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The Foundations of Christian Art (Sacred Art in Tradition Series) by [Burckhardt, Titus]
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The Foundations of Christian Art (Sacred Art in Tradition Series) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 128 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 14163 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: World Wisdom (21 Mar. 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0041T4ZC0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #774,199 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This work by the authority upon Sacred Art and Tradition, Titus Burckhardt, is a rich and profound exposition upon the visual and architectural heritage of, primarily mediaeval, Christendom, a comprehensive treatise which furthermore is illustrated throughout with a dazzling and sumptuous array of images from illuminated manuscripts, ecclesiastical carvings (the legacy of the ancient 'freemasons' of the Catholic and Orthodox spheres), wall-paintings from Siena and gilded ikons from the Oriental Church traditions of Byzantium. One is struck by the splendour of the sacred arts and crafts traditions within archaic Christendom and its profound beauty and symbolic integrity as an integral expression of the Primordial Tradition and its holy norms. The main text is really superb and glows with a brilliant understanding of the metaphysics and symbolism which these works of art encapsulate and convey and embedded throughout the body of the text there are wondrous small essays dealing with such recondite subjects as the 'soul-unmasking' apotropaic and exorcistic function of mediaeval gargolyles and the spiritual and cosmological emblems of the tympanum.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x98ee31e0) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98ca2c60) out of 5 stars This lovely presentation is a top pick for newcomers to Christian art history or theory 9 July 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Titus Burckhardt's The Foundations Of Christian Art provides a fine illustrated edition of Burckhardt's writings on Christian sacred art, pairing over a hundred color illustrations of such art with his expertise and insights. The entire history of Christian art is surveyed with a focus on its manuscripts and arts and crafts guilds and their connections to Christian spiritual concepts. This lovely presentation is a top pick for newcomers to Christian art history or theory.
HASH(0x98aef3c0) out of 5 stars The Tradition of Christian Art 29 May 2016
By Rod Zinkel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Titus Burckhardt holds to a traditional approach to Christian art because Christian art requires it. "For this very reason traditional symbolism is never without beauty: according to the spiritual view of the world, the beauty of an object is nothing but the transparency of its existential envelopes; an art worthy of the name is beautiful because it is true." (Locations 136-138 Kindle version) Burckhardt expresses a premodern view of art (Medieval), as opposed to a modern view (Renaissance and after). In the former the truth of traditional symbolism is important; in the latter individual expression is important.
"One of the most tenacious of typically modern prejudices is the one that sets itself up against the impersonal and objective rules of an art, for fear that they should stifle creative genius. In reality no work exists that is traditional, and therefore 'bound' by changeless principles, which does not give sensible expression to a certain creative joy of the soul; whereas modern individualism has produced, apart from a few works of genius which are nevertheless spiritually barren, all the ugliness— the endless and despairing ugliness— of the forms which permeate the 'ordinary life' of our times." (Kindle Locations 146-150)
In the first essay, “Introduction to the Sacred Art of Christianity,” and the last essay, “The Decadence and the Renewal of Christian Art,” Burckhardt writes of the differing perspectives, and the loss of the sacred in the modern one.

The second essay, “The Role of Illuminated Manuscripts in Christian Art,” introduces the reader to several important manuscripts, such as the Book of Kells, the Book of Durrow, early Northumbrian manuscripts, early Syrian manuscripts, and the Ambrosian Illiad. The author writes of the style of illumination and the cultures these books came from.

The title essay, the longest, is more technical than the others. Burckhardt discusses the art of the icon, architecture, and what these represent; medieval philosophy, mainly from Aristotle, but also from Plato and Boethius; and art of Eastern Orthodoxy. In this essay the author includes specific examples of each art.

As these are essays, and the topics significant, the book is a rather broad overview, far from comprehensive. Aptly, the author’s writing is significant. In writing a review there are many quotations I would have liked to have included. Burckhardt’s words have the weight of someone who knows religion and art, both of which use the language of man’s nature and the timeless.

P.S. In the last essay, “The Decadence and the Renewal of Christian Art,” the author addresses the question of whether Christian art can be renewed or reborn. He makes two separate statements:
"But a renewal of Christian art is not conceivable without an awakening of the contemplative spirit at the heart of Christianity; in the absence of this foundation, every attempt to restore Christian art will fail; it can never be anything but a barren reconstruction." (Kindle Locations 1461-1462)
"Christian art will not be reborn unless it completely frees itself from individualistic relativism, and returns to the sources of its inspiration, which by definition are situated in the 'timeless.'" (Kindle Locations 1497-1498)
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9899ef60) out of 5 stars Five Stars 27 Dec. 2015
By Carol - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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