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Medieval Art and Architecture is a major work of scholarship that provides a new way of looking at the cultural legacy of the Middle Ages. Instead of treating works of art or architectural features in isolation, it considers the positions they occupied in the church and how they were viewed by priests, pilgrims and congregations.
In early churches such as St Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome, frescoes ran from east to west, showing the gospel spreading out of the church; later, the same scenes ended at the altar, showing the Word of God returning to its source. Successive essays explore the hidden significance of objects from sculptures to crypts, and distinctions such as worship ‘Roman style’, with priest and congregation facing west, and Frankish style’, with the celebrant facing east, with his back to the congregation. All of the great Italian, French, German and Spanish buildings are included, from Ravenna to Santiago de Compostela, but the book’s scope also considers Greece, the Balkans, Palestine and Africa. The chronological range is equally broad, from late antiquity to the 16th century. By investigating the principal aims of medieval builders, artists and patrons, their cultural backgrounds, the breadth of their knowledge and the material conditions within which they worked, these two superbly illustrated volumes present an enlightening analysis of a thousand years of artistic achievement.
Jaca is renowned as one of Italy’s leading publishers of fine art editions and we are delighted to present this exclusive offer of one of their most acclaimed recent titles to our members. Now published in English for the first time, and available only through The Folio Society, these two large-format volumes contain over 600 colour photographs, most of which have been specially commissioned for this work. A leading group of international scholars have contributed different chapters, under the general editorship of Paolo Piva, Professor of Art History at the University of Milan. Each author examines a different topic, from the orientation of early Christian buildings to pilgrimage routes in Western churches, making this a broad and stimulating overview.