The Art of Devotion in the Late Middle Ages in Europe, 1300-1500

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One of the mainsprings of the revolution in art that took place throughout Europe in the late Middle Ages was the growth and development of individual piety or "private devotion." The movement began among monks, in the cloister, but soon spread to the castle and to patrician houses in the rich cities as clergy and laity alike sought to achieve personal salvation, often using beauty as an aid to achieve "nearness" to the divinity. In this book, filled with color reproductions of devotional art across many ...
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Overview

One of the mainsprings of the revolution in art that took place throughout Europe in the late Middle Ages was the growth and development of individual piety or "private devotion." The movement began among monks, in the cloister, but soon spread to the castle and to patrician houses in the rich cities as clergy and laity alike sought to achieve personal salvation, often using beauty as an aid to achieve "nearness" to the divinity. In this book, filled with color reproductions of devotional art across many media--ivory, manuscript illumination, painted panel, wood sculpture--by artists ranging from Ambrogio Lorenzetti to Mantegna and Memling, the authors demonstrate how the movement affected both the iconography and style of European art between 1300 and 1500.This book is among the first to explore in-depth the accepted disciplines and aids to prayer that circulated in the late Middle Ages and bring them into the context of surviving art works. Individual works of art are studied to see how they functioned for their owners as activators of the imagination, as focal points for their special devotions, as vehicles to the "real" other world of God and the saints. Combining acute sensitivity to the individual work of art with a broad grasp of its historical context, this book is reminiscent of the contributions made by Erwin Panofsky and Sixten Ringbom to this area of art history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691037936
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 9.15 (w) x 11.31 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 8
A Treasury of Stories
A New Gospel 10
The Golden Legend 28
Sacred Portraits 40
The Culture of Prayer
The Monastery as a Centre of Devotion 50
The City Kneels 60
Supply and Demand 65
The van Lochorst Family 78
Religious Tourism 82
Devotional Themes
The Virgin, the Child and the Crib 87
Blood and Wounds 104
New Beginnings
Mantegna's Berlin Virgin and Child 130
'Gathered Up, Folded Shut and Packed Away': Two Reconstructions 136
The Antwerp-Baltimore Polyptych: A Portable Altarpiece Belonging to Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy 137
The Rotterdam-Edinburgh Diptych: Maria in Sole and the Devotion of the Rosary 151
Image and Imagination in the Medieval Culture of Prayer: A Historical Perspective 157
Catalogue 175
Bibliography 185
Lenders 189
Index 191
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2004

    A BOON FOR SCHOLARS AND LAY READERS ALIKE

    With the assistance of Hans Nieuwdorp, Bernhard Ridderbos, and Eugene Honee, Henk van Os, at the time Director of the Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam, compiled an impeccably researched and lavishly illustrated volume of devotional art found between 1300 and 1500. Illustrations spanning various media - ivory, manuscript illumination, painted panel, and wood sculpture - display works representing artists ranging from Ambrogio Lorenzetti to Mantegna and Memling. Variety of the devotional objects astounds; beauty of the reproductions amazes. Even among such glories, the intricately splendid Namur cradle is a stand-out. The ornate bed rests on four pillars, allowing the Christ child to be rocked. On the sides are Catherine and Barbara, the two saints most beloved by nuns, while banners, coats of arms and pendants contribute to the opulent decor. Inventories indicate that cribs for private devotion were not unusual in the southern Netherlands. At times they were displayed on sideboards in elegant homes. Small cribs, such as the one at Namur, were often given to a woman by hr family when she entered a convent, where the crib could be used in a nun's cell to assist her in prayer. The development of private devotions had an enormous impact on the revolution in art that occurred in Europe during the late Middle Ages. First beginning among monks, the movement rapidly spread to elite homes in wealthy cities as both laity and clergy searched for ways to achieve individual salvation. This beautiful volume is a dissemination of those accepted disciplines and aids to prayers. A boon for scholars, The Art of Devotion in the Middle Ages is a joy for lay readers as well. - Gail Cooke

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