Friday, December 10, 2010

Eternal Life: Italian Mosaics of the First Christian Millenium

According to Giorgio Vasari’s Lives, Domenico Ghirlandaio—whose frescoes graced the walls of the Sistine Chapel before those of his apprentice, Michelangelo—once called the art of mosaics as “vera pittura per l’eternita” or “true painting for eternity.” Joachim Poeschke’s Italian Mosaics: 300-1300 demonstrates the seemingly eternal life of these pre-Renaissance mosaics, which contain some of the earliest images of Christian art. In this first published survey of the subject, Poeschke analyzes how religion and politics teamed up to produce these glories of artistry in words while allowing stunning photographs of the mosaics to speak for themselves. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Eternal Life."

[Image: Enthroned Madonna and Child between Angels. Nave, north wall. Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy. Nave, Circa 500 and 560.]

[Many thanks to Abbeville Press for the image above and for a review copy of Italian Mosaics: 300-1300 by Joachim Poeschke.]

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