The Pictorial Arts of the West, 800-1200


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C.R. Dodwell

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Between the ninth and thirteenth centuries the Western world witnessed a glorious flowering of the pictorial arts. In this lavishly illustrated book, C.R. Dodwell provides a comprehensive guide to all forms of this art—from wall and panel paintings to stained glass windows, mosaics, and embroidery—and sets them against the historical and theological influences of the age.

Dodwell describes the rise and development of some of the great styles of the Middle Ages: Carolingian art, which ranged from the splendid illuminations appropriate to an emperor's court to drawings of great delicacy; Anglo-Saxon art, which had a rare vitality and finesse; Ottonian art with its political and spiritual messages; the colorful Mozarabic art of Spain, which had added vigor through its interaction with the barbaric Visigoths; and the art of Italy, influenced by the styles of Byzantium and the West. Dodwell concludes with an examination of the universal Romanesque style of the twelfth century that extended from the Scandinavian countries in the north to Jerusalem in the south. His book—which includes the first exhaustive discussion of the painters and craftsmen of the time, incorporates the latest research, and is filled with new ideas about the relations among the arts, history, and theology of the period—will be an invaluable resource for both art historians and students of the Middle Ages.

C.R. Dodwell was formerly professor of the history of art at Manchester University and is the author of numerous books on early medieval art.

"Dodwell has grappled with the Herculean problems of . . . a work on four-hundred years of Western art with prodigious learning, organizational flair and ultimate success. . . . His unrivalled knowledge of the written sources enables him to reconstruct, from contemporary descriptions, whole areas which are lost to us, in particular of secular artifacts. . . . An invaluable work of reference."—C.M. Kauffman, Burlington Magazine

"Dodwell's text . . . is a work of love that has been lovingly produced in a beautiful book, remarkable cheap in paperback, which is delightful to browse through on a rainy evening in autumn."—Timothy Wilson-Smith, Catholic Herald

"The book is certainly a masterpiece, not least in the clarity of its organization. . . . A book that will be of the greatest value to general reader and student alike."—George McHardy, Church Building

"The color (as well as the black and white) plates of the paintings and manuscript illuminations are strikingly attractive and the material very well chosen. . . . Dodwell's survey is gratifyingly full and detailed and presents clear views on many issues."—Robin Cormanc, History Today

"Readers of Dodwell’s book can gaze at masterpieces brought before their eyes with remarkable immediacy and precision. They will be struck, not merely by their virtuosity, but by their variety in style and expressive range."—John Marenbon, The Times (London)

"A book that was meant for students but speaks to a larger audience. Professor Dodwell's prose is s delight and captivates, whatever page one turns to."—Thomas West, Washington Post Book World

ISBN: 9780300064933
Publication Date: September 10, 1995
494 pages, 8 1/2 x 10 1/2
352 b/w + 75 color illus.
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