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Medieval Art in Focus III

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The series Medieval Art in Focus is designed to present a particular work from the Middle ages by putting it as far as possible into the context for which it was made. In this case the work is a monumental figure of Christ (c. 196cm) in poplar from a Crucifixion or Deposition group such as would have hung behind the altar or adorned the rood screen of many a Church around 1200, the end of the Romanesque period, and especially in the great abbey churches of the time. Specifically, it is a well-preserved example of the western European version of a Byzantine model, that, to quote Martin Blindheim (1975), “appeared all over Europe, from Spain to Scandinavia, in the last third of the twelfth and first third of the thirteenth century”. The study aims to trace its provenance in Europe by exploring the regional Latin variants of this Byzantine theme of Christ on the Cross, from England and Saxony to Tyrol and and the Pyrenees, expressed in various media, manuscript illumination, ivory, bronze, stained glass as well as wood, and many well-known examples are drawn upon. Specifically, both the pan-European nature of courtly and monastic life, as well as the influential role of England, are highlighted. Lastly, both the meaning of the work as given by the iconographical history and context, as well as its artistic quality and beauty, are evaluated and photographically documented so that the reader has a chance of forming their own opinion. This is the first early monumental Christ on the market for some time and very likely one of the last.

See catalogue for full description. (Click on file size above to download pdf version)

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