With images culled from eleven hundred years of history, this comprehensive survey explores the Byzantine empire's vast range of artistic splendors that indelibly informed the art of modern Europe. Renowned scholar Thomas Mathews emphasizes that the Byzantines' interest in humanism and painting the human figure became the essential bridge between classical and renaissance Europe. Starting with a brief history of Byzantium as a basis for understanding Byzantine theology and art, he places the empire's artistic development within a broad cultural and historical context. Featuring more than one hundred color plates of mosaics, metalwork, architecture, frescoes and religious artifacts, as well as maps, diagrams, and a timeline, this definitive work provides a complete yet succinct introduction to the full range of Byzantine art and iconography.
Thomas F. Mathews is John Langeloth Loeb Professor in the History of Art at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. The author of numerous books on Byzantine art, including The Clash of Gods, Treasures in Heaven, and The Byzantine Churches of Istanbul, he is also a contributor to The Glory of Byzantium (Yale).