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Re: [BKARTS] Telling of the Book Arts World



I'm going to weigh in on this one, despite my fear of getting jumped on!

I think what was being pointed out by Peter is that the cultural concept of Art (with a capitol "A") came into being as separate from 'craft' with Raphael in the Renaissance. This was the point where the artist became a superstar (think Michaelangelo as well) and the makers of furniture, books, jewelry, etc became devalued as being less elevated than the producers of "fine art" - painters, sculptors, etc.  

BUT with a cultural concept like "Art", which as mentioned was not part of the medieval mindset, it becomes methodologically questionable to project our current cultural understanding backwards onto our predecessors. It has nothing to do with whether they produced beautiful objects - they did. I have seen many illuminated manuscripts both in person and in illustration but whether you can claim they are "Art" when the producers considered them usable objects of devotion is very open to debate. 
Lee

>>> Biblescribe@xxxxxxx 01/19/06 9:13 AM >>>
Richard: I was thinking of those very walls.  Nice link.  Beautiful stuff.  
 
Peter and sally: what does the president have to do with a  discussion about 
art other than your projection of your feelings towards  Christianity?   Faith 
is a great motivator, try it sometime. 
 
Peter when did "Art" start and what is "Art " in your  world?
 
     The idea that monks were bored  out of their minds and stupid is just a 
part of this same type of  sentiment.  In the middle ages they were educated, 
they knew how to write,  that's a lot better than 99% of the population at the 
time, including their  patrons, they had access and read the classics, they 
transcribed  them.  Monastic libraries are the sources that we have today of 
the  ancient world, - Cassiodorus-vivarium comes to mind. If you look for the  
source material of the classics you will find a monastic library folio as  the 
source. So whether you like it or not these are the people in the  position of 
being able to create works of Art. And if you dare to look at  what they did, 
you will see what I mean.  Go over to the Morgan and take a  good look at the 
manuscripts there and then tell me you think they were dumb and  mindless and 
incapable of knowing what is Art.   
 
Books of Hours have all sorts of things in them, depending on  what the 
patron asked for.  These are not Bibles they are small books  made by individuals 
for the art market, sound familiar? A book of  Hours was technically a prayer 
book of the Hours of the Virgin, a set of  prayers said at different times of 
the day. Fine, that takes up a few  pages, then what.  These things can be a 
hundred pages long, they are  filled with all sorts of things like calendars and 
anything the patron  wanted.  People dying of diseases are a big item and 
just about  anything else depending on the requests of the patron.  People in the 
 middle ages didn't have the same sense of decorum we have today, they put it 
all  out there so if you are offended by what you see, or you want to pick 
and choose  what is in there to discredit something, then go ahead waste your 
time, but at  least have the good sense to stop and smell the coffee and look at 
the Art  while you are there!
 
Some of these books of hours took years to make and so you  have these 
scribes and illuminators figuring out how they would make these  unique items.  And 
they were unique, each one different.  Sure there  were printed ones later on 
but the whole point is to have something made by a  particular scribe as the 
patrons exclusive item! So if these scribes are  the mindless bored things 
incapable of knowing what "Art" is, why did  Eleanor of Aquitaine spend the 
equivalent of a million dollars for a Book of  hours?   But no that could not be, 
because Art did not exist  then!  And they are Christians so Art doesn't apply 
to them! 
 
The Morgan has an excellent collection, go take a  look.
 
 
James Pepper
Biblical Scribe
The Pepper Bible

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             ***********************************************
Now Online - The Bonefolder, Vol. 2, No. 1 at <http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder>
                                    
             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
                                    
          See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
             ***********************************************


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