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Likeness and Presence: History of the Image Before the Era of Art Paperback – 6 Feb 1997

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  • Likeness and Presence: History of the Image Before the Era of Art
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Product details

  • Paperback: 676 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; New edition edition (6 Feb. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226042154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226042152
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 4.3 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 638,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"An "opus magnum," one of those works of art history that can be counted among the books of the decade."--Oskar Batschmann "Neue Zurcher Zeitung "" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Before the Renaissance and Reformation, holy images - the only independent images then in existence - were treated not as "art" but as objects of veneration. The faithful believed that these images, through their likeness to the person represented, became a tangible presence of the Holy and were able to work miracles, deliver oracles, and bring victory on the battlefield. In this magisterial book, one of the world's leading scholars of medieval art traces the long history of the image and its changing role in European culture. Belting's study of the iconic portrait opens in late antiquity, when Christianity reversed its original ban on images, adapted the cult images of the "pagans", and began developing an iconography of its own. The heart of the work focuses on the Middle Ages, both East and West, when images of God and the saints underwent many significant changes either as icons or as statues. The final section of Likeness and Presence surveys the Reformation and Renaissance periods, when new attitudes toward images inaugurated what Belting calls the "era of art" that continues to the present day - an era during which the aesthetic quality has become the dominant aspect of the image. Belting neither "explains" images nor pretends that images explain themselves. Rather, he works from the conviction that images reveal their meaning best by their use. Likeness and Presence deals with the beliefs, superstitions, hopes, and fears that come into play as people handle and respond to sacred images. Recognizing the tensions between image and word inherent in religion, Belting includes in an appendix many important historical documents that relate to the history and use of images. Profuselyillustrated, Likeness and Presence presents a compelling interpretation of the place of the image in Western history.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very good condition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 26 Sept. 2016
By Renetta DeBlase - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All of these books are references that I will read in the future.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare event 8 April 2013
By paul - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It does not happen very often that the lines of history are redrawn. Belting has done just this, not only about the past, but by very strong implication, about what is happening today. Is our current a-intentionalism a gateway into a new era of idolatry?
4.0 out of 5 stars good seller. 23 May 2017
By Jay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
will buy next time . Love this product. just what I was looking for at a reasonable price. Delivery was very fast. good . so fast, receive it next day , send it to my grandson,
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionized Art History 13 Feb. 2009
By Jolie311 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
One of the first art historians to take a look at art in its context and according to its function. It's a great read for those interested in art, culture and religion.
8 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a remarkable authorized work 23 May 2007
By Jesus Pedro A. Mendez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I find this book of Hans Belting an authorized work and a remarkable profound study in its field. I think this book is very inspiring to understand what images make on us.

I am very grateful for your help. It was very easy to purchase through your service. Many many thanks

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