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By according equal importance to theoretical accounts of vision and cultural practices of seeing, the articles in this book contribute to the ongoing shift in the fields of art history and medieval history from considerations of vision to those of visuality.
Over the last two decades the historiography of medieval art has been defined by two seemingly contradictory trends: a focus on questions of visuality, and more recently an emphasis on materiality. The latter, which has encouraged multi-sensorial approaches to medieval art, has come to be perceived as a counterpoint to the study of visuality as defined in ocularcentric terms.
Bringing together specialists from different areas of art history, this book grapples with this dialectic and poses new avenues for reconciling these two opposing tendencies. The essays in this volume demonstrate the necessity of returning to questions of visuality, taking into account the insights gained from the ‘material turn’. They highlight conceptions of vision that attribute a haptic quality to the act of seeing and draw on bodily perception to shed new light on visuality in the Middle Ages.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements, List of Illustrations
Introduction: A Return to Medieval Visuality after the Material Turn — RAPHAÈLE PREISINGER
‘Visual Piety’ and Visual Theory: Was There a Paradigm Shift? — BERTHOLD HUB
Fortress of Form, Robber of Consciousness: Theorizing Visuality in Islam — WENDY M. K. SHAW
De spiritu et anima: The Cistercians, the Image, and Imagination — JENS RÜFFER
The Liveliness of the Methexic Image — BISSERA V. PENTCHEVA
Radiance and Image on the Breast: Seeing Medieval Jewellery — SILKE TAMMEN
Reliquaries and the Boundaries of Vision: Relics, Crystals, Mirrors and the ‘Vision Effect’ — CYNTHIA HAHN
Channelling the Gaze: Squints in Late Medieval Screens — TINA BAWDEN