The Sistine Chapel Walls and the Roman Liturgy

The Sistine Chapel Walls and the Roman Liturgy

by Carol F. Lewine
     
 

It has long been understood that the fifteenth-century pictorial cycles on the walls of the Sistine Chapel bear a freight of symbolic meaning beyond the narrative they convey. Professor Lewine now proposes that the frescoes encode the text and themes of the Lenten and Easter liturgies celebrated in the papal chapel. As a scholar of early medieval art, she brings

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Overview

It has long been understood that the fifteenth-century pictorial cycles on the walls of the Sistine Chapel bear a freight of symbolic meaning beyond the narrative they convey. Professor Lewine now proposes that the frescoes encode the text and themes of the Lenten and Easter liturgies celebrated in the papal chapel. As a scholar of early medieval art, she brings perspectives to bear on the problem that may be somewhat less familiar to students of later art.

Her approach to the interpretation of visual images in terms of their liturgical significance is in itself important and her argument, grounded in close visual inspection of the paintings, is ingenious and provocative. Her analyses of the interactions among narrative and symbol, text and image, form and meaning, offer stimulating contributions to quattrocento studies and encourage further consideration of all the decoration of the Sistine Chapel, together, as parts of an evolving ensemble.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An extremely important contribution to our understanding of one of the major monuments of the Italian Renaissance. Carol Lewine’s exposition of the connections between the Roman liturgy and the Sistine Chapel wall decorations is so clear and convincing that the reader must remember that no scholar has ever traced them and developed their implications. The erudition and research necessary to unravel the different levels of meaning were daunting enough so that no one tried it. I expect Lewine’s analysis will stimulate reevaluation of Renaissance church and chapel decoration.”
—Sarah Blake McHam, Rutgers University

“This well-written book makes valuable reading for anyone with a serious interest in the history of art and of the Church during the Renaissance.”
—Kathleen Weil-Garris Brandt, New York University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271007922
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
04/01/1993
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.63(d)

Meet the Author

Carol F. Lewine is Associate Professor of Art at Queens College of the City University of New York.

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