The first of three text books, published in association with the Open University, which offer an innovatory exploration of art and visual culture. Through carefully chosen themes and topics rather than through a general survey, the volumes approach the process of looking at works of art in terms of their audiences, functions and cross-cultural contexts. While focused on painting, sculpture and architecture, it also explores a wide range of visual culture in a variety of media and methods. "1000-1600: Medieval to Renaissance" includes essays on key themes of Medieval and Renaissance art, including the theory and function of religious art and a generic analysis of art at court. Explorations cover key canonical artists such as Simone Martini and Botticelli and key monuments including St Denis and Westminster Abbey, as well as less familiar examples.
This series forms the main texts of an Open University Level 2 module, Exploring Art and Visual Culture. Central is a concern with the ways in which the concept of art has developed over the course of time and how visual practices have both responded to and been shaped by these changing ideas.
Recently, scholars of Olmec visual culture have identified symbols for umbilical cords, bundles, and cave-wombs, as well as a significant number of women portrayed on monuments and as figurines. In this groundbreaking study, Carolyn Tate demonstrates that these subjects were part of a major emphasis on gestational imagery in Formative Period Mesoamerica. In Reconsidering Olmec Visual Culture, she identifies the presence of women, human embryos, and fetuses in monuments and portable objects dating from 1400 to 400 BC and originating throughout much of Mesoamerica. This highly original study sheds new light on the prominent roles that women and gestational beings played in Early Formative societies, revealing female shamanic practices, the generative concepts that motivated caching and bundling, and the expression of feminine knowledge in the 260-day cycle and related divinatory and ritual activities. Reconsidering Olmec Visual Culture is the first study that situates the unique hollow babies of Formative Mesoamerica within the context of prominent females and the prevalent imagery of gestation and birth. It is also the first major art historical study of La Venta and the first to identify Mesoamerica's earliest creation narrative. It provides a more nuanced understanding of how later societies, including Teotihuacan and West Mexico, as well as the Maya, either rejected certain Formative Period visual forms, rituals, social roles, and concepts or adopted and transformed them into the enduring themes of Mesoamerican symbol systems.
In the past fifty years, the study of indigenous and pre-Columbian art has evolved from a groundbreaking area of inquiry in the mid-1960s to an established field of research. This period also spans the career of art historian Esther Pasztory. Few scholars have made such a broad and lasting impact as Pasztory, both in terms of our understanding of specific facets of ancient American art as well as in our appreciation of the evolving analytical tendencies related to the broader field of study as it developed and matured. The essays collected in this volume reflect scholarly rigor and new perspectives on ancient American art and are contributed by many of Pasztory’s former students and colleagues. A testament to the sheer breadth of Pasztory's accomplishments, Visual Culture of the Ancient Americas covers a wide range of topics, from Aztec picture-writing to nineteenth-century European scientific illustration of Andean sites in Peru. The essays, written by both established and rising scholars from across the field, focus on three areas: the ancient Andes, including its representation by European explorers and scholars of the nineteenth century; Classic period Mesoamerica and its uses within the cultural heritage debate of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; and Postclassic Mesoamerica, particularly the deeper and heretofore often hidden meanings of its cultural production. Figures, maps, and color plates demonstrate the vibrancy and continued allure of indigenous artworks from the ancient Americas. “Pre-Columbian art can give more,” Pasztory declares, and the scholars featured here make a compelling case for its incorporation into art theory as a whole. The result is a collection of essays that celebrates Pasztory’s central role in the development of the field of Ancient American visual studies, even as it looks toward the future of the discipline.
This study offers the first extensive analysis of the function and significance of urban panegyric in the Central Middle Ages, a flexible literary genre which enjoyed a marked and renewed popularity in the period 1100 to 1300. In doing so, it connects the production of urban panegyric to major underlying transformations in the medieval city and explores praise of cities primarily in England, Flanders, France, Germany, Iberia, and Italy (including the South and Sicily). The volume demonstrates how laudatory ideas on the city appeared in extremely diverse textual formats which had the potential to interact with a wide audience via multiple textual and material sources. When contextualized within the developments of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries these ideas could reflect more than formulaic, rhetorical outputs for an educated elite, they were instead integral to the process of urbanisation. In Urban Panegyric and the Transformation of the Medieval City, 1100-1300, Paul Oldfield assesses the generation of ideas on the Holy City, on counter-narratives associated with the Evil City, on the inter-relationship between the City and abundance (primarily through discourses on commercial productivity, hinterlands and population size), on landscapes and sites of power, and on knowledge generation and the construction of urban histories. Urban panegyric can enable us to comprehend more deeply material, functional, and ideological change associated with the city during a period of notable urbanization, and, importantly, how this change might have been experienced by contemporaries. This study therefore highlights the importance of urban panegyric as a product of, and witness to, a period of substantial urban change. In examining the laudatory depiction of medieval cities in a thematic analysis it can contribute to a deeper understanding of civic identity and its important connection to urban transformation.
An illustrated history of the visual arts from prehistory through the end of the twentieth century, covering painting, mosaic, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, architecture, and photography, as well as an assortment of so-called minor arts.
Unparalleled depth of content and detailed support to help travellers catch the main sights.. Special full colour map highlighting best sights. Full and detailed coverage of all Maya and Aztecs sites. Where to eat., drink and sleep. Recommendations on where to stay from humble beach huts to fancy haciendas.