Fully illustrated in colour and black and white, Images of the Mother of God complements the successful exhibition catalogue of the 'Mother of God' exhibition at the Benaki Museum in Athens. It brings together the work of leading international authorities and younger scholars to provide a wide-ranging survey of how the Theotokos was perceived in the Byzantine world. It embraces the disciplines of art historians, archaeologists, traditional and feminist historians, as well as theologians, philologists and social anthropologists. Images of the Mother of God will appeal not just to those interested in Byzantine art and culture, but also to scholars of Western Europe in the Middle Ages who are looking for comparative materials in their own work.
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Maria Vassilaki is Associate Professor of the History of Byzantine Art at the University of Thessaly, Greece, and Scientific Advisor at the Benaki Museum in Athens, where she organised the 'Mother of God' exhibition in 2000-2001.Review:
'...a largely stimulating volume on a (perhaps 'the') central figure in Byzantine art...Recommended.' Choice 'Le resultat en est particulierement satisfaisant... C'est un beau et passionnant livre qui devrait donner l'impulsion a de nouvelles etudes sur la Theotokos.' The Medieval Review 'Fully indexed, this is a most valuable, up-to-date repertoire of knowledge about Mary in Byzantine art and piety.' International Review of Biblical Studies 'Images of the Mother of God contains much to fascinate those interested in the roles of women and perceptions of the Virgin in both eastern and western medieval culture.' Medieval Feminist Forum 'This is, in short, a feast of learning; indeed, appropriately, it is a rather Mediterranean feast, with lots of small dishes, bringing out the enormous variety of approaches that scholars now draw on in seeking to understand the cult of the Virgin.' Journal of Theological Studies 'With a huge number of carefully selected colour and monochrome plates, this volume embraces the disciplines of art history, archaeology, theology, philology, and social anthropology. It is a fascinatingly in-depth study of Marian iconography, including 'western' material from the very early icons in Rome to the images and cult practices of south Italy and Sicily in late mediaeval and even modern times which demonstrate a clear Byzantine influence.' Antiques Magazine 'This is, in short, a feast of learning...' Sobornost 'The comprehensive and detailed index of twenty-one pages shows the extensive chronological, regional and thematic range of the volume. Such a large framework certainly does justice to the Byzantine character of the veneration of Mary... [Images of the Mother of God] can be considered to be the fundamental work on the cult of Mary in Byzantium.' Jahrbuch der Osterreichischen Byzantinistik '... an outstanding collection of essays... The volume's strength is its overall chronological and geographical breadth [...] as well as its keen attention to ritual, gender, and geography. Careful scholarship pairs nicely with sheer delight in enigmatic detail... Generously illustrated and copiously documented, this important volume belongs in undergraduates and graduate libraries.' Religious Studies Review
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