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Contemporary approaches to analyzing art as applied to medieval works

Description

What is it that art historians do when they approach works of art?

What kind of language do they use to descibe what they see? How do they construct arguments using visual evidence? What sorts of arguments do they make? In this unusual anthology, eighteen prominent art historians specializing in the medieval field (European, Byzantine, and Islamic) provide answers to these fundamental questions, not directly but by way of example. Each author, responding to invitation, has chosen for study a single image or object and has submitted it to sustained analysis. The collection of essays, accompanied by statements on methodology by the editors, offers an accessible introduction to current art-historical practice. Elizabeth Sears is George H. Forsyth Jr. Collegiate Professor of Art at the University of Michigan.  She has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, a Research Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, and a Paul Mellon Centre Fellowship at the British School in Rome.

Thelma K. Thomas is Associate Professor of the History of Art and Associate Curator of the Kelsey Museum, University of Michigan.

Elizabeth Sears is George H. Forsyth Jr. Collegiate Professor of Art at the University of Michigan. She has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, a Research Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, and a Paul Mellon Centre Fellowship at the British School in Rome.

Thelma K. Thomas is Associate Professor of the History of Art and Associate Curator of the Kelsey Museum, University of Michigan.

"The editors of Reading Medieval Images have assembled an admirable collection of essays that show what art historians do when they confront a work. The contributors draw on contemporary theory yet their writing is jargon-free, and the editorial apparatus (two engaging introductory essays, nine very brief but valuable introductions to groups of essays, and a well-chosen bibliography) is exemplary."
---Sylvan Barnet, author of A Short Guide to Writing about Art

"A compelling conspectus of exemplary case-studies that demonstrates the variety and vitality of current scholarship on medieval art. Much more than the sun of its parts, this fine collection will further the lively exchange and debate found in its pages. . . . A model for other publications of its kind."
---Jeffery Hamburger, Harvard University