Reading Medieval Images

The Art Historian and the Object
Elizabeth Sears and Thelma K. Thomas, Editors
Contemporary approaches to analyzing art as applied to medieval works


This unusual anthology focuses attention on art-historical practice. Each of the eighteen distinguished contributors—medievalists specializing in western European, Byzantine, and Islamic art—offers an interpretation of a single object, and in the process demonstrates how art historians go about describing, analyzing, and contextualizing works of art. The essays treat a broad range of artifacts in many media and together present a conspectus of current approaches to visual analysis, speaking to such crucial topics as medieval sign theory, visual rhetoric, replication, mimesis, and cultural interconnections within the medieval world. The volume will serve a wide audience, from specialists in the field to scholars in cognate disciplines to students interested in the craft of art history.

Elizabeth Sears is George H. Forsyth Jr. Collegiate Professor of Art at the University of Michigan. She has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, a Research Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, and a Paul Mellon Centre Fellowship at the British School in Rome.

Thelma K. Thomas is Associate Professor of the History of Art and Associate Curator of the Kelsey Museum, University of Michigan.

Product Details

  • 7 x 10.
  • 280pp.
  • 67 B&W photographs and 7 color illustration galley.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2002
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06751-0

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  • $41.95 U.S.