The Madonna of Humility: Development, Dissemination and Reception, C. 1340-1400

Overview

The image of the 'Madonna of Humility', the Virgin and Child seated on the ground, is widespread in European art, yet it remains mysterious. This book provides a detailed and accessible investigation and explication of the theme's multiple significances, and of other associated images (including the Virgin suckling the Child, the Woman of the Apocalypse and the Virgin Annunciate). It takes issue with the orthodox view of the origins of the image lying in the work of Simone Martini at Avignon, suggesting a longer ...

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Overview

The image of the 'Madonna of Humility', the Virgin and Child seated on the ground, is widespread in European art, yet it remains mysterious. This book provides a detailed and accessible investigation and explication of the theme's multiple significances, and of other associated images (including the Virgin suckling the Child, the Woman of the Apocalypse and the Virgin Annunciate). It takes issue with the orthodox view of the origins of the image lying in the work of Simone Martini at Avignon, suggesting a longer process of development, with a key role for manuscript illumination in Metz. Subsequent chapters pursue the assimilation, appropriation, and adjustment of the image in a number of regions across Europe, challenging the simplistic idea of unequivocal iconographic meaning determined solely by the context of the image's genesis. The book argues for an essential fluidity and negotiability of meaning in the visual arts, challenging the very idea of unitary and unequivocal iconographic readings; and its examination of the multi-layered functions of the image in different contexts and different regions provides not just an iconographical case-study, but a cultural history of a devotional resource with Europe-wide implications Dr BETH WILLIAMSON teaches in the Department of Art History, University of Bristol.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781843834199
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/28/2009
  • Series: Bristol Studies in Medieval Cultures
  • Pages: 195
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Beth Williamson

Beth Williamson holds a B.F.A. in writing from New York University.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction 1

Pt. I Development

1 The Madonna of Humility: Descriptions and Definitions 15

2 The Madonna of Humility in Avignon 29

3 Early Appearances of the Image 70

Pt. II Dissemination

4 Bohemia 86

5 Siena and Florence 112

Pt. III Reception

6 Image and Ideal 132

7 Using the Madonna of Humility 148

8 Responding to the Madonna of Humility 166

Conclusion 175

Bibliography 179

Index 189

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