Sacred Distance: Representing the Virgin Mary in Italian Alterpieces, 1300-1630

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9780719055454: Sacred Distance: Representing the Virgin Mary in Italian Alterpieces, 1300-1630
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This fascinating and groundbreaking book explores the way in which the canonical image of the Virgin Mary developed out of the Italian Renaissance. Faced with the naturalistic effects of pictorial space and light, the Church had to ensure the distinction of Mary as being both the human mother of Christ and a doctrinal symbol in her own right. The intentions of patrons, artistic practice and operating circumstances all contributed to mark out this duality, and create the "sacred distance" of Mary from the rest of humankind. The book discusses the various possible interpretations of Marian iconography in an attempt to understand an image, and the dangers of making assumptions about artistic intention and audience response.

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Rosemary Muir Wright is Senior Lecturer in the History of Art at the University of St. Andrew's.

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