Overview

Focusing on Lucas Cranach the Elder's famous altarpiece for the City Church in Wittenberg, this ground-breaking study examines the images used in Protestant church services during the period of their definition by Martin Luther.
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Reformation of the Image

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Overview

Focusing on Lucas Cranach the Elder's famous altarpiece for the City Church in Wittenberg, this ground-breaking study examines the images used in Protestant church services during the period of their definition by Martin Luther.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

London Review of Books

"Koerner's readings of Cranach's art are unfailingly arresting and inventive . . . it is a long time since a work of art history has kept me so consistently reaching for a pencil to register ardent appreciation or violent dissent."--London Review of Books

— Eamon Duffy

Times Literary Supplement

"A learned and penetrating inquiry into a central theme in Europe's art history."--Times Literary Supplement

— Alexander Murray

Artforum

"[An] extraordinary study . . . it is a stupendous and persuasive piece of scholarship. . . . Nearly every page has some fresh insight, some novel information, some striking argument or surprising formulation."--Arthur C. Danto, Artforum

— Arthur C. Danto

Apollo

"Felicitous prose and subtle readings. Sixteenth-century Lutheran art and the iconoclastic momentum from which it emerged have found a fine interpreter in a work which sits happily on the cusp between the historical and the art historical."--Margaret Aston, Apollo

— Margaret Aspen

The Nation

"The most exciting book of art history I have read since Hans Belting's magisterial 1993 study of religious icons in European culture, Likeness and Presence. What [Koerner] has accomplished in this marvelous book is to bring that religion to life again, and in the process make vivid the art that emerged from the critique of images that launched the Reformation."—Arthur C. Danto, The Nation

— Arthur C. Danto

Renaissance Quarterly
"Joseph Lee Koerner, arguably . . . the most thoughtful and informed art historian specializing in German art, has taken a step back . . . in order to become a champion of Lutheranism. In relic-crushing detail, Koerner seeks to persuade his readers that most of them need to rethink the Reformation."—Bruce Krajewski, Renaissance Quarterly

— Bruce Krajewski

Scotland on Sunday

"Brilliantly structured, Keroner's scholarship is all-encompassing ... This is essential reading for all those interested in the history of religion, art and society in early modern Germany."--Scotland on Sunday

Canadian Historical Review

"Those who have read [Koerner's previous] volumes will not be surprised by the scholarship and sweeping scope of the current volume, a work that marks him as second to none in Reformation history."

— John Dillenberger

Common Knowledge

“Most art-historical writing is framed either as interpretation, in search of meanings, or as explanation. . . . The Reformation of the Image is remarkable for using the interpretive mood for a case that might seem to invite explanation. And the outcome is resonant.”—Michael Baxandall, Common Knowledge

— Michael Baxandall

The Art Book

"Koerner has brought to academe an inestimably deeper understanding of Lutheran imagery, its genesis, complexity of purpose, and larger contribution to an emergent modern world of art. . . . Fundamental questions about the nature of art, about Reformation art, the end of art, the beginning of modern art, are found throughout this text and make for an inspiringly complex presentation of ideas."—Victoria George, Art Book

— Victoria George

New Yorker

"A brilliant book."

— Peter Schjeldahl

London Review of Books - Eamon Duffy
"Koerner's readings of Cranach's art are unfailingly arresting and inventive . . . it is a long time since a work of art history has kept me so consistently reaching for a pencil to register ardent appreciation or violent dissent."
Times Literary Supplement - Alexander Murray
"A learned and penetrating inquiry into a central theme in Europe's art history."
Artforum - Arthur C. Danto
"The most exciting book of art history I have read since Hans Belting's magisterial 1993 study of religious icons in European culture, Likeness and Presence. What [Koerner] has accomplished in this marvelous book is to bring that religion to life again, and in the process make vivid the art that emerged from the critique of images that launched the Reformation."
Apollo - Margaret Aspen
"Felicitous prose and subtle readings. Sixteenth-century Lutheran art and the iconoclastic momentum from which it emerged have found a fine interpreter in a work which sits happily on the cusp between the historical and the art historical."
Renaissance Quarterly - Bruce Krajewski
"Joseph Lee Koerner, arguably . . . the most thoughtful and informed art historian specializing in German art, has taken a step back . . . in order to become a champion of Lutheranism. In relic-crushing detail, Koerner seeks to persuade his readers that most of them need to rethink the Reformation."
Canadian Historical Review - John Dillenberger
"Those who have read [Koerner's previous] volumes will not be surprised by the scholarship and sweeping scope of the current volume, a work that marks him as second to none in Reformation history."
Common Knowledge - Michael Baxandall
“Most art-historical writing is framed either as interpretation, in search of meanings, or as explanation. . . . The Reformation of the Image is remarkable for using the interpretive mood for a case that might seem to invite explanation. And the outcome is resonant.”
The Art Book - Victoria George
"Koerner has brought to academe an inestimably deeper understanding of Lutheran imagery, its genesis, complexity of purpose, and larger contribution to an emergent modern world of art. . . . Fundamental questions about the nature of art, about Reformation art, the end of art, the beginning of modern art, are found throughout this text and make for an inspiringly complex presentation of ideas."
New Yorker - Peter Schjeldahl
"A brilliant book."
Scotland on�Sunday
"Brilliantly structured, Keroner's scholarship is all-encompassing ... This is essential reading for all those interested in the history of religion, art and society in early modern Germany."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781861898326
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 6/16/2011
  • Series: non-series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,283,991
  • File size: 26 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Joseph Leo Koerner is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. He is the author of Caspar David Friedrich and the Subject of Landscape and The Moment of Self-Portraiture in German Renaissance Art, the latter copublished by the University of Chicago Press.

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Table of Contents

Timeline 6
Preface 9
1 Ideas About the Thing 19
2 A Tragedy for Art? 27
3 Territorial Battles 38
4 Appropriations 52
5 A Reformation Altarpiece 69
Pt. I Cleansing
6 Actions 83
7 Beliefs 94
8 Fictions 104
9 Communications 137
10 The Arrested Gesture 153
Pt. II The Word
11 The Cross 171
12 The Outstretched Finger 191
13 A Hidden God? 201
14 Crude Painting 212
15 Preaching 252
16 Teaching 282
17 Ubiquity 308
Pt. III Sacrament
18 From Custom to Rule 321
19 Behind the Mass 340
20 The Tables Turned 362
21 Ministry 377
22 Church Building 402
Epilogue 441
References 445
Photo Acknowledgements 483
Index 484
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