Envisioning Worlds in Late Antique Art (Book published December


Book Details

Author  Anna Cecilia Olovsdotter
Publisher  De Gruyter
Publication Date   December 17, 2018
ISBN  3110543745
Pages  236

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It has long been an accepted assumption that the abstracted mode of visual representation that emerged in late antiquity reflected a collective shift from the outer-directed and material world-view of classical antiquity to an inner-directed, spiritual mentality informed by Christianity.

Envisioning Worlds in Late Antique Art by Anna Cecilia Olovsdotter offers a more nuanced and diverse image of the nature and meanings of abstraction and symbolism in late antique and early medieval art, moving beyond normative interpretation models, and from a number of different methodological and interpretative perspectives.

In ten chapters, ten authors specialized in various fields of late-antique and Byzantine art explore the historiographical background of the 'spiritual' interpretation paradigm, neuroscientific and theological dimensions of Christian visual aesthetics, meanings and motive factors behind apparently wholly abstract and aniconic compositions, symbolic motifs and schemes for visualizing cosmic order and the cosmic state of Christ, and the re-use of symbolic Greco-Roman themes in Christian contexts. The result is a multi-focal image of late antique abstraction and symbolism that illuminates the heterogeneity and complexity of the phenomena and of their study.

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