Have you also considered the extent to which mystics might affect
representation through dissemination of their visions? Bridget of Sweden's
vision of the Nativity comes to mind.
[log in to unmask]
From: G Butrous [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 20 November 2000 22:32
Subject: Re: Theologians and Art
Thank you very much Jim for succinct reply. You said that "theologians in
Europe never interested themselves very directly or systematically with art
images, as was very much the case in the Byzantine east"; which I to certain
degree agree; however there was a special pattern of development of
in the Middle Ages. Surely some form of learned influence on the content of
exists. I assume that the form of "popular religion" had more influence.
Certainly Voragine's Golden Legend played an important part, but I wonder if
are other minor works which equally had influence. I also like to think that
played also important role in influencing the content of religious art. I
any thoughts or examples.
[log in to unmask] wrote:
> It may be a simple question !
> I want to compile a list of theologians who
> influenced the progress and the shape of the Medieval art, any help?
> Ghazwan Butrous
> Canterbury UK
>>>You should certainly include Gregory the Great. There have been
several recent articles in the journal, Word & Image, on his writings
about art. St Bernard, too, should be included, and although the
consensus no longer makes of him a theologian, Abbot Suger might be
included anyway, just because of his writings that survive. Conrad
Rudolph has written books on both St Bernard and Suger, and in the
latter, he discusses, as well, Hugh of St Victor, who should also be
on your list. And although difficult to pinpoint exactly as the
author of the Libri Carolini, Theodulf of Orleans should probably be
there, too. To my knowledge, however, theologians in western Europe
never interested themselves very directly or systematically with art
and images, as was very much the case in the Byzantine east. That
probably explains the relative lack of works treating your subject,
although Etienne Gilson has, I believe, written on it, as, of
course, has Umberto Eco, and the bibliography in his Art and Beauty
in the Middle Ages would certainly suggest other theologians you
might include. There are lots of theologians, such as St Thomas
Aquinas, who provide lots of material for contemporary gleaners of
aesthetic theory but who, arguably, did not do a great deal in their
time to influence or shape the direction of medieval art, and I would
particularly point out Vincent of Beauvais in this category; whatever
his role in shaping art, he was made far more of than he deserved by
Didron, Emile Male, etc., in the 19th century.