• Nectar and Illusion: Nature in Byzantine Art and Literature

    Nectar and Illusion: Nature in Byzantine Art and Literature (Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture) (Hardback) By (author) Henry Maguire

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    DescriptionNature and Illusion is the first extended treament of the portrayal of nature in Byzantine art and literature. In this richly illustrated study, Henry Maguire shows how the Byzantines embraced terrestrial creation in the decoration of their churches during the fifth to seventh centuries but then adopted a much more cautious attitude toward the depiction of animals and plants in the middle ages, after the iconoclastic dispute of the eighth and ninth centuries. In the medieval period, the art of Byzantine churches became more anthropocentric and less accepting of natural images. The danger that the latter might be put to idolatrous use created a constant state of tension between worldliness, represented by nature, and otherworldliness, represented by the portrait icons of the saints. The book discusses the role of iconoclasm in affecting this fundamental change in Byzantine art, as both sides in the controversy accused the other of "worshipping the creature rather than the Creator." An important theme is the asymmetrical relationship between Byzantine art and literature with respect to the portrayal of nature. A series of vivid texts described seasons, landscapes, gardens, and animals, but these were more sparingly illustrated in medieval art. Maguire concludes by discussing the abstraction of nature in the form of marble floors and revetments and with a consideration of the role of architectural backgrounds in medieval Byzantine art. Throughout Nature and Illusion, medieval Byzantine art is compared with that of Western Europe, where different conceptions of religious imagery allowed a closer engagement with nature.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Nectar and Illusion

    Nectar and Illusion
    Nature in Byzantine Art and Literature
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Henry Maguire
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 224
    Width: 160 mm
    Height: 236 mm
    Thickness: 20 mm
    Weight: 612 g
    ISBN 13: 9780199766604
    ISBN 10: 0199766606

    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T1.1
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: HBLC, HBLA
    BIC E4L: ART
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 05
    BIC subject category V2: DSBB
    B&T General Subject: 431
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ANCIEN
    Ingram Subject Code: AT
    Libri: I-AT
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15830
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 35
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    LC subject heading: ,
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002000, ART015060
    BIC subject category V2: ACK
    LC subject heading: , , , ,
    DC22: 700/.4609495
    LC classification: NX650.N38 M34 2012
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 700.4609495
    DC23: 709.0214
    Ingram Theme: ASPT/ARTAS
    Thema V1.0: AGA, DSBB, NHC
    Edition statement
    New ed.
    Illustrations note
    73 black and white halftones, 20 color halftones
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Imprint name
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Publication date
    16 August 2012
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Henry Maguire is Emeritus Professor of Art at Johns Hopkins University.
    Review quote
    Henry Maguire traces the complex rise and fall of Byzantine portrayals of the natural world in his beautiful Nectar and Illusion, which averages an illustration for every other page of text Lydia Wilson, Times Literary Supplement
    Table of contents
    List of Illustrations ; Introduction ; I. Nature and Idolatry ; II. Nature and Rhetoric ; III. Nature and Metaphor ; IV. Nature and Abstraction ; V. Nature and Architecture ; Conclusion ; Bibliography ; Index