This refreshing new look at Medieval art conveys a very real sense of the impact of art on everyday life in Europe from 1000 to 1500. It examines the importance of art in the expression and spread of knowledge and ideas, including notions of the heroism and justice of war, and the dominant view of Christianity.
Taking its starting point from issues of contemporary relevance, such as the environment, the identity of the artist, and the position of women, Medieval Art also highlights the attitudes and events specific to the sophisticated visual culture of the MiddleAges, and goes on to link this period to the Renaissance. The fascinating question of whether commercial and social activities between countries encouraged similar artistic taste and patronage, or contributed to the defining of cultural difference in Europe, is fully explored.
Medieval Art challenges the distinctions between the Medieval and Renaissance periods, arguing that the Medieval period was steeped in classical learning, and that there was a very strong tradition in Italy for praise of the artist as an intellectual, which predates the Renaissance. Disproving commonly held views of Medieval art being primarily about church art, and establishing the importance of art in all aspects of life in this period, Medieval Art brings issues of contemporary relevance to her investigation of this period - thereby enlivening it for a new generation of readers.