The Medieval World by Peter Kidson hits the £1 shelf in my shop.
Paul Hamlyn, 1967, Hardback in dust wrapper.
Contains a glossary of terms. 2nd impression. [First Edition: 1967] Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Colour Photographs; Diagrams; Maps to the endpapers and blanks;
From the cover: The art of the Middle Ages in the West covers a period of a thousand years between 400 and 1400 with antiquity at one end and the Renaissance at the other. It is a period rich in invention and astonishing in its variety, whose breadth and beauty are reflected here in two hundred magnificent illustrations, over half of which are in full colour. In architecture it takes us from the simple stone churches of Saxon England to the soaring splendour of the great Gothic cathedrals; in painting from the exuberant miniatures of Northumbria to the work of Giotto, the last of the medievals, the first of the Italian Renaissance. It includes ivories, manuscripts, exquisite jewelled reliquaries, enamels, stained glass, Romanesque and Gothic sculpture.
Starting with the break up of the Roman Empire in Western Europe Dr Kidson takes the story of medieval art through the conflict between pagan and Christian, Pope and Emperor, barbarian art and the surviving Christian art of classical Italy. Pre-Roman-esque Art deals first with the art of the peoples living on the fringe of the Empire the Visigoths, the Anglo-Saxons and the Irish. Then we come to the powerful kingdom of the Franks and the Carolingian renaissance when Charlemagne took the title of Emperor of the West and the Imperial city of Aachen became the centre of a magnificent artistic upsurge.
This leads us, through Ottonian art in Germany, to the Romanesque style, whose delightful narrative sculpture has a particular charm for us today. This period and the following one, the Gothic, were times of great building activity when new techniques made possible a new lightness and elegance, so that the delicacy of the masonry and glowing stained glass combine to give a cathedral such as Chartres the effect of a jewelled casket.
In tracing the story of medieval art in the West the author explains to us how the essentially religious societies produced works in which Christianity was glorified, whether by a simple Cross on an Irish hillside during the Dark Ages now not nearly so dark or by the great abbeys at Cluny or St Denis, the cathedrals of Durham or Canterbury, Chartres or Notre Dame. It is a period of splendid achievement, made vivid to us by the lucidity of the text and the rich variety of illustration.
Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. Edges of the dust wrapper somewhat frayed, a little loss at the head of the spine and again at the foot of the upper panel. Gently bruised at the head, tail and corners of the binding. Text complete, clean and tight but a little 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…