Byzantine and medieval art


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Byzantine and medieval art
Art and mankind, Larousse encyclopedia of Byzantine and medieval art
415 pagina’s
Jaar: 1981
Taal: Engels
Afmeting: 21 x 29 cm
ISBN: 0-600-02378-8 / 060002788

Conditie: deze versie van Byzantine and medieval art verkeert in nette staat

Byzantine and medieval art – introduction

‘Our aim in compiling this book has been to achieve a synthesis.
CONCEPTION This synthesis will be carried out in three ways:

1. The many different art forms created in a certain place at a certain time are simply the adaptation, to specific means of expression, of the single spirit that gives unity to an age or school.
They are merely the various expressions of one basic constant that it is essential to uncover.
The Gothic cathedral, from its soaring façade and spires to the glittering silver reliquaries on the altar, has an undeniable unity not only of style in the forms employed, but of the underlying motives that inspired them.

2. Art, in its turn, is only one of a number of ways in which man expresses himself, a reflection of the spirit of the age that characterises and gives life to everything produced in a certain
So we are led to wonder, for example, whether the movement from Augustinian to Thomist philosophy in the Middle Ages was not echoed by a similar change in art.
Thus we shall have to relate each philosophy to the art of its time viewed as a whole, and the art itself to the whole culture of which it is an expression

3. Every culture, similarly, forms a whole which it is tempting to consider in isolation.
Now, art more than anything else reveals the strong ties linking mankind: like men, though with more facility, forms and techniques make their way through the world

A foreigner may not understand a language, but he can immediately appreciate an image.
Human beings have always been anxious to preserve and enrich their own repertoire of forms and images.
They also absorb others, pəssed on to them by means of the most fragile and infrequent examples; these they incorporate, transform and adapt to the needs own culture, but they never neglect them them or allow them to be wasted.
When a form emerges from the right conjunction of material and psychological circumstances, it travels over enormous distances and lives for thousands of years.

Byzantine and medieval art

Thus, in three separate stages, we shall outline a synthesis of the techniques of which art is comprised, a synthesis of the art and the other phenomena which make up cultures, and, lastly, a
synthesis of the cultures which form the history of the world

PLAN These considerations have determined the plan of this work: the sections on India, China and Japan are not grouped in neat sections at the end of the book.
Whatever their contribution to the history of world art, it will be set in its proper place in the
story of human development

By taking this faceted view, we hope to point a truth – namely that art, created by men, belongs to the entire world.
For in spite of the many reasons, both natural and artificial, why men have
divided themselves up into sperate groups, in art they proclaim a magnificent singleness of purpose as they strive towards a goal which may be unknown but which is the same for them all.
In attempting to look at art from a more universal standpoint, we have to had to modify the usual conventional position.

We have grown used to a self-centred viewpoint that makes the traditions derived
from Greece and Rome the nucleus of art history, but this attitude
is no longer good enough.
In the last fifty years, there has been a growing and universal need for knowledge of things unfamiliar and outside ourselves in order to reach a better understanding of ourselves as we find our proper place in the relative scale.
Modern man clearly feels that he needs to widen his horizons, and here too, we hope that this volume will provide some satisfaction.
An unusual amount of emphasis has been given to arcas that until only recently were unexplored or else were the jealously guarded preserve of a few experts
These were some of the considerations that were kept in mind during the planning of this work.

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