Contrasting Images of the Book of Revelation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Art: A Case Study in Visual Exegesis
Natasha O'Hear considers seven different visualisations of all or part of the Book of Revelation across a range of different media, from illuminated manuscripts, to tapestries, to altarpieces to paintings woodcut prints. Artists featured include the Van Eycks, Memling, Botticelli, Dürer and Cranach the Elder. This study is a contribution to the history of interpretation of the Book of Revelation in the Late Medieval and Early Modern period in the form of seven visual case studies ranging from 1250-1522. It is also is an attempt to understand the different ways in which images exhibit hermeneutical strategies akin to what is found in textual exegesis, but with the peculiar properties of synchronicity of both subject-matter and effect that distinguish them from reading a text. The book explores the multi-faceted scope of visual exegesis as a way of exploring the content and the character of a biblical text such as The Book of Revelation, as well as the complementary relationship between textual and visual exegesis.
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