Picturing the Passion in Late Medieval Italy: Narrative Painting, Franciscan Ideologies, and the Levant

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This study examines the narrative paintings of the Passion of Christ created in Italy during the thirteenth century. Demonstrating the radical changes that occurred in the depiction of the Passion cycle during the Duecento, a period that has traditionally been dismissed as artistically stagnant, Anne Derbes analyzes the relationship between these new images and similar renderings found in Byzantine sources. She argues that the Franciscan order, which was active in the Levant by the 1230s, was largely responsible for introducing these images into Italy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Derbes's very densely written book is highly detailed in its examination of the images..." Choice

"The tight structure of the analysis in the body of the text is supported by extensive endnotes which provide useful and sometines essential background and explanation as well as the sources for her information....this study offers important new insight into the sources and motives behind developements in passion imagery in thirteenth-century Italy, revealing it as a period of artistic vitality previously unrecognized." Sixteenth Century Journal

"In this superb volume on Passion imagery in thirteenth-century Italy, Anne Derbes opens our eyes to the inventive and dynamic power of duecento artists and patrons, conclusively demonstrating how little Vasari and the Renaissance—not to mention modern scholars—understood about a major aspect of thirteenth-century painting. Unlike prior attempts to link Franciscan literature and imagery...Derbes is extraordinarily well read and never forces her argument. Instead, she reveals and respects multiple strands in the historical record, emphasizing what she sees as particularly Franciscan but also exploring the general appeal of this new imagery for worshipers and patrons outside the order. She treats written text and visual imagery as mutually supportive, never assuming that art merely illustrates the written word or that words describe pictures, but that each contributes symbiotically to an era's self-definition." Gary M. Radke, Syracuse University

"Among its strengths, which are many, is the way in which Derbes attempts to relate these changes to larger cultural and religious trends. Recommended highly to art historians and to historians of medieval Christianity." Religious Studies Review

"...has been attractively produced by Cambridge University Press. The open format and well-placed illustrations make this iconographic analysis a pleasant read." Studies in Iconography

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521639262
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 7.99 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: the Passion Cycle in the thirteenth-century painting: Content and context; 1. Passion narratives, icons, and ideologies; 2. The Betrayal of Christ; 3. The trial of Christ; 4. The mocking of Christ; 5. The way to Calvary; 6. The stripping of Christ and the ascent of the cross.

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