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Edited by Daniëlle Slootjes and Mariette Verhoeven

In twelve contributions, Byzantium in Dialogue with the Mediterranean. History and Heritage shows that throughout the centuries of its existence, Byzantium continuously communicated with other cultures and societies on the European continent, as well as North Africa and in the East. In this volume, ‘History’ represents not only the chronological, geographical and narrative background of the historical reality of Byzantium, but it also stands for an all-inclusive scholarly approach to the Byzantine world that transcends the boundaries of traditionally separate disciplines such as history, art history or archaeology. The second notion, ‘Heritage’, refers to both material remains and immaterial traditions, and traces that have survived or have been appropriated.
Contributors are Hans Bloemsma, Elena Boeck, Averil Cameron, Elsa Cardoso, Cristian Caselli, Evangelos Chrysos, Konstantinos Chryssogelos, Penelope Mougoyianni, Daphne Penna, Marko Petrak, Matthew Savage, Daniëlle Slootjes, Karen Stock, Alex Rodriguez Suarez and Mariëtte Verhoeven.
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Andrea Pearson

In Gardens of Love and the Limits of Morality in Early Netherlandish Art, Andrea Pearson charts the moralization of human bodies in late medieval and early modern visual culture, through paintings by Jan van Eyck and Hieronymus Bosch, devotional prints and illustrated books, and the celebrated enclosed gardens of Mechelen among other works. Drawing on new archival evidence and innovative visual analysis to reframe familiar religious discourses, she demonstrates that depicted topographies advanced and sometimes resisted bodily critiques expressed in scripture, conduct literature, and even legislation. Governing many of these redemptive greenscapes were the figures of Christ and the Virgin Mary, archetypes of purity whose spiritual authority was impossible to ignore, yet whose mysteries posed innumerable moral challenges. The study reveals that bodily status was the fundamental problem of human salvation, in which artists, patrons, and viewers alike had an interpretive stake.
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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.
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Edited by Konrad Eisenbichler

After the State and the Church, the most well organized membership system of medieval and early modern Europe was the confraternity. In cities, towns, and villages it would have been difficult for someone not to be a member of a confraternity, the recipient of its charity, or aware of its presence in the community. In A Companion to Medieval and Early Modern Confraternities, Konrad Eisenbichler brings together an international group of scholars to examine confraternities from various perspectives: their origins and development, their devotional practices, their charitable activities, and their contributions to literature, music, and art. The result is a picture of confraternities as important venues for the acquisition of spiritual riches, material wealth, and social capital. Contributors include: Alyssa Abraham, Davide Adamoli, Christopher F. Black, Dominika Burdzy , David D’Andrea, Konrad Eisenbichler, Anna Esposito, Federica Francesconi, Marina Gazzini, Jonathan Glixon, Colm Lennon, William R. Levin, Murdo J. MacLeod, Nerida Newbigin, Dylan Reid, Gervase Rosser, Nicholas Terpstra, Paul Trio, Anne-Laure Van Bruaene, Beata Wojciechowska, and Danilo Zardin.
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Aztec Religion and Art of Writing

Investigating Embodied Meaning, Indigenous Semiotics, and the Nahua Sense of Reality

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Isabel Laack

In her groundbreaking investigation from the perspective of the aesthetics of religion, Isabel Laack explores the religion and art of writing of the pre-Hispanic Aztecs of Mexico. Inspired by postcolonial approaches, she reveals Eurocentric biases in academic representations of Aztec cosmovision, ontology, epistemology, ritual, aesthetics, and the writing system to provide a powerful interpretation of the Nahua sense of reality.

Laack transcends the concept of “sacred scripture” traditionally employed in religions studies in order to reconstruct the Indigenous semiotic theory and to reveal how Aztec pictography can express complex aspects of embodied meaning. Her study offers an innovative approach to nonphonographic semiotic systems, as created in many world cultures, and expands our understanding of human recorded visual communication.

This book will be essential reading for scholars and readers interested in the history of religions, Mesoamerican studies, and the ancient civilizations of the Americas.

'This excellent book, written with intellectual courage and critical self-awareness, is a brilliant, multilayered thought experiment into the images and stories that made up the Nahua sense of reality as woven into their sensational ritual performances and colorful symbolic writing system.'
Davíd Carrasco, Harvard University
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Mesoamerican Manuscripts

New Scientific Approaches and Interpretations

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Edited by Maarten Jansen, Virginia M. Lladó-Buisán and Ludo Snijders

Mesoamerican Manuscripts: New Scientific Approaches and Interpretations brings together a wide range of modern approaches to the study of pre-colonial and early colonial Mesoamerican manuscripts. This includes innovative studies of materiality through the application of non-invasive spectroscopy and imaging techniques, as well as new insights into the meaning of these manuscripts and related visual art, stemming from a post-colonial indigenous perspective.

This cross- and interdisciplinary work shows on the one hand the value of collaboration of specialists in different field, but also the multiple viewpoints that are possible when these types of complex cultural expressions are approached from varied cultural and scientific backgrounds.

Contributors are: Omar Aguilar Sánchez, Paul van den Akker, Maria Isabel Álvarez Icaza Longoria, Frances F. Berdan, David Buti, Laura Cartechini, Davide Domenici, Laura Filloy Nadal, Alessia Frassani, Francesca Gabrieli, Maarten E.R.G.N. Jansen, Rosemary A. Joyce, Jorge Gómez Tejada, Chiara Grazia, David Howell, Virginia M. Lladó-Buisán, Leonardo López Luján, Raul Macuil Martínez, Manuel May Castillo, Costanza Miliani, María Olvido Moreno Guzmán, Gabina Aurora Pérez Jiménez, Araceli Rojas, Aldo Romani, Francesca Rosi, Antonio Sgamellotti, Ludo Snijders, and Tim Zaman.
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Holy Organ or Unholy Idol?

The Sacred Heart in the Art, Religion, and Politics of New Spain

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Lauren G. Kilroy-Ewbank

Holy Organ or Unholy Idol? focuses on the significance of the cult of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and its accompanying imagery in eighteenth-century New Spain. Lauren G. Kilroy-Ewbank considers paintings, prints, devotional texts, and archival sources within the Mexican context alongside issues and debates occurring in Europe to situate the New Spanish cult within local and global developments. She examines the iconography of these religious images and frames them within broader socio-political and religious discourses related to the Eucharist, the sun, the Jesuits, scientific and anatomical ideas, and mysticism. Images of the Heart helped to champion the cult’s validity as it was attacked by religious reformers.
Open Access

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Volume-editor Maya Corry, Marco Faini and Alessia Meneghin