How Divine Images Became Art: Essays on the Rediscovery, Study and Collecting of Medieval Icons in the Belle Époque - cover image

Copyright

Oleg Tarasov

Published On

2024-02-09

ISBN

Paperback978-1-80511-158-0
Hardback978-1-80511-159-7
PDF978-1-80511-160-3
HTML978-1-80511-163-4
EPUB978-1-80511-161-0

Language

  • English

Print Length

228 pages (viii+220)

Dimensions

Paperback156 x 16 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.63" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 20 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.79" x 9.21")

Weight

Paperback451g (15.91oz)
Hardback625g (22.05oz)

Media

Illustrations35

THEMA

  • AGA
  • AB
  • QR
  • NH

BIC

  • HBLC1
  • HBLL
  • HRC
  • HBTB

BISAC

  • ART015070
  • ART035000
  • REL000000
  • HIS037010
  • HIS054000
  • HIS037060

Keywords

  • Divine Images
  • Art history
  • Russian medieval art
  • Italian primitives
  • Belle Epoque
  • Formalist art theory

How Divine Images Became Art

Essays on the Rediscovery, Study and Collecting of Medieval Icons in the Belle Époque

  • Oleg Tarasov (author)
  • Stella Rock (translator)
How Divine Images Became Art tells the story of the parallel ‘discovery’ of Russian medieval art and of the Italian ‘primitives’ at the beginning of the twentieth century. While these two developments are well-known, they are usually studied in isolation. Tarasov’s study has the great merit of showing the connection between the art world in Russia and the West, and its impact in the cultural history of the continent in the pre-war period.

Drawing on a profound familiarity with Russian sources, some of which are little known to Western scholars, and on equally expert knowledge of Western material and scholarship, Oleg Tarasov presents a fresh perspective on early twentieth-century Russian and Western art. The author demonstrates that during the Belle Époque, the interest in medieval Russian icons and Italian ‘primitives’ lead to the recognition of both as distinctive art forms conveying a powerful spiritual message. Formalist art theory and its influence on art collecting played a major role in this recognition of aesthetic and moral value of ‘primitive’ paintings, and was instrumental in reshaping the perception of divine images as artworks.

Ultimately, this monograph represents a significant contribution to our understanding of early twentieth-century art; it will be of interest to art scholars, students and anyone interested in the spiritual and aesthetic revival of religious paintings in the Belle Époque.

Endorsements

Oleg Tarasov is one of the few authors who has an equally profound knowledge of Russian sources and Western material and scholarship. His new book brings back to life the early twentieth-century discovery of Russian medieval art and of the Italian primitives and the influence this rediscovery had on European culture in the pre-War period.

Clemena Antonova

Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, author of 'Visual Thought in Russian Religious Philosophy' (2020)

Contents

Introduction

(pp. 1–10)
  • Oleg Tarasov
  • Stella Rock
  • Oleg Tarasov
  • Stella Rock
  • Oleg Tarasov
  • Stella Rock
  • Oleg Tarasov
  • Stella Rock
  • Oleg Tarasov
  • Stella Rock

Conclusion

(pp. 171–176)
  • Oleg Tarasov
  • Stella Rock

Contributors

Oleg Tarasov

(author)

Oleg Tarasov is an independent scholar (Rome). The author of numerous publications on cultural history and art, his books include Icon and Devotion: Sacred Spaces in Imperial Russia, transl. and ed. by R.-M. Gulland (London: Reaktion Books, 2002), Framing Russian Art: From Early Icons to Malevich, transl. by R.-M. Gulland and A. Wood (London: Reaktion Books, 2011), and Russian Art Nouveau and Ancient Icons (Moscow: Indrik, 2016) (in Russian). Oleg obtained a Ph.D. in History at the Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and in Art History at Department of History and Theory of Arts of the State Moscow University. He held posts at the State Moscow University, Department of History, and at the Department of Cultural History of the Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Oleg has been awarded fellowships at the Istituto Ellenico di Studi Bizantini e Postbizantini di Venezia, Italy, at the Getty Research Institute, USA and at Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, Austria.

Stella Rock

(translator)
Honorary Associate at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences and Global Studies, Religious Studies at The Open University

Stella Rock is Honorary Associate at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences and Global Studies, Religious Studies at the Open university (UK). Her publications include Popular Religion in Russia: ‘Double-belief’ and the making of an Academic Myth (Abington & New York: Routledge, 2007); “Russian Piety and Orthodox Culture 1380–1589”, in Angold, M. (ed.), The Cambridge History of Christianity, vol. 5: Eastern Christianity (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 253–75; ‘The life of dry bones: Pilgrimage to relic shrines in Soviet Russia’, in Pazos, Antón M. (ed.), Relics, Shrines and Pilgrimages: Sanctity in Europe from Late Antiquity (London and New York: Routledge, 2020).