The twelve studies contained in this second collection by Henry Maguire are linked together by a common theme, namely the relationship of Byzantine art to the imaginary. They show how art enabled the Byzantines not only to imagine the sacred events of the past, but also to visualize the invisible present by manifesting the spiritual world that they could not see. The articles are grouped around the following five topics: the depiction of nature by the Byzantines before and after iconoclasm, especially in portrayals of the earthly and the spiritual Paradise; the social functions and theological significance of classical artistic forms in Byzantine art after iconoclasm; the association between rhetoric and the visual arts in Byzantium, especially in contrast to the role played by liturgical drama in western medieval art; the relationship of the visual arts to Byzantine concepts of justice and the law, both human and divine; and portrayals of the two Byzantine courts, the imperial court on earth and the imagined court in heaven. The papers cover a wide range of media, including floor and wall mosaics, paintings in manuscripts and churches, ivory carvings, coins, and enamel work.
Henry Maguire is Professor in the Art History Department at The Johns Hopkins University, USA.
Contents: Preface; The Nile and the rivers of Paradise; The medieval floors of the Great Palace; Paradise withdrawn; Epigrams, art, and the 'Macedonian Renaissance'; Magic and money in the early Middle Ages; The depiction of sorrow in Middle Byzantine art; Byzantine rhetoric, Latin drama and the portrayal of the New Testament; Medieval art in southern Italy: Latin drama and the Greek literary imagination; From the evil eye to the eye of justice: the saints, art, and justice in Byzantium; Abaton and oikonomia: St Neophytos and the iconography of the presentation of the Virgin; The heavenly court; Davidic virtue: the crown of Constantine Monomachos and its images; Index.