Vision, Devotion, and Self-Representation in Late Medieval Art

Vision, Devotion, and Self-Representation in Late Medieval Art

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This book investigates the 'owner portrait' in the context of late medieval devotional books primarily from France and England. These mirror-like pictures of praying book owners respond to and help develop a growing concern with visibility and self-scrutiny that characterized the religious life of the laity after the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. The image of the praying book owner translated pre-existing representational strategies concerned with the authority and spiritual efficacy of pictures and books, such as the Holy Face and the donor image, into a more intimate and reflexive mode of address in Psalters and Books of Hours created for lay users. Alexa Sand demonstrates how this transformation had profound implications for devotional practices and for the performance of gender and class identity in the striving, aristocratic world of late medieval France and England.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 95 b/w illus. 7 colour illus.
  • 1139424769
  • 9781139424769

Review quote

'Sand's valuable contribution to the field of medieval art history offers an exemplary entree for students and scholars who seek insight into the visual potency of illuminated manuscripts.' The American Historical Review
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Table of contents

Introduction: self-reflection, devotion, and vision in the image of the book owner at prayer; 1. Saving face: the Veronica and the Visio Dei; 2. From Memoria to Visio: revising the donor; 3. Framing vision: the image of the book owner and the reflexive mode of seeing; 4. Domesticating devotion: body, space, and self; 5. Power and the portrait: negotiating gender.
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