and to the broader intellectual ambience of the cities; and the impact and significance of various historiographical traditions.v. 2. Case studies. -- This second volume focuses on major works of art produced in Siena, Florence or Padua or executed by artists associated with the three cities. The case studies include discussions of the evolution of two important building types (town halls and cathedrals); the devotional and liturgical contexts of pre-eminent 14th-century altar-pieces; interpretation of the major fresco cycles in the Arena Chapel, Padua, and the Sala dei Nove, Siena; the significance of sculpted representations of the body; and the distinctive impact of familial or specifically female patronage.Medieval Architecture, Medieval Learning: builders and masters in the age of Romanesque and Gothic by Charles M. Radding; William W. ClarkCall Number: Oversize NA390 .R33 1992ISBN: 0300061307Publication Date: 1994-09-28The eleventh and twelfth centuries witnessed a thoroughgoing transformation of European culture, as new ways of thinking revitalized every aspect of human endeavor, from architecture and the visual arts to history, philosophy, theology, and even law. In this book Charles M. Radding and William W. Clark offer fresh perspectives on changes in architecture and learning at three moments in time. The authors trace the professional contexts and creative activities of builders and masters from the creation of the Romanesque to the achievements of the Gothic and, in the process, establish new criteria for defining each. In the twelfth century, new intellectual directions, set by such specialists as Peter Abelard and the second master builder working at Saint-Denis, began to shape new systems of thinking based on a coherent view of the world. By the thirteenth century these became the standards by which all practitioners of a discipline were measured.Images in Ivory - Precious Objects of the Gothic Age by Peter Barnet; Detroit Institute of Arts StaffCall Number: Oversize NK5875 .I45 1997ISBN: 0691016119Publication Date: 1997-04-02The exhibition catalog is the first survey of Gothic ivories in English. It contains essays by seven leading international scholars, including Peter Barnet (Gothic Sculpture in Ivory: An Introduction), Elizabeth Sears (Ivory and Ivory-Workers in Medieval Paris), Richard H. Randall, Jr. (Popular Romances Carved in Ivory), Harvey Stahl (Narrative Structure and Content in Some Gothic Ivories of the Life of Christ), Charles T. Little (Opera Francigeno et Germania: Gothic Ivory Carving in Germany), Danielle Gaborit-Chopin (Polychrome Decoration of Gothic Ivories), and Paul Williamson (Symbiosis across Scale: Gothic Ivories and Culture in Stone and Wood in the Thirteenth Century). Nearly one hundred of the most important examples of Gothic ivory carving from collections in Europe and the United States are catalogued by leading specialists. They are illustrated with mostly new photography and collateral photographs where appropriate. The publication conveys to the reader the major changes that occurred in art and society during the Gothic period and the rise of ivory carving for both religious and secular purposes. Organized chronologically, the catalog tells the story of the development of this art form; the people who carved, commissioned, and made use of ivories in the Middle Ages; and the impact historical developments had on the growth and eventual demise of the art form. > Last Updated: Feb 1, 2023 3:42 PM URL: Print Page Login to LibApps Report a problem Subjects: Art History Tags: art, art history, byzantine art, carolingian art, early christian art, gothic art, medieval art, ottonian art, romanesque art Pepperdine Libraries Explore. Discover. Create.


However, one art form was entirely new, and that was the use of colored glass as a medium, and in a sense a completely new kind of canvas for the style of painting which until then had been carried out in illuminated manuscripts, on walls and ceilings, in relief sculpture, and even in medieval tapestries. The manufacture of Medieval stained glass was very much intrinsically related to the activities of other kinds of medieval artisans. The content and the forms of the images which would be rendered in glass was determined by a Church authority; religious and royal portraiture conformed to strict iconographic parameters, some of which were firmly entrenched in Byzantine orthodoxy and authority. The Medieval artist responsible for great public works of art for both Church and State (indeed their authorities had been married in Europe since the Carolingian Era) was in no position to go off-script; that is the story of a later era in Art History. Once the subject matter and iconography had been determined, it was sketched onto wood, and the colors and features would be planned from there. Once the exact composition was known, glass blowers or glaziers would furnish the appropriate panels of color and cut them to fit the design. These could be single-color panels, or two different colors of glass could be fused together in a process called flashing to produce subtle tonalities which lent the stained-glass images a rudimentary interplay of light and shadow- what would later be called chiaroscuro in the Renaissance- and a more life-like quality. At this point, these pieces of colored glass were put on top of the wooden panel, and the fine lines of the face and clothes, for example, would be painted directly on to the glass in enamel; heat then fused these lines to the glass. At this point, the final form could be assembled. The finished glass panes were heated and bound to lead rods called cames in a process called leading. Although their function was primarily functional and structural, the cames nevertheless took on an increasingly aesthetic handling as thick black boundary-lines between colors in the composition. Finally, sturdy rods were an extra measure of stability which kept the stained glass compositions in their stone tracery; earlier armatures were a simple grid while later ones can be observed following the outlines of large features in the composition itself.


The cathedral is a Unesco World Heritage site recognized for its historical and religious significance, as well as for its art and architecture. Among its most famous features are the Pórtico de la Gloria, a medieval sculpture that depicts a Christian conception of the world, and the western façade, a later addition that mixes architectural styles and forms part of Obradoiro Square.


Building and decorating the Parthenon marked the peak of classical Greek sculpture. The statues and reliefs for this ancient temple were finished within ten years, involving an array of skilled sculptors. The tradition of using reliefs and statues as ornaments stems from this period, and it went on to dominate the medieval European styles.


The most significant medieval European styles are Romanesque and Gothic. These styles are commonly related to architectural sculpture, where three-dimensional pieces of art decorated the church columns. Medieval sculptors let their imagination run wild when decorating these columns with vivid Biblical scenes and grotesque monsters. This was often met with strong disapproval of the church establishment. Gothic is another recognizable artistic style that originates from the 12th century. Typical gothic sculptures are elongated and very thin, standing on narrow pedestals, their bodies covered in robes and their faces beaming with serenity. 041b061a72


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