Description - Figure and Likeness by Charles Barber
"Figure and Likeness" presents an account of Byzantine iconoclasm - the fundamental crisis in Christian visual representation during the 8th and 9th centuries that defined the terms of Christianity's relationship to the painted image. Charles Barber rejects the conventional means of analysing 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 account of iconoclastic notions of Ch
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(254mm x 190mm x mm)
Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
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Book Reviews - Figure and Likeness by Charles Barber
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".