Category Archives: Book roundup

Some good book offers from Brepols

On the occasion of Black Friday Brepols offersyou these 20 books for only € 20 each.

Place your order now as this offer is only valid from 25 to 27 November 2016 and only applicable for orders placed on the brepols webshop.


The Vatican Necropoles
Rome’s City of the Dead

  1. Liverani, G. Spinola, P. Zander

€ 95 > € 20


This is the first published summary of the entire complex of the great necropoles of Rome, which were situated on Vatican Hill.

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Interdisciplinary Reflections on the Medieval Sermon

Edited by G. Donavin, C. J. Nederman, R. Utz

Series:  Disputatio

€ 60 > € 20


This anthology of essays reveals how sermons impact upon a range of disciplines, and how the methodologies of different disciplines inform sermons.

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Elites and their Residences, 1500-1900

Edited by P. Janssens, J. Dunne

Series:  Studies in European Urban History (1100-1800)

€ 65 > € 20


Focussing on the most basic aspect of urban living, this collection is concerned with the study of the places and types of residence of urban elites.

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Les actes comme expression du pouvoir au Haut Moyen Age
Actes de la Table Ronde de Nancy

Edited by M.-J. Gasse-Grandjean, B.-M. Tock

Series: Atelier de recherche sur les textes médiévaux

€ 50 > € 20


Actes de la Table Ronde de Nancy, 26-27 novembre 1999

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Illuminating the Law
Illuminated Legal Manuscripts in Cambridge Collections

  1. L’Engle, R. Gibbs

Series: Studies in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art History

€ 96 > € 20


This catalogue offers introductory essays on the making and the use of medieval legal manuscripts in Cambridge collections, in order to call attention to the illuminated legal texts as splendidly decorated medieval manuscripts.

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Making and breaking the rules: succession in medieval Europe, c. 1000-c.1600
Etablir et abolir les normes: La succession dans l’Europe médiévale, vers 1000-vers 1600
Edited by F. Lachaud, M. Penman

Series: Histoires de famille. La parenté au Moyen Age

€ 55 > € 20


Proceedings of the colloquium held on 6-7-8 April 2006. Actes de la conférence tenue les 6, 7 et 8 avril 2006, Institute of Historical Research (University of London).

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Les élites au haut moyen âge
Crises et renouvellements
Edited by F. Bougard, L. Feller, R. Le Jan

Series: Haut Moyen Âge

€ 65 > € 20


L’ouvrage propose un objet d’étude fascinant et paradoxal à la fois, celui des crises et du renouvellement des élites au haut Moyen Âge.

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The Order of the Golden Tree
The Gift-giving Objectives of Duke Philip The Bold of Burgundy

C.M. Chattaway

Series: Burgundica

€ 70 > € 20


“Chattaway’s study is a profound one and solidly grounded in archival research, which is why it has earned a place in the prestigious Burgundica series”. (Bas Jongenelen in Sixteenth Century Journal, XXXIX/1, 2008, pp. 326-327)

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Saints, Scholars, and Politicians
Gender as a Tool in Medieval Studies
Edited by M. van Dijk, R. I.A. Nip

Series: Medieval Church Studies

€ 45 > € 20


The essays within this volume critique and evaluate the use of gender as a major analytical tool in medieval studies.

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Kleine Schriften zu den Konzilsakten des 7. Jahrhunderts
R. Riedinger

Series: Instrumenta Patristica et Mediaevalia

€ 78,10 > € 20


A collection of 22 articles by the author published in widely differing outlets in the period 1976-1996.

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The Ways of Jewish Martyrdom
S. Goldin

Series: Cursor Mundi

€ 85 > € 20


“Enlisting a wealth of sources, the author attempts to explain the valorization of martyrdom as a cultural norm in medieval Jewish communities of Germany, France and England.” (Susan L. Einbinder, in: The Medieval Review, 09.02.06)

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Liberté et progrès chez Origène

  1. Lekkas

Series: Monothéismes et Philosophie

€ 60 > € 20


Le travail de Georges Lekkas est unique, en ce qu’il construit une thèse qui suit parfaitement le rythme de l’élaboration origénienne et qui décrit l’évolution progressive du réseau argumentatif.

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La Salle aux Trésors

Chefs-d’œuvre de l’art Roman et Mosan
Edited by C. Dumortier

Series: Royal Museums for Art and History, Brussels / French version

€ 55 > € 20


La Salle aux Trésors du Musée du Cinquantenaire présente des œuvres médiévales comptant parmi les plus belles, les plus précieuses et les plus rares conservées aux Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire.

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Livres et lectures de femmes en Europe entre moyen âge et renaissance
Edited by A.-M. Legaré

€ 120 > € 20


“Un ouvrage sérieux, érudit et varié (…).”

(Aladin. Le magazine des chineurs, N° 240, juin 2008)

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A Catalogue Raisonné of Scientific Instruments from the Louvain School, 1530-1600

  1. Van Cleempoel
    Series: De Diversis Artibus

€ 75 > € 20


This object-based study concentrates on scientific instruments made in Louvain between c. 1530 and c. 1600, a period in which the university fell from the peak of its importance into a state of decline.

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Les Principautés dans l’Occident Médiéval
A l’origine des régions
Edited by B. Demotz

€ 61 > € 20


Cet ouvrage présente un panorama des fondations et de l’évolution des principautés afin d’évaluer une réalité historique encore trop sous-estimée, mais il se veut aussi une réflexion sur un des sujets fondamentaux de l’histoire politique.

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Images de musiciens (1350-1500)

Typologies, figurations et pratiques sociales

  1. Clouzot

Series: Epitome musical

€ 80 > € 20


“La force du livre, luxurieusement illustré, de Martine Clouzot est de montrer que les enluminures des manuscrits médiévaux, loin d’être une fenêtre ouverte sur le monde des musiciens, recodent une réalité déjà codée.” (L’Histoire, n° 329, mars 2008)

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Le château, autour et alentours (XIVe – XVIe siècles)

Paysage, parc, jardin & domaine
Edited by J.-M. Cauchies, J. Guisset

€ 73 > € 20


Un château, c’est d’abord une bâtisse. Il y a un faisceau de composantes qui mériteront de capter, à travers textes, images et objets, l’oeil de l’historien, de l’historien de l’art et de l’archéologue.

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Logica Morelli
Edited from the manuscripts with an introduction, notes and indices

  1. Spruyt

Series: Studia Artistarum

€ 50 > € 20


This volume contains the first critical edition of a Spanish textbook on logic, found in the libraries of Sevilla and Zaragoza.

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Manichaeism and Early Christianity

Edited by L. Cirillo, A. Van Tongerloo

Series: Manichaean Studies

€ 75 > € 20

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Book Roundup: Late Medieval Painting

Here are some great new books on 14th and 15th century painting.

Any suggestions from the other end of the Middle Ages (or anything in-between)? As always do let us know of any recently-published medieval art history books you would like us to include in a book roundup – we would be happy to let people to know about them!


Zuleika Murat, Guariento. Pittore di corte, maestro del naturale (Silvana Editoriale)

Guariento di Arpo (1310 c.- 1367-1370) was the leading painter of Padua under the Carrara. He worked extensively for the most prestigious patrons of his time, including members of

the Carrara family, two Doges of Venice, the Augustinian friars and the Dominicans, being commissioned both of frescoes and of panel paintings. Despite the great value he was granted during his life-time, and the attention that scholars have paid to his works more recently, the real nature of his production still struggles to emerge. This is due, in part, to the partial destruction of his most important paintings, such as imposing frescoes and huge altarpieces; but also to the nature of his style — in-between Italian naturalism and Gothic elegance — that has sometimes disorientated scholars.

This book aims to reconsider Guariento’s activity and place in the wider context of Trecento Padua. Through a new examination of his paintings, a new interpretation of the requirements of the patrons, as well as of the wider historical background, this book provides a new perspective on Guariento and of the entire context where he lived and worked. Special attention is paid to matters neglected thus far, such as the relationship

between the painter and the scientists who worked on astrology, optics and perspectiva at the University of Padua, the Studium, who might have suggested him how to represent a believable fictive space in painting; the decoration of the golden leaf and of the pastiglia; the typologies and functions of panel paintings. His works are also interpreted as factors of visual propaganda, and their complex iconography is here connected to the specific needs of the patrons. The paintings are presented through a rich photographic documentation and -when totally or partially destroyed- with virtual reconstruction done on a solid philological base.

9780300220131Matthijs Ilsink and Jos Koldeweij, Hieronymus Bosch: Visions of Genius (Yale University Press)
Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516) lived and worked in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, where he created enigmatic paintings and drawings full of bizarre creatures, phantasmagoric monsters, and terrifying nightmares. He also depicted detailed landscapes and found inspiration in fundamental moral concepts: seduction, sin, and judgment. This beautiful book accompanies a major exhibition on Bosch’s work in his native city, and will feature important new research on his 25 known paintings and 20 drawings. The book, divided into six sections, covers the entirety of the artist’s career. It discusses in detail Bosch’s Pilgrimage of Life, Bosch and the Life of Christ, his role as a draughtsman, his depictions of saints, and his visualization of Judgment Day and the hereafter, among other topics, and is handsomely illustrated by new photography undertaken by the Bosch Research and Conservation Project Team.
97803002201551Luuk Hoogstede, Ron Spronk, Matthijs Ilsink, Jos Koldeweij, Robert G. Erdmann, Rik Klein Gotink, Hanneke Nap, Daan Veldhuizen, Hieronymus Bosch, Painter and Draughtsman Technical Studies (Yale University Press)
Scholars have traditionally focused on the subjects and meanings of Hieronymus Bosch’s works, whereas issues of painting technique, workshop participation, and condition of extant pictures have received considerably less attention. Since 2010, the Bosch Research and Conservation Project has been studying these works using modern methods. The team has documented Bosch’s extant paintings with infrared reflectography and ultra high-resolution digital macro photography, both in infrared and visible light. Together with microscopic study of the paintings, this has enabled the team to write extensive and critical research reports describing the techniques and condition of the works, published in this extraordinary volume for the first time.

dis-9781909400092-1Susan Urbach, Early Netherlandish Painting in Budapest: Volume I and II (Brepols Publishers)

This is the first volume of a series of scholarly catalogues on Flemish paintings from the Szépművészeti Múzeum in Budapest. Written by Dr Susan Urbach – emeritus curator of the museum and renowned scholar of Northern Renaissance Art – with the assistance of curator Ágota Varga and picture-conservator András Fáy, the catalogue includes extensive entries and bibliographical references on 49 works dating from c. 1460 to c. 1540. The volume covers about a third of the entire collection of Flemish Painting from the 15th century through to the 17th and includes the latest results of scholarly research and technical analysis.

rpouswnqC. C. Wilson, Examining Giovanni Bellini: An Art ‘More Human and More Divine’ (Brepols Publishers)

This book presents a collection of fifteen essays on the Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini, one of the most innovative and influential artists of the Italian Renaissance. Long renowned for his embrace of oil technique, astute mastery of perspective, and development of landscape painting, Bellini has been admired across the ages as well for the profoundly human and deeply reverent character of his works. Aspects of Bellini’s world, his oeuvre, and his legacy are examined here through a diversity of approaches, many interdisciplinary and supported by the bibliographies of theoretical writings and of specialized fields rarely or not previously brought to bear on the pictures discussed. Topics represented include the study of medicine and healing plants, plant and animal symbolism, portraiture, liturgy, antique sources, material culture and market practices, textual analysis, and collecting and reception.




Book roundup: Medieval architecture

All is thriving in medieval architecture publishing from the Romanesque to the Late Gothic: here are some very special books that have been published in the last few months.

As always do let us know of any recently-published medieval art history books you would like us to include in a book roundup – we would be happy to let people to know about them!


978-0-271-06645-5[1]Tom Nickson – Toledo Cathedral: Building Histories in Medieval Castile (Penn State University Press)

Medieval Toledo is famous as a center of Arabic learning and as a home to sizable Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities. Yet its cathedral—one of the largest, richest, and best preserved in all of Europe—is little known outside Spain. In Toledo Cathedral, Tom Nickson provides the first in-depth analysis of the cathedral’s art and architecture. Focusing on the early thirteenth to the late fourteenth century, he examines over two hundred years of change and consolidation, tracing the growth of the cathedral in the city as well as the evolution of sacred places within the cathedral itself. Nickson goes on to consider this substantial monument in terms of its location in Toledo, Spain’s most cosmopolitan city in the medieval period. He also addresses the importance and symbolic significance of Toledo’s cathedral to the city and the art and architecture of the medieval Iberian Peninsula, showing how it fits in with broader narratives of change in the arts, culture, and ideology of the late medieval period in Spain and in Mediterranean Europe as a whole.

Tom Nickson is Lecturer in Medieval Art and Architecture at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

1400.medium[1]Costanza Beltrami – Building a Crossing Tower: A Design for Rouen Cathedral of 1516 (Paul Holberton Publishing)

Prompted by the recent discovery of an impressive three-metre tall late Gothic drawing of a soaring tower and spire, this book offers a rare insight into the processes of designing and building a major Gothic project. The drawing’s place and date of creation are unknown, and it corresponds to no surviving Gothic tower. Equally mysterious is the three-quarter, top-down perspective from which the tower is represented, without parallel in any other medieval drawings. Who drew this? When? And what did he hope to convey with his choice of a top-down representation of the tower? Building a Crossing Tower explores these questions, and uncovers the dramatic circumstances in which this drawing was created.

Costanza Beltrami is a PhD student at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

9781783270842[1]Ron Baxter – The Royal Abbey of Reading (Boydell and Brewer)

Reading Abbey was built by King Henry I to be a great architectural statement and his own mausoleum, as well as a place of resort and a staging point for royal itineraries for progresses in the west and south-west of England. From the start it was envisaged as a monastic site with a high degree of independence from the church hierarchy; it was granted enormous holdings of land and major religious relics to attract visitors and pilgrims, and no expense was spared in providing a church comparable in size and splendour with anything else in England.
However, in architectural terms, the abbey has, until recently, remained enigmatic, mainly because of the efficiency with which it was destroyed at the Reformation. Only recently has it become possible to bring together the scattered evidence – antiquarian drawings and historic records along with a new survey of the standing remains – into a coherent picture. This richly illustrated volume provides the first full account of the abbey, from foundation to dissolution, and offers a new virtual reconstruction of the church and its cloister; it also shows how the abbey formed the backdrop to many key historical events.

Ron Baxter is the Research Director of the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland.

Book round up: L’aventure des cathédrales, Le cloître de Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines, La scultura in Valnerina tra i secoli XIV e XVI: Scoperte e nuove proposte, Cisterciensi: Arte e storia & Byzantine Art and Italian Panel Painting: The Virgin and Child Hodegetria and the Art of Chrysography

Five recent publications that may be of interest to our readers:


GÉRARD DENIZEAU.  L’aventure des cathédrales, Larousse, 2015, 128 p. ISBN: 978-2035923455

The story of cathedral construction, told through the involvement of the artisans (carpenters, blacksmiths, masons, masters of stained glass and more).




scultura-valnerina-239x330DIEGO MATTEI. La scultura in Valnerina tra i secoli XIV e XVI: Scoperte e nuove proposte. Dal Formichiere, 2015, 103 p. ISBN: 978-8898428564

New research into the sculptural traditions of the Valnerina region,  containing  many hitherto little known or unpublished works.




cloitre-genis-184x330GÉRALDINE MALLET. Le cloître de Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines, Trabucaire, 2015, 80 p.ISBN: 978-2849742167

A study of the medieval cloister of Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines, often described as a “jewel” of the Romanesque.





cisterciensi-arte-253x330TERRYL N. KINDER; ROBERTO CASSANELLI (ed.). Cisterciensi. Arte e storia, Jaca Book, 2015, 432 p. ISBN: 978-8816604414

An analysis of Cistercian art, culture, contribution and life from the twelfth century to the present, with 40 contributions from international scholars.




byzantine-hodegetria-238x330JAROSLAV FOLDA. Byzantine Art and Italian Panel Painting: The Virgin and Child Hodegetria and the Art of Chrysography, Cambridge University Press, 2015, 424 p. ISBN: 978-1107010239

Tracing the transformation of the Hodegetria, from the Byzantine virgin as human mother of God, to the Italian Madonna enthroned as Queen of Heaven.

Book Roundup: Summer 2015

9780300209891[1]Postcards on Parchment The Social Lives of Medieval Books by Kathryn M. Rudy (Yale University Press)

Medieval prayer books held not only the devotions and meditations of Christianity, but also housed, slipped between pages, sundry notes, reminders, and ephemera, such as pilgrims’ badges, sworn oaths, and small painted images. Many of these last items have been classified as manuscript illumination, but Kathryn M. Rudy argues that these pictures should be called, instead, parchment paintings, similar to postcards. In a delightful study identifying this group of images for the first time, Rudy delineates how these objects functioned apart from the books in which they were kept. Whereas manuscript illuminations were designed to provide a visual narrative to accompany a book’s text, parchment paintings offered a kind of autonomous currency for exchange between individuals—people who longed for saturated color in a gray world of wood, stone, and earth. These small, colorful pictures offered a brilliant reprieve, and Rudy shows how these intriguing and previously unfamiliar images were traded and cherished, shedding light into the everyday life and relationships of those in the medieval Low Countries.

Kathryn M. Rudy is senior lecturer in the School of Art at the University of St. Andrews


6b5bf994aa[1]Rogier van der Weyden and the Iberian kingdoms (Prado)

Rogier van der Weyden y los reinos peninsulares (Rogier van der Weyden and the Iberian kingdoms) accompanies the recent show at The Prado in Madrid, and consists of two texts by the exhibition curator Lorne Campbell, who is hailed as the leading specialist on the master of Tournai: Vida y obra de Rogier van der Weyden (Life and oeuvre of Rogier van der Weyden) and Rogier van der Weyden y los reinos ibéricos (Rogier van der Weyden and the Iberian kingdoms), which will introduce readers to the artist and his relationship with Spain. It also features a text by Carmen García-Frías, curator of painting at Patrimonio Nacional, entitled La recuperación de una obra maestra: el Calvario del monasterio del Escorial de Rogier van der Weyden (The restoration of a masterpiece: Rogier van der Weyden’s Calvary in the Monastery of El Escorial).

It also includes catalogue entries for the works on show written by Lorne Campbell, José Juan Pérez Preciado, Pilar Silva and Stephan Kemperdick.


1430902501[1]La Picardie flamboyante: Arts et reconstruction entre 1450 et 1550 edited by Étienne Hamon, Dominique Paris-Poulain et Julie Aycard (Presses Universitaires de Rennes)

At the turn of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Picardy experienced a tremendous economic and artistic revival. This book offers new insights into the institutions, artists, sponsors, infrastructures and works of art that were players and products of the long-lived “Flamboyant” Style.

Philippe Racinet et Julie Colaye La reconstruction économique en Picardie (1450-1550) L’exemple du prieuré de Bray-sur-Aunette au diocèse de Senlis

Juliette Maquet Une seigneurie picarde au sortir de la guerre de Cent Ans Boves, 1453-1454

Christophe Cloquier Le cours de la Somme Une voie fluviale privilégiée au cœur de la Picardie flamboyante, entre 1450 et 1550

Jean-Christophe Dumain Laon au lendemain de la guerre de Cent Ans L’apport des archives comptables pour l’étude d’une reconstruction (1450-1500)

Mathieu Beghin Regards croisés sur deux chantiers urbains de la Picardie flamboyante Amiens et Arras (vers 1500-vers 1550)

Emmanuel de Crouy-Chanel Tours de la Haye, de Guyancourt et du Kay Les « grosses tours » de la ville d’Amiens (1476-1490)

Karine Berthier Les aménagements de la porte Montrescu à Amiens à la fin du xve siècle et au début du xvie siècle

Mathieu Deldicque Quelques jalons dans l’étude du mécénat des grands commanditaires picards, de Louis XI à Louis XII

Dominique Paris-Poulain Renouveler le décor monumental à l’époque flamboyante L’église Saint-Léger de Lucheux et le mécénat de Marie de Luxembourg

Florian Meunier De Beauvais à Montdidier, l’itinéraire flamboyant de Scipion Bernard

Camille Serchuk À la limite La vie et la carrière de Zacharie de Celers

Julie Aycard Destruction et reconstruction des églises de l’ancien diocèse de Senlis (1460-1515) Mythe et réalité

Jacques Dubois Les grands travaux de restauration de Saint-Samson de Clermont-de-l’Oise

Étienne Hamon Le dessin et l’architecte au soir de l’âge gothique Le projet de portail du fonds de l’hôtel-Dieu d’Amiens

Marie-Domitille Porcheron Flamboyance de l’architecture dans les Puys de Picardie Fonds de tableaux, haut-relief, cadres, menuiseries

Kristiane Lemé-Hébuterne Construction et ornementation des stalles en Picardie à la fin du xve et au début du xvie siècle Continuité ou innovation

Alexandra Gérard et Jennifer Vatelot Les retables en bois sculpté polychromé du xvie siècle de l’Oise Étude et restauration des exemples du Vaumain et de Labosse

Françoise Lernout La Vierge en prière du musée de Picardie, une iconographie singulière?


Fallen Idols, Risen Saints: Sainte Foy of Conques and the Revival of Monumental Sculpture in Medieval Art by Beate Fricke (Brepols)

dIS-9782503541181-1[1]This book presents an analysis and contextualization of the revival of monumental sculpture in medieval art, and outlines the history of image culture, visuality and fiction.

This book investigates the origins and transformations of medieval image culture and its reflections in theology, hagiography, historiography and art. It deals with a remarkable phenomenon: the fact that, after a period of 500 years of absence, the tenth century sees a revival of monumental sculpture in the Latin West. Since the end of Antiquity and the “pagan” use of free-standing, life-size sculptures in public and private ritual, Christians were obedient to the Second Commandment forbidding the making and use of graven images. Contrary to the West, in Byzantium, such a revival never occurred: only relief sculpture – mostly integrated within an architectural context – was used. However, Eastern theologians are the authors of highly fascinating and outstanding original theoretical reflections about the nature and efficacy of images. How can this difference be explained? Why do we find the most fascinating theoretical concepts of images in a culture that sticks to two-dimensional icons often venerated as cult-images that are copied and repeated, but only randomly varied? And why does a groundbreaking change in the culture of images – the “revival” of monumental sculpture – happen in a context that provides more restrained theoretical reflections upon images in their immediate theological, liturgical and artistic contexts? These are some of the questions that this book seeks to answer.The analysis and contextualization of the revival of monumental sculpture includes reflections on liturgy, architecture, materiality of minor arts and reliquaries, medieval theories of perception, and gift exchange and its impact upon practices of image veneration, aesthetics and political participation. Drawing on the historical investigation of specific objects and texts between the ninth and the eleventh century, the book outlines an occidental history of image culture, visuality and fiction, claiming that only images possess modes of visualizing what in the discourse of medieval theology can never be addressed and revealed.

As usual please do send any suggestions for books to feature in this most irregular feature to – don’t be shy!

Book roundup: Spring 2015

Here’s just five books we’ve seen have come out in 2015 that might be of interest to our readers. We’d always welcome a review of one if you have opinions: email us!

9781782977827_2[1]Britain’s Medieval Episcopal Thrones by Charles Tracy with Andrew Budge (Oxbow Books)

This book is the first major investigation of a subject of seminal importance in the study of church history and archaeology. The two stone thrones, at Wells and Durham, the three timber monuments, at Exeter, St Davids and Hereford, and the mid-14th-century bishop’s chair at Lincoln, all come under a searching empirical enquiry.

The Exeter throne is the largest and most impressive in Europe. It is a distinguished innovatory example of the English Decorated style, with antecedents passing back to the court of Edward I. It exemplifies most of the historical and formal strands that suffuse the entire book – visual appearance, distinctiveness within the building, prestige, construction, stylistic context, finance, and the patronage and personal role of the bishop himself; as well as the subtler issues of the personal and collective politics of bishop and chapter, the monument’s liturgical applications, its relationship with the cathedral’s relics, its symbolism and what it tells us about the aspirations of the institution within the existing ecclesiastical hierarchy.

The thrones also reveal much about the personal circumstances of an individual bishop, and where he stood on the scale of a good diocesan on the one hand, and ambitious politician on the other, as exemplified at Exeter and Durham.

The text is by the art historian, Dr Charles Tracy, a seasoned expert on church furniture both in Britain and on the continent of Europe. The chapter on the stone thrones was prepared by Andrew Budge who is currently preparing a Ph.D thesis on ‘English Chantry Churches’ at Birkbeck College. The polychromy authority, Eddie Sinclair, spent many hours on the scaffold to bring forward her remarkable report on the Exeter throne. Her full report is to be published online.The Exeter throne is also interpreted by the established timber conservation practitioner, Hugh Harrison, and the St Davids throne by the experienced draughtsman, Peter Ferguson. In an age of the CAD, his meticulous measured drawings of the Exeter and St Davids monuments are one of the most remarkable features of book. The architect, Paul Woodfield prepared the drawings for the Lincoln chair.

9780198201571_450[1]The Art of Solidarity in the Middle Ages: Guilds in England 1250-1550 by Gervase Rosser (Oxford University Press)

Guilds and fraternities, voluntary associations of men and women, proliferated in medieval Europe. The Art of Solidarity in the Middle Ages explores the motives and experiences of the many thousands of men and women who joined together in these family-like societies. Rarely confined to a single craft, the diversity of guild membership was of its essence. Setting the English evidence in a European context, this study is not an institutional history, but instead is concerned with the material and non-material aims of the brothers and sisters of the guilds.

Gervase Rosser addresses the subject of medieval guilds in the context of contemporary debates surrounding the identity and fulfilment of the individual, and the problematic question of his or her relationship to a larger society. Unlike previous studies, The Art of Solidarity in the Middle Ages does not focus on the guilds as institutions but on the social and moral processes which were catalysed by participation. These bodies founded schools, built bridges, managed almshouses, governed small towns, shaped religious ritual, and commemorated the dead, perceiving that association with a fraternity would be a potential catalyst of personal change. Participants cultivated the formation of new friendships between individuals, predicated on the understanding that human fulfilment depended upon a mutually transformative engagement with others. The peasants, artisans, and professionals who joined the guilds sought to change both their society and themselves. The study sheds light on the conception and construction of society in the Middle Ages, and suggests further that this evidence has implications for how we see ourselves.

9781780232942[1]The Riddle of the Image: The Secret Science of Medieval Art by Spike Bucklow (Reaktion Books)

The Riddle of the Image explores the materials and methods that lie behind the production of historic paintings. Spike Bucklow, who works as a research scientist and restorer of paintings, analyses some of the most well-known and important medieval works of art, as well as less familiar artworks, to throw new light on art production techniques that have been lost for centuries. By examining the science of the materials, as well as the techniques of medieval artists, he adds new aspects to our understanding and appreciation of these paintings, and of medieval art in general.

The case studies include one of the most popular paintings in the National Gallery, London, and the altarpiece in front of which English monarchs were crowned for centuries. Many of the technical details presented here are published for the first time and some others have only been featured in exhibition catalogues and specialist academic papers. The author is internationally recognized for his work in the scientific examination of paintings and he also draws upon the work of other internationally recognized specialists. While intensive research into artists’ materials and methods has been undertaken for several decades, this book is the first intended for a general audience that examines the subject in depth.

9780226169125[1]Seeing Sodomy in the Middle Ages by Robert Mills (Chicago University Press)

During the Middle Ages in Europe, some sexual and gendered behaviors were labeled “sodomitical” or evoked the use of ambiguous phrases such as the “unmentionable vice” or the “sin against nature.” How, though, did these categories enter the field of vision? How do you know a sodomite when you see one?

In Seeing Sodomy in the Middle Ages, Robert Mills explores the relationship between sodomy and motifs of vision and visibility in medieval culture, on the one hand, and those categories we today call gender and sexuality, on the other. Challenging the view that ideas about sexual and gender dissidence were too confused to congeal into a coherent form in the Middle Ages, Mills demonstrates that sodomy had a rich, multimedia presence in the period—and that a flexible approach to questions of terminology sheds new light on the many forms this presence took. Among the topics that Mills covers are depictions of the practices of sodomites in illuminated Bibles; motifs of gender transformation and sex change as envisioned by medieval artists and commentators on Ovid; sexual relations in religious houses and other enclosed spaces; and the applicability of modern categories such as “transgender,” “butch” and “femme,” or “sexual orientation” to medieval culture.

Taking in a multitude of images, texts, and methodologies, this book will be of interest to all scholars, regardless of discipline, who engage with gender and sexuality in their work.

130676227895079625Lincoln%20Cathedral%20Bio%20resize%20100[1]Lincoln Cathedral: The Biography of a Great Building by Jonathan Foyle (SCALA publishing)

A fascinating and personal study of one of Britain’s greatest cathedrals, illustrated with specially commissioned photography, comparative and archival images, and the author’s own plans and drawings. Lincoln is one of Britain’s greatest cathedrals, its three towers and formidable west front dominating the surrounding plains from its commanding hilltop position. It was largely built over the course of a century, up to the completion of the glorious Angel Quire in 1280.

Architectural historian and broadcaster Jonathan Foyle regards Lincoln Cathedral as an old and valued friend and writes with deep knowledge and passion about the developing character of the building. He shows how innovative and experimental the grand thirteenth-century rebuild was, influenced not only by spectacular contemporary work at Canterbury, but also by changing political and spiritual values, and by the continental travels and experience of individual bishops.

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