BOOK: Art and Identity: Visual Culture, Politics and Religion in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, edited by Sandra Cardarelli, Emily Jane Anderson and John Richards, Cambridge 2012 (Cambridge Scholars), 310 pp. black & white illustrations, £ 44.99.
This book provides a fully contextualised overview on aspects of visual culture, and how this was the product of patronage, politics, and religion in some European countries between the 13th and 17th centuries. The research that is showcased here offers new perspectives on the conception, production and reception of artworks as a means of projecting core values, ideals, and traditions of individuals, groups, and communities. This volume features contributions from established scholars and new researchers in the field, and examines how art contributed to the construction of identities by means of new archival research and a thorough interdisciplinary approach. The authors suggest that the use of conventions in style and iconography allowed the local and wider community to take part in rituals and devotional practices where these works were widely recognized symbols. However, alongside established traditions, new, ad-hoc developments in style and iconography were devised to suit individual requirements, and these are fully discussed in relevant case-studies. This book also contributes to a new understanding of the interaction between artists, patrons, and viewers in Medieval and Renaissance times.
* Brendan Cassidy, Images of Saints and Political Identity in Late-Medieval Italy (pp. 3-18)
* Catherine Lawless, Civic Identity, Sanctity and Gender in Trecento Florence (pp. 19-44)
*Sandra Cardarelli, The Cathedral, the Church and the City: Celebrating Saints in the Statutes of Southern Tuscan Cities (pp. 45-70)
*Sarah Schell, Death and Disruption: Social Identity and Representation in the Medieval English Funeral (pp. 71-97)
*Jacek Kowzan, Memorare Novissima Tua. The Iconography of the Last Four Things as a Representation of Religious Identity (pp. 98-126)
*Jill Harrison, Being Florentine: A Question of Identity in the Arte della Lana, Florence (pp. 127-148)
*Kees van der Ploeg, Maintaining Identity: The Fifteenth-Century Renovation of St Lebuinus in Deventer (pp. 149-166)
*Giovanna Guidicini, The Political and Cultural Influence of James V’s Court on the Decoration of the King’s Fountain in Linlithgow Palace (pp. 167-192)
*Jennifer Vlček Schurr, The Dedication Illustration of the Passional of Abbess Cunegund – and Questions of Identity (pp. 193-218)
*Joseph Hammond, Negotiating Carmelite Identity: The Scuola dei Santi Alberto e Eliseo at Santa Maria dei Carmini in Venice (pp. 219-242)
*Laura Walters, Finding Fialetti: Examining the Oeuvre of Odoardo Fialetti through the Sources Relating to His English Patronage (pp. 243-268).