- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Penn State University Press; Reprint edition (May 28, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0271064005
- ISBN-13: 978-0271064000
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Icons and Power: The Mother of God in Byzantium Reprint Edition
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“This is a major work. It provides a much-needed overview of the development of the cult of the Virgin in Byzantium between the fifth and thirteenth centuries. But it is much more than that, too. In its richly detailed account of how icons of the Virgin helped shape Byzantine imperial ideologies, it offers a significant contribution to studies of gender and empire. Its deployment of an unprecedented range of sources, its attentiveness to both major and minor artistic media, and its brilliant descriptions of the role of icons will ensure that it becomes a standard book on the Virgin and her cult in Byzantium.”
—David Freedberg, author of The Eye of the Lynx
“The book is well written in good and precise prose and laid out with logical clarity in combination with well-chosen and beautifully produced illustrations on at least two-thirds of the pages. Pentcheva is in command of many texts (chronicles, hymns, sermons, poems) used to deepen her arguments and draws on extensive supplementary material such as coins, seals, ivories, and paintings. . . . [Icons and Power] should be of value to anyone concerned with religious cults, devotion, and the relation of rulers to religious symbols.”
—Cecily Hennessy, Catholic Historical Review
“Aimed primarily at Byzantine scholars, this important study will also be of great benefit to medievalists and theologists.”
—Susan Martin, The Art Book
“Pentcheva’s book provides a significant response to the issue regarding the relationship of the cult of relics and the cult of images, and offers insight into new iconographic formulae that characterized Marian images of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. As such, this text should be read not only by Byzantinists, but also by scholars focusing on the western tradition.”
—Kirstin Noreen, Journal of Church and State
“The volume is a rich dossier of texts and images. The excellent plates illustrate works of art ranging from large mosaics to seals and coins. The captions are highly informative. An extraordinary number of primary sources are included in translation, some of them for the first time in English, and the Greek and Latin originals are always included in the footnotes.”
—Nancy P. Ševčenko, Religious Studies Review
“[The] book is both complex in terms of scholarly research and important for non-experts, in order to understand that the material artifacts of Christianity are polysemous. This study, beyond the mere pleasure of its many illustrations, was also enlightening in what it told me about the ever-unfolding story of devotion to the Mother of God.”
—Lawrence S. Cunningham, Cistercian Studies Quarterly
“This insightful study of the role of Marian icons in Byzantine society, with a particular focus on their imperial resonances and underpinnings, has as its foundation a profound knowledge of both written and visual texts. . . . [The] presentation is handsome and the text error free, enhanced by copious illustrations, many full page and some twenty in color. Pennsylvania State University Press is to be congratulated on the production of another outstanding art-historical book, one that most medievalists will need to read.”
—John Osborne, Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies
“Icons and Power is an ambitious project, the results of which are a welcome and significant addition not only to the study of Byzantine culture and society, but more broadly to Marian studies as a whole. The book brings much-needed contour to the study of the image of Mary in the Byzantine east.”
—Vera Shevzov, Church History
About the Author
Bissera V. Pentcheva is Assistant Professor of Art History at Stanford University .