Faces of Power and Piety is the second in the Medieval Imagination series of small, affordable books that draw on manuscript illuminations in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum and the British Library. Each volume focuses on a particular theme to provide an accessible and delightful introduction to the imagination of the medieval world.
The vivid and charming faces featured in this volume include portraits of both illustrious historical figures and celebrated contemporaries. They reveal that medieval artists often disregarded physical appearance in favor of emphasizing qualities such as power and piety, capturing how their subjects wished to be remembered for the ages. Faces of Power and Piety also looks at the development of portraiture in the modern sense during the Renaissance, when likeness became an important component of portrait painting. An exhibition of the same name will be on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum from August 12 through October 26, 2008.