The Icons of Their Bodies: Saints and Their Images in Byzantium

The Icons of Their Bodies: Saints and Their Images in Byzantium

by Henry Maguire
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691050074

ISBN-13: 9780691050072

Pub. Date: 05/08/2000

Publisher: Princeton University Press

The Byzantines surrounded themselves with their saints, invisible but constant companions, who were made visible by dreams, visions, and art. The composition and presentation of this imagined gallery followed a logical structure, a construct that was itself a collective work of art created by Byzantine society. The purpose of this book is to analyze the logic of

Overview

The Byzantines surrounded themselves with their saints, invisible but constant companions, who were made visible by dreams, visions, and art. The composition and presentation of this imagined gallery followed a logical structure, a construct that was itself a collective work of art created by Byzantine society. The purpose of this book is to analyze the logic of the saint's image in Byzantium, both in portraits and in narrative scenes. Here Henry Maguire argues that the Byzantines gave to their images differing formal characteristics of movement, modeling, depth, and differentiation, according to the tasks that the icons were called upon to perform in the all-important business of communication between the visible and the invisible worlds.

The book draws extensively on sources that have been relatively little utilized by art historians. It considers both domestic and ecclesiastical artifacts, showing how the former raised the problem of access by lay men and women to the supernatural and fueled the debates concerning the role of images in the Christian cult. Special attention is paid to the poems inscribed by the Byzantines upon their icons, and to the written lives of their saints, texts that offer the most direct and vivid insight into the everyday experience of art in Byzantium. The overall purpose of the book is to provide a new view of Byzantine art, one that integrates formal analysis with both theology and social history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691050072
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
05/08/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
960,632
Product dimensions:
7.52(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii
Preface xvii
Introduction 3
1. Likeness and Definition 5
2. Corporality and Immateriality 48
3. Naming and Individuality 100
4. Detail and Deficiency 146
Conclusion 195
Abbreviations 201
Notes 202
Chapter Bibliographies 210
Saints' Lives in Translation 214
Index 215

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