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Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image Before the Era of Art

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Before the Renaissance and Reformation, holy images - the only independent images then in existence - were treated not as "art" but as objects of veneration. The faithful believed that these images, through their likeness to the person represented, became a tangible presence of the Holy and were able to work miracles, deliver oracles, and bring victory on the battlefield. In this magisterial book, one of the world's leading scholars of medieval art traces the long history of the image and its changing role in European culture. Belting's study of the iconic portrait opens in late antiquity, when Christianity reversed its original ban on images, adapted the cult images of the "pagans", and began developing an iconography of its own. The heart of the work focuses on the Middle Ages, both East and West, when images of God and the saints underwent many significant changes either as icons or as statues. The final section of Likeness and Presence surveys the Reformation and Renaissance periods, when new attitudes toward images inaugurated what Belting calls the "era of art" that continues to the present day - an era during which the aesthetic quality has become the dominant aspect of the image. Belting neither "explains" images nor pretends that images explain themselves. Rather, he works from the conviction that images reveal their meaning best by their use. Likeness and Presence deals with the beliefs, superstitions, hopes, and fears that come into play as people handle and respond to sacred images. Recognizing the tensions between image and word inherent in religion, Belting includes in an appendix many important historical documents that relate to the history and use of images. Profuselyillustrated, Likeness and Presence presents a compelling interpretation of the place of the image in Western history.

Synopsis:

Before the Renaissance and Reformation, holy images were treated not as

"art" but as objects of veneration which possessed the tangible presence

of the Holy. In this magisterial book, Hans Belting traces the long

history of the sacral image and its changing role in European culture.

Likeness and Presence looks at the beliefs, superstitions, hopes,

and fears that come into play as people handle and respond to sacred

images, and presents a compelling interpretation of the place of the

image in Western history.

"A rarity within its genreand#8212;an art-historical analysis of iconography

which is itself iconoclastic. . . . One of the most intellectually

exciting and historically grounded interpretations of Christian

iconography." and#8212;Graham Howes, Times Literary Supplement

"Likeness and Presence offers the best source to survey the facts of

what European Christians put in their churches. . . . An impressively

detailed contextual analysis of medieval objects." and#8212;Robin Cormack,

New York Times Book Review

"I cannot begin to describe the richness or the imaginative grandeur of

Hans Belting's book. . . . It is a work that anyone interested in art,

or in the history of thought about art, should regard as urgent reading.

It is a tremendous achievement."and#8212;Arthur C. Danto, New Republic

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Foreword

1: Introduction

a: The Power of Images and the Limitations of Theologians

b: Portrait and Memory

c: The Images' Loss of Power and Their New Role as Art

2: The Icon from a Modern Perspective and in Light of Its History

a: The "Painter's Manual of Mount Athos" and Romanticism

b: The Rediscovery of the Icon in Russia

c: Italian Panel Painting as the Heir to the Icon

d: The Discoveries in Rome and at Mount Sinai

e: Problems with a History of the Icon: The Deficiency of a History of Styles

3: Why Images? Imagery and Religion in Late Antiquity

a: The Virgin's Icon; Icon Types and Their Meaning

b: The Virgin's Personality in the Making: The Mother of God and the Mother of the Gods

c: Pagan Images and Christian Icons

d: Why Images?

4: Heavenly Images and Earthly Portraits: St. Luke's Picture and "Unpainted" Originals in Rome and the Eastern Empire

a: Unpainted Images of Christ and Relics of Touch

b: St. Luke's Images of the Virgin and the Concept of the Portrait

c: Relic and Image in Private and Public Life

d: Early Icons in Papal Rome

e: The Image of the "Hodegetria" in Constantinople

5: Roman Funerary Portraits and Portraits of the Saints

a: Pagan and Christian Cults of Images

b: The Origin of Saint's Images

c: Cult Image and Votive Image

d: Funerary Portraits and Icons

e: Idealism and Realism in the Ancient Portrait

6: The Imperial Image in Antiquity and the Problem of the Christian Cult of Images

a: The Worship of the Imperial Image

b: The Emperor's Person and the Legal Status of His Image

c: The Military Standard and the Cross as Bearers of Images

d: Images of Christ in State Iconography

7: Image Devotion, Public Relations, and Theology at the End of Antiquity

a: Wall Icons in a Roman Church

b: Early Panels in Rome and the Problem of an Iconic Style

c: Image and Politics at the Papal Curia

d: Styles and Conventions of the Early Icon

e: Icons and Politics at the Imperial Court: The Christ Coin

f: Icons and Theological Argument

8: Church and Image: The Doctrine of the Church and Iconoclasm

a: The Image in Christendom

b: Byzantine Iconoclasm

c: The Theory of Images and Its Traditions

d: Image and Sign, Icon and Cross

9: The Holy Image in Church Decoration and a New Policy of Images

a: The Role of the Imperial Court in the Reintroduction of Images

b: Patriarch Photius in Hagia Sophia

c: New Pictorial Programs in Churches of the Court

d: Church Decoration: An Applied Theory of Images

e: Liturgy and Images in Church Interiors

10: Pilgrims, Emperors, and Confraternities: Veneration of Icons in Byzantium and Venice

a: The Emperors

b: Confraternities and Processions

c: Pilgrimages and the Program for Visitors to Hagia Sophia

d: San Marco in Venice and Its Icons

11: The "Holy Face": Legends and Images in Competition

a: The "Original" of the Abgar Image and Its Legend

b: The Abgar Image at Constantinople and a New Aesthetics of the Ideal Portrait

c: The Veronica in Rome

12: The Iconostasis and the Role of the Icon in the Liturgy and in Private Devotion

a: The Church Interior and the Site of the Images

b: Cross, Gospel Book, and Icon in Church Ritual

c: Votive Images as Instruments of Salvation and as Commemorations of the Donor

d: The Chancel Screen as Iconostasis

e: Calendar Icons and Biographical Icons

13: "Living Painting": Poetry and Rhetoric in a New Style of Icons in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries

a: "Icons in the New Style"

b: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Theology

c: Poetic Continuity in a Changin

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226042152
Translator:
Jephcott, Edmund
Author:
Jephcott, Edmund
Author:
Belting, Hans
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
History
Subject:
Art
Subject:
Criticism
Subject:
Criticism - General
Subject:
Subjects & Themes - General
Subject:
Criticism -- Theory.
Subject:
Art-Theory and Criticism
Subject:
General
Edition Description:
1
Publication Date:
19970131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
12 color plates, 294 halftones
Pages:
676
Dimensions:
9.38 x 6.63 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Art History Surveys
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Christian
Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Illuminated Manuscripts and Icons
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Theory and Criticism
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image Before the Era of Art New Trade Paper
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$74.25 Backorder
Product details 676 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226042152 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Before the Renaissance and Reformation, holy images were treated not as

"art" but as objects of veneration which possessed the tangible presence

of the Holy. In this magisterial book, Hans Belting traces the long

history of the sacral image and its changing role in European culture.

Likeness and Presence looks at the beliefs, superstitions, hopes,

and fears that come into play as people handle and respond to sacred

images, and presents a compelling interpretation of the place of the

image in Western history.

"A rarity within its genreand#8212;an art-historical analysis of iconography

which is itself iconoclastic. . . . One of the most intellectually

exciting and historically grounded interpretations of Christian

iconography." and#8212;Graham Howes, Times Literary Supplement

"Likeness and Presence offers the best source to survey the facts of

what European Christians put in their churches. . . . An impressively

detailed contextual analysis of medieval objects." and#8212;Robin Cormack,

New York Times Book Review

"I cannot begin to describe the richness or the imaginative grandeur of

Hans Belting's book. . . . It is a work that anyone interested in art,

or in the history of thought about art, should regard as urgent reading.

It is a tremendous achievement."and#8212;Arthur C. Danto, New Republic

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