Painting the Soul by Mr Robin Cormack
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Painting the Soul
By Mr Robin Cormack

Painting the Soul

Icons, Death Masks and Shrouds

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Format: Paperback

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Painting the Soul by Mr Robin Cormack

Book Awards

  • Winner of Runciman Award 1998.

Book Description

Icons are among the most elusive subjects in the history of art, but at the same time their study constitutes possibly its fastest expanding field, and with the opening-up of the former Soviet Union many new objects are being discovered, studied and exhibited. In this book, Robin Cormack considers the icon as an integral document of society and gives us new insights into the nature of Byzantine art. Painting the Soul explores both the creation and the development of the icon. After the early Christians - like the pagans before them - had come to expect their god to be visually present among them, endless questions confronted both the artist and the Church. What did Christ look like? How should Christ be represented? Should Christ be represented (as he is for example on the Turin Shroud)? Appropriately, Cormack's study ends with Venetian Crete, where the icon underwent its final development and transformation into the art of the Renaissance. Here, established Byzantine forms of religious art confronted developing Renaissance modes of expression: the first 'icons' of El Greco were painted in Crete. Painting the Soul is beautifully illustrated, featuring many little-known works of art. Even so, Cormack treats the icon not as a mere artistic product, but as the symbolic face of medieval Europe. He shows how this new field within the history of art - the study of the icon - will transform our understanding of European art and culture.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781861890016
ISBN-10: 186189001X
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 19mm)
Pages: 248
Imprint: Reaktion Books
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Publish Date: 23-Apr-1997
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Books By Author Mr Robin Cormack

Icons by Mr Robin Cormack Icons, Paperback (July 2014)

Looks at icons in the context of the history of Christianity and examine all aspects of the production and power of this distinctive art form. Based on an analysis of British Museum examples that have been carefully studied by restorers, this book explains how icons were made, framed and displayed.

Byzantine Art by Mr Robin Cormack Byzantine Art, Paperback (September 2000)

This text focuses on the art of Constantinople from 330 to 1453 and the stages this went through in reaction to historical circumstances. The book shows how changes in society led to changes in art by focusing on particular cases and objects.

» View all books by Mr Robin Cormack


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Author Biography - Mr Robin Cormack

Robin Cormack is Professor Emeritus in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute, University of London. His books include Writing in Gold (1985) and The Byzantine Eye (1989) and Icons (1989).

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Icons by Mr Robin Cormack
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