Thursday, April 11, 2013

Are We Living in a Second Gothic Age?

“[T]he Gothic era,” Bruno Klein writes in the introduction to Gothic: Visual Art of the Middle Ages, 1140-1500, “was a time of seeing, in which much was discussed in words, but even more conveyed with the help of images.” In this massive new study of the period published by h.f. Ullmann as part of the Collection of Art Epochs, we reunite with a generation powerfully like our own—a group of visual learners more comfortable with meaning filtered through images than through words. What separates this new book from previous encyclopedic surveys of the Gothic past is the photographic processes of the present. By zooming in and digitally manipulating images for maximum clarity and detail, Gothic: Visual Art of the Middle Ages, 1140-1500 pulls the distant past into our immediate future. Thrust literally face to face with this strangely different yet strangely similar time, we can ask, “Are we living in a second Gothic age?” Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Are We Living in a Second Gothic Age?"

[Image: Chartes Cathedral, Rose Window in the North Transept, circa 1230-1240. Copyright Achim Bednorz.]
[Many thanks to h.f. Ullmann for providing me with the image above from and a review copy of Gothic: Visual Art of the Middle Ages, 1140-1500, edited by Rolf Toman, text by Bruno Klein, photographs by Achim Bednorz, and produced by Thomas Paffen.]

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