Tag Archives: nature

Books roundup: New Publications in Art

magdeburger-reiter-255x330GABRIELE KOSTER, UTA SIEBRECHT. Der Magdeburger Reiter, Schnell & Steiner, 2017, 368 p.
ISBN: 978-3795432027

Der Band versammelt Beiträge namhafter Experten aus den Bereichen Restaurierung, Kunstgeschichte, Geschichte und Rechtsgeschichte, die den aktuellen Forschungsstand zum Magdeburger Reiter als bedeutende Skulptur der mittelalterlichen Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven präsentieren.

Der Magdeburger Reiter, entstanden um 1240, gilt als das älteste erhaltene freiplastische Reiterstandbild nördlich der Alpen seit dem Ausgang der Antike und ist damit eine der bedeutendsten Skulpturen der mittelalterlichen Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte Europas. Im November 2015 fand aus Anlass der vollendeten Restaurierung des Kunstwerkes im Kulturhistorischen Museum Magdeburg eine interdisziplinäre Tagung zum Magdeburger Reiter statt.
Der dritte Band der Schriftenreihe des Zentrums für Mittelalterausstellungen widmet sich dem Reiterstandbild als mittelalterliches Kunstwerk, städtisches Wahrzeichen und europäisches Erbe. Erstmals liegt damit eine umfassende Publikation zum Magdeburger Reiter vor. Sie präsentiert fächerübergreifend die wissenschaftlichen Beiträge der Tagung, den Untersuchungs- und Restaurierungsbericht sowie eine umfangreiche Fotodokumentation der bedeutenden Skulpturengruppe.

 

JOSÉ ORFILA. Regards panoramiques sur le monde médiéval et Notre Dame de Reims, Godefroy de Bouillon, 2016, 520 p.JOSÉ ORFILA. Regards panoramiques sur le monde médiéval et Notre Dame de Reims, Godefroy de Bouillon, 2016, 520 p.
ISBN: 978-2841913282

24 figures (en couleurs) et 229 photos (dont14 en couleurs) illustrent ce livre à la gloire de l’architecture du monde médiéval. Depuis plus d’un demi-siècle, la pression toujours renouvelée des esthétiques avant-gardistes a modifié notre vision des choses. Nous avons découvert les mérites des arts les plus lointains et les plus anciens que l’on appelait jadis primitifs et qu’il faut honorer désormais du nom de “premiers”, ce qui les pare d’emblée des plus rares vertus. On est même allé jusqu’à les estimer “plus essentiels”. Rien d’étonnant donc que le gothique, celui des 12eme et 13eme siècles trop élaboré, trop conscient de soi et trop éloigné des pulsions basiques ne soit plus en faveur. De nos jours on se doit d’accorder plus de valeur aux masques africains, aux totems amérindiens et aux statues de l’Ile de Pâques qu’à la Ste Chapelle. Et l’évolution politico-culturelle réactivant les voluptueux mirages de l’Orient qui émoustillaient les mâles romantiques, le Français moyen commence à se sentir plus en phase avec le Tajmahal qu’avec la cathédrale de Reims. Car notre époque est avide de “retours aux sources” à condition que ce soient celles des autres et vénère toutes les traditions sous réserve que ce ne soient pas les nôtres. Ce livre rappelle la richesse de notre civilisation mise à l’écart par les bien-pensants.

 

art-nature-237x330NICOLE R. MYERS (ed.). Art and Nature in the Middle Ages, Yale University Press, 2017, 136 p.
ISBN: 978-0300227055

This splendidly illustrated book explores the universal and multifaceted theme of nature as manifested in Western European art of the Middle Ages. Fascinating essays consider the concept in the context of medieval philosophy, theology, and poetry. The masterpieces highlighted here,  from the distinguished collection of the Musée de Cluny, span the 12th through the 16th centuries and include an impressive array of objects destined for both religious and secular purposes—from exquisite stained glass and carved capitals to spectacular enameled jewelry, illuminated manuscripts, and woven tapestries. Art and Nature in the Middle Ages provides an essential understanding of the symbolism and significance of motifs taken from the natural world, as well as the technical mastery of the medieval artisans who produced these remarkable objects.
Nicole R. Myers is the Lillian and James H. Clark Curator of European Painting and Sculpture at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Call for Submissions: ‘Art(ifice),’ North Street Review, Spring 2017

ingolstadt_liebfrauenmc3bcnster_weinschenkenkapelle_astwerkCall for Submissions: ‘Art(ifice),’ North Street Review, University of St. Andrews
Deadline: December 1, 2016

Artifice, n. (Oxford English Dictionary ):

1. Human skill or workmanship as opposed to nature or a natural phenomenon.

2. Skill in devising and using expedients; artfulness, cunning, trickery.

These definitions of artifice contrasts human workmanship with the natural, leaving us with the dichotomy of nature versus humanity. But is art really the opposite of nature, or is there a way to bridge these two disparate domains? How do artists, curators, or collectors navigate the divide? How did viewers and creators of art approach this issue in the past, and is it even relevant question today?

How to submit: The editors of the North Street Review welcome submissions on this topic from postgraduates in Art History courses. Works between 3,000-5,000 words must be submitted to northstreetreview@gmail.com by 1 December, 2016 to be considered for publication in Spring 2017. Please format the document as a docx., adhere to Chicago style citations, and include a brief biography, with your name and affiliated institute. The North Street Review is a peer-reviewed post-graduate journal published by the School of Art History and Museum and Galleries Studies at the University of St. Andrews. Now in its twenty-first year, it has gone through many incarnations and is now a fully digital publication. For more information, please see our website.

Lecture: Deserts, Rivers and Mountains: Nature and Divinity in Byzantine Pilgrimage Art, Brookline, MA

mjc-logo-lrgDr. Anastasia Drandaki (Benaki Museum) considers the role of natural landscape in Byzantine pilgrimage art. A pilgrimage was born of the believer’s longing to be in a locus sanctus (holy place), to see and touch and imitate holy persons, treading in their very footsteps.  Pilgrims themselves express this in their journals, describing step by step with emotion how they followed the episodes in scripture or accounts of the lives. They need to be sure that they are in exactly the right place, on the particular spot where the sacred events took place. It is as if eradicating the geographical distance might also circumvent the distance in time, bringing them as close as possible to the presence of the holy persons and their acts. Moreover, the natural formation of the holy place often plays a decisive role in texts related to shrines, and the pilgrims’ contact with the particular landscape of any given pilgrimage affects their religious experience. But is the relation between landscape and holy place reflected in any way in Byzantine pilgrimage art? Does the natural landscape of the loca sancta project in art and artefacts related to holy sites, offering  a potential exception to the familiar and much debated sketchy presence of physical space in Byzantine religious scenes? This lecture will explore how the natural, physical environment of the locus sanctus is depicted and participate in the art and artefacts that completed the pilgrimage experience.