Author: Madeline Harrison Caviness
In this highly illustrated volume Madeline H. Caviness explores a set of issues that have concerned art historians in relation to medieval works of art - questions of patronage and viewing community, formal and aesthetic codes, and modern reception history. Two studies examine ways in which Neoplatonic and Aristotelian tenets informed different modes of representation, and the visionary mode is later addressed in the context of the works of Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard's authorship and patronage is also the focus of two essays in a section dealing with women's roles in the arts of the high middle ages, especially as book owners. Revisionist pieces include four articles on the aesthetic and political factors that impacted on the modern formation of a canon of medieval works in Europe and the United States, while another evaluates selected medieval works in relation to modern definitions of obscenity. A number of these studies represent important steps toward Caviness's current feminist readings of medieval culture.