Figure and Likeness by Charles Barber
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Figure and Likeness
By Charles Barber

Figure and Likeness

On the Limits of Representation in Byzantine Iconoclasm

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Format: Hardback

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Figure and Likeness by Charles Barber

Book Description

"Figure and Likeness" presents a thought-provoking new account of Byzantine iconoclasm - the fundamental crisis in Christian visual representation during the eighth and ninth centuries that defined the terms of Christianity's relationship to the painted image. Charles Barber rejects the conventional means of analyzing this crisis, which seeks its origin in political and other social factors. Instead, he argues, iconoclasm is primarily a matter of theology and aesthetic theory. Working between the theological texts and the visual materials, Barber demonstrates that in challenging the validity of iconic representation, iconoclasts were asking: how can an image depict an incomprehensible God? In response, iconophile theologians gradually developed a notion of representation that distinguished the work of art from the subject it depicted. As such, Barber concludes, they were forced to move the language describing the icon beyond that of theology. This pivotal step allowed these theologians, of whom Patriarch Nikephoros and Theodore of Stoudios were the most important, to define and defend a specifically Christian art. In highlighting this outcome and also in offering a full and clearly rendered account of iconoclastic notions of Christian representation, Barber reveals that the notion of art was indeed central to the unfolding of iconoclasm. The implications of this study reach well beyond the dispute it considers. Barber fundamentally revises not only our understanding of Byzantine art in the years succeeding the iconoclastic dispute, but also of Christian painting in the centuries to come.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691091778
ISBN-10: 0691091773
Format: Hardback
(254mm x 190mm x 24mm)
Pages: 208
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 23-Sep-2002
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Charles Barber

Byzantine Things in the World by Charles Barber Byzantine Things in the World, Paperback (June 2013)

How did Byzantine culture understand its own objects we now call "art"? This book proposes that they saw and experienced clay pilgrim tokens, relief stamps, and icons of saints as dynamic and fully capable of affecting the world.

English Language by Charles Barber English Language, Paperback (March 2012)

This bestselling text by Charles Barber recounts the history of the English language from its ancestry to the present day.

Early Modern English by Charles Barber Early Modern English, Paperback (April 1997)

This book describes the English language between the years 1500 and 1700 - the different varieties of the language, the attitudes of its speakers towards it, its pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar.

» View all books by Charles Barber


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Author Biography - Charles Barber

Charles Barber is Associate Professor of Art, Art History, and Design at the University of Notre Dame. He has published "The Theodore Psalter (British Library Add. 19352): A CD-ROM Facsimile".

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Recent books by Charles Barber close
Byzantine Things in the World by Charles Barber
English Language by Charles Barber
Early Modern English by Charles Barber
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