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The Art of Devotion in the Late Middle Ages in Europe, 1300-1500 Hardcover – 20 Nov 1994

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"The Art of Devotion in the Late Middle Ages by Henk van Os is [a] book of enthralling paintings, altarpieces and sculptures. . . . Not only is it valuable to see from an art historian's point of view how art plays a central role in devotional practices, it's also helpful to be reminded of the place of devotion in life."--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"[This book] describes and illustrates, with the help of fine color reproductions, 44 objects . . . that document the important developments of art in the context of private devotion during the later Middle Ages. The aim . . . has been to soften the expected editorial contours of the traditional exhibition catalog. . . . This endeavor is quite well realized."--Choice

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Gail Cooke - Published on
Format: Hardcover
With the assistance of Hans Nieuwdorp, Bernhard Ridderbos, and Eugene Honee, Henk van Os, at the time Director of the Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam, compiled an impeccably researched and lavishly illustrated volume of devotional art found between 1300 and 1500.
Illustrations spanning various media - ivory, manuscript illumination, painted panel, and wood sculpture - display works representing artists ranging from Ambrogio Lorenzetti to Mantegna and Memling. Variety of the devotional objects astounds; beauty of the reproductions amazes.
Even among such glories, the intricately splendid Namur cradle is a stand-out. The ornate bed rests on four pillars, allowing the Christ child to be rocked. On the sides are Catherine and Barbara, the two saints most beloved by nuns, while banners, coats of arms and pendants contribute to the opulent decor. Inventories indicate that cribs for private devotion were not unusual in the southern Netherlands. At times they were displayed on sideboards in elegant homes. Small cribs, such as the one at Namur, were often given to a woman by hr family when she entered a convent, where the crib could be used in a nun's cell to assist her in prayer.
The development of private devotions had an enormous impact on the revolution in art that occurred in Europe during the late Middle Ages. First beginning among monks, the movement rapidly spread to elite homes in wealthy cities as both laity and clergy searched for ways to achieve individual salvation. This beautiful volume is a dissemination of those accepted disciplines and aids to prayers.
A boon for scholars, The Art of Devotion in the Middle Ages is a joy for lay readers as well.
- Gail Cooke
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Hearty Chunk of Information 1 May 2000
By staunton gilchrist - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Henk van Os is well known in the art history world for his intelligent and academic writing. This book is very well illustrated and easy enough to read and understand even for the beginner. Covering 2 centuries is not easy but he has the qualifications to hi-light the best and most important works of the middle ages. A must in anyone's library who is interested in medieval art or history.
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