Medieval Iconography: A Research Guide

John Block Friedman, Jessica W. Wegman

New York: Garland Publishing, 1998; Series: Garland Medieval Bibliographies Volume 20

"Aims to help the researcher locate visual motifs, whether in medieval art or in literature, and to understand how they function in other medieval literary or artistic works. Chapter One, Art broadly covers various aspects of medieval art understood as the tools of investigation, such as the theory of iconography, genres like woodcarving, sculpture, and manuscript painting, periods like Anglo-Saxon, and countries. Chapter Two, Other Tools, offers a guide to works which are not in themselves visual but which medieval artists may have consulted or been influenced by, such as encyclopaediae offering the physical descriptions, habits, and oddities of animals, plants, and insects, and exempla and sermon collections containing illustrative stories like those using the fox as a symbol of duplicity. Chapter Three, Learned Imagery, treats traditions, works, concepts, and persons of interest to educated medieval people, such as alchemy, mythology, astrology, Alexander the Great, or the legend of the philosopher Aristotle ridden about like a horse by a woman named Campaspe or Phyllis. Chapter Four, The Christian Tradition, treats the Bible and figures and situations in it, as well as the vast body of glosses, exegesis, and legend which was copied into the medieval Bible in the course of manuscript transmission. Chapter Five, The Natural World, covers "natural history": medieval scientific conceptions; animals, listed as specific terrestrial, aerial, and marine creatures as well as imaginary forms of life, like the griffin or barnacle goose; members of the plant kingdom; and geographical features such as cliffs and mountains. Books like herbals and bestiaries are also studied in themselves. Chapter 6, Medieval Daily Life, treats a great variety of subjects somewhat more popular in appeal than those touched on in Chapter Three, including baths, beauty and ugliness, costume, fools and madness, magic, and ships." - publisher

437 pp , 1,896 entries. Index of authors and subjects.

Language: English

ISBN: 0-8153-1753-0; LC: Z5933.F751998; LCCN: 97-42974; DCC: 016.700'9'02-dc21


Last update December 6, 2021