The Early Christian And Byzantine World. by Jean Lassus hits the £1 shelf in my shop.
Paul Hamlyn, 1966, Hardback in dust wrapper.
Contains a glossary of terms. Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Colour Photographs; Diagrams; Maps; Tables;Maps to the endpapers and blanks; Genealogical Tables;
From the cover: The unique story of the development of Early Christian art and the magnificent cultural sphere of the Byzantine Empire have seldom been examined together in such a comprehensive study. In this lavishly illustrated book with more than 200 plates, 117 of these in colour, Professor Jean Lassus traces this fascinating development.
The secret life of the first Christians in Rome and their subsequent acceptance by the state in the 4th century survives for us only through the paintings in the catacombs and the sculpture of the sarcophagi. Gradually signs of the increasing power and wealth of the church are found in the majestic basilicas and glittering mosaics of the Italian capital. The influence of Constantines building programme, both in Italy and in the Holy Land, are analysed with outstanding author-ity.
Professor Lassus, an expert in this field, explains the evolution of Byzantine Church architecture with the development of the dome, and its diffusion through the empire. He examines in detail the important role of Ravenna, paying particular attention to the astonishing variety of the mosaic decoration. During the period of Iconoclasm (the banning of all images in religious art in the 8th century) the figurative arts of Byzantium suffered irreparable damage, but the revoking of this decree a century later resulted in magnificent frescoes and mosaics full of expression and grace. The influence of these works spread from Constantinople throughout her empire.
Cultural activities in the West between the 6th and 11 th centuries were more scattered than those of the Christian East. The Irish illuminated manuscripts such as the Books of Kells and Durrow had a far-reaching influence on the manuscripts of Carolingian Europe while the products of Charlemagnes renaissance were a crystallisation of the Barbarian arts and a step towards the impending expansion of the Romanesque.
In the end, it is the sumptuous magnificence of Byzantine art which is most memorable but the reason for this imperial manifestation is the same that prompted the more modest expression in the catacombs and the beautiful simplicity of early church architecture. Professor Lassuss brilliant account and the many handsome illustrations give the reader a fascinating insight into the period.
Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. Edges of the dust wrapper somewhat frayed with a chip to the head of the upper panel. Pages slightly age-tanned at the margins.
Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine & Upper Board.
176 pages. Index. Bibliography. 11½” x 8½”.
This book will be listed, sooner or later, for £6.50 on my delightful website… but get 50% off buying from my blog… below…