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Glorious Temples or Babylonic Whores

The Culture of Church Building in Stuart England through the Lens of Consecration Sermons

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Anne-Françoise Morel

In Glorious Temples or Babylonic Whores, Anne-Françoise Morel offers an account of the intellectual and cultural history of places of worship in Stuart England. Official documents issued by the Church of England rarely addressed issues regarding the status, function, use, and design of churches; but consecration sermons turn time and again to the conditions and qualities befitting a place of worship in Post-Reformation England. Placing the church building directly in the midst of the heated discussions on the polity and ceremonies of the Church of England, this book recovers a vital lost area of architectural discourse. It demonstrates that the religious principles of church building were enhanced by, and contributed to, scientific developments in fields outside the realm of religion, such as epistemology, the theory of sense perception, aesthetics, rhetoric, antiquarianism, and architecture.

The Shroud at Court

History, Usages, Places and Images of a Dynastic Relic

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Edited by Paolo Cozzo, Andrea Merlotti and Andrea Nicolotti

The Shroud at the Court analyses, through various essays characterized by a multidisciplinary and diachronic perspective, the strict ties created between the Shroud and the Savoy court from the fifteenth to twentieth centuries. Presented as proof of the divine legitimacy of Savoy lineage, the Shroud (of which the Savoy dynasty came into possession in 1453, keeping it first in Chambéry and then from 1578 in Turin) was central to their propagandistic strategies. The court – its spaces, protagonists, and rituals – became the natural setting for a relationship reinforced over time through customs, ceremonies, and images intended to celebrate the excellence of the Savoy, both within their own state and in Europe’s “society of princes”.
Contributors are Paola Caretta, Paolo Cornaglia, Paolo Cozzo, Davide De Franco, Bernard Dompnier, Laura Gaffuri, Pierangelo Gentile, Luisella Giachino, Andrea Merlotti, Frédéric Meyer, Andrea Nicolotti, Almudena Pérez de Tudela, Laurent Ripart, Alessandro Serra and Franca Varallo.

The Riddle of Jael

The History of a Poxied Heroine in Medieval and Renaissance Art and Culture

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P. Scott Brown

Winner of the 2019 SECAC Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research and Publication

In The Riddle of Jael, Peter Scott Brown offers the first history of the Biblical heroine Jael in medieval and Renaissance art. Jael, who betrayed and killed the tyrant Sisera in the Book of Judges by hammering a tent peg through his brain as he slept under her care, was a blessed murderess and an especially fertile moral paradox in the art of the early modern period.

Jael’s representations offer insights into key religious, intellectual, and social developments in late medieval and early modern society. They reflect the influence on art of exegesis, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, humanism and moral philosophy, misogyny and the battle of the sexes, the emergence of syphilis, and the Renaissance ideal of the artist.

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Edited by Diana Bullen Presciutti

Space, Place, and Motion: Locating Confraternities in the Late Medieval and Early Modern City offers the first sustained comparative examination of the relationship between confraternal life and the spaces of the late medieval and early modern city. By considering cities large (Rome) and small (Aalst) in regions as disparate as Ireland and Mexico, the essays collected here seek to uncover the commonalities and differences in confraternal practice as they played out on the urban stage. From the candlelit oratory to the bustling piazza, from the hospital ward to the festal table, from the processional route to the execution grounds, late medieval and early modern cities, this interdisciplinary book contends, were made up of fluid and contested ‘confraternal spaces.’
Contributors are: Kira Maye Albinsky, Meryl Bailey, Cormac Begadon, Caroline Blondeau-Morizot, Danielle Carrabino, Andrew Chen, Ellen Decraene, Laura Dierksmeier, Ellen Alexandra Dooley, Douglas N. Dow, Anu Mänd, Rebekah Perry, Pamela A.V. Stewart, Arie van Steensel, and Barbara Wisch.

Pious Memories

The Wall-Mounted Memorial in the Burgundian Netherlands

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Douglas Brine

Wall-mounted memorials (or ‘epitaphs’) enjoyed great popularity across the Burgundian Netherlands. Usually installed in churches above graves, they combine images with inscriptions and take the form of sculpted reliefs, brass plaques, or panel paintings. They preserved the memory of the dead and reminded the living to pray for their souls. On occasions, renowned artists like Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden were closely involved in memorials’ creation.

In Pious Memories Douglas Brine examines the wall-mounted memorial as a distinct category of funerary monument and shows it to be a significant, if overlooked, aspect of fifteenth-century Netherlandish art. The patronage, functions, and meanings of these objects are considered in the context of contemporary commemorative practices and the culture of memoria.

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Brine received the 2015 Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize, for an earlier version of Chapter 5 of Pious Memories, his article, “Jan van Eyck, Canon Joris van der Paele, and the Art of Commemoration,” published in the September 2014 issue of The Art Bulletin.