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    Spiritual Seeing: Picturing God's Invisibility in Medieval Art (Middle Ages Series) (Hardback) By (author) Herbert L. Kessler

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    DescriptionIf we cannot see God with our own eyes, for what purpose do we picture God in art? During the Middle Ages, the Second Commandment's warning against idolatry was largely set aside as the power of images became boldly and visibly evident. By the twelfth century, one Byzantine authority could even offer his own revision of the Commandment: "Thou shalt paint the likeness of Christ Himself." How and when, Herbert L. Kessler asks, was the Jewish prohibition of images in worship converted into a Christian imperative to picture God's invisibility once God had taken human form in the body of Jesus Christ? In Spiritual Seeing, Kessler explores ways in which the medieval debate about the functions and limits of images influenced the production of sacred art. Offering a new interpretation of Christian images as mediators between the human and the sacred, Kessler considers how the creators of images in Byzantium and the Latin West were able to situate art at the boundary between the physical and the spiritual worlds. He examines the ways in which images acquired such legitimacy that sacred art became a privileged metaphor for divine revelation. Portraits of Christ, in particular, took on central importance. Throughout the book, Kessler also considers the lingering anxiety about the capacity of human sight to apprehend the divine in images. In so doing, he discloses the artful dodges devised to deal with the controversy of picturing God's invisibility in material form.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Spiritual Seeing

    Spiritual Seeing
    Picturing God's Invisibility in Medieval Art
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Herbert L. Kessler
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 296
    Width: 185 mm
    Height: 254 mm
    Thickness: 25 mm
    Weight: 975 g
    ISBN 13: 9780812235609
    ISBN 10: 0812235606

    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T1.1
    B&T General Subject: 140
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: HBLC
    BIC E4L: ART
    BIC time period qualifier V2: 3H
    BIC subject category V2: HBJK
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HRLK
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 05
    B&T Modifier: Text Format: 02
    BISAC V2.8: REL072000, REL015000
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 35
    BIC subject category V2: ACN
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BISAC V2.8: ART015070
    LC subject heading:
    LC classification: BR115
    BISAC V2.8: REL062000, ART035000
    DC21: 246.1
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 246/.1
    LC classification: BR115.A8 K47 2000
    Thema V1.0: AGA, QRVK, NHKA
    Illustrations note
    9 color, 132 b&w illustrations
    University of Pennsylvania Press
    Imprint name
    University of Pennsylvania Press
    Publication date
    18 August 2000
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    Herbert L. Kessler is Professor of the History of Art at the Johns Hopkins University.
    Review quote
    "A beautiful and thought-provoking book."-ACE Bulletin