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Beyond the Ornament
Iconography, Iconology, and Interpreting the Visual Imagery of the Middle Ages
A Synthesis of Scholastic Sermon Structure

MEDIEVAL ART AS A LANGUAGE MIECZYStAW WALLIS It has often been maintained that medieval art was a language. I would like to give this statement a more precise meaning. Medieval art was a language because it had the two essential elements of a language: a vocabulary and a syntax. The vocables of this language were iconic signs, conventional signs, iconic signs functioning as conventional signs, and iconic signs represent- ing symbols. Now I ought to explain all these terms. By a 'sign' I understand - this is a deliberately simplified definition of this

1 Medieval Art as Diagram Introduction Central and reciprocal propositions of this book are that diagrams were central to the making of medieval art and that much, although hardly all, of medieval art is diagrammatic to its core. Neither of these suggestions as such is new to this study, which doubles as a monograph on one of the most ambitious diagrammatic works of the Middle Ages, Berthold of Nurem- berg’s pair of treatises devoted, in turn, to the Holy Cross and the Virgin Mary, composed and illustrated in Germany in the last decade of the thir- teenth

CHAPTER I I PYTHAGOREANISM IN MEDIEVAL ART Long after the Roman Empire had crumbled under the pressures of migra- tional raids from the east and the north and Islam had begun its relentless ad- vance in the Mediterranean basin, Europe began to take on the form by which we know it today. By Carolingian times (eighth and ninth centuries), the an- cient cities and towns, which had been continuously inhabited, had been evan- gelized to form a civilization that was fundamentally Christian. The develop- ing life blood of these Christian communities was accompanied

Debra Higgs Strickland Meanings of Muhammad in Later Medieval Art There are very few representations of the Prophet, Muhammad, in Western medieval Christian art. This is surprising in light of the great number of contemporary picto- rial renderings of headband-wearing, weapon-wielding “Saracens”, the larger–and largely imaginary–group for which the Prophet was perceived spiritual leader. Anon- ymous Saracens depicted in virtually all artistic media, both public and private, rou- tinely denigrated Islam or else served as general signs of non-Christian “pagans

23 The Hidden Narratives of Medieval Art Katherine Anne Wilson Two figures dressed in the height of mid- fifteenth- century fashion dominate the Arnolfini portrait in the National Art Gallery of London. Thought to represent Giovanni di Nico- lao Arnolfini (ca. 1400– ca. 1460s), supplier to the court of Burgundy, and his wife, in their residence in Bruges, it is recognized as one of the finest products of fifteenth- century art, an early example of oil painting. A master of realism and perspective, Jan van Eyck of Bruges signed the portrait and is glimpsed