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Art of the Middle Ages. (Reviews).

Art of the Middle Ages. Janetta Rebold Benton. Thames & Hudson. [pounds sterling]8.95 p.b. 320 pages. ISBN 0-500-20350-4. This latest volume in Thames & Hudson's 'World of Art' series looks at mediaeval art, the period from about 300 to about 1400 in which art was 'characterised by a consistency of subject matter combined with a variety of styles'. This variety did not lead to individualism because artistic 'liberty' was not regarded as a virtue or a necessity in a painter or sculptor. Artists were craftsmen, or as the politically correct text reads, 'craftspeople'. The text follows a basically chronological approach and begins with the influence of Bzyantium. It then moves to the early middle ages and the Carolingian period, looks at Romanesque art in various parts of Europe and follows this examination with four chapters devoted to the Gothic period. The last chapter, 'Art in Daily Life During the Middle Ages' is perhaps one of the most enjoyable, showing as it does how art affected the daily life of the av erage man in the street. With 250 illustrations, of which 90 are in colour, this is a welcome addition to this notable series.
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Publication:Contemporary Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 2002
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