The Place of Narrative: Mural Decoration in Italian Churches, 431-1600

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University of Chicago Press, 1990 - Art - 406 pages
Looking at more than two hundred Italian medieval and Renaissance mural cycles, Lavin examines—with the aid of computer technology—the "rearranged" chronologies of familiar religious stories found therein.

"Like many masterpieces, Lavin's book builds upon a simple idea . . . it is possible to do a computer analysis of . . . visual narratives. . . . This is the first computer-based study of the visual arts of which I am aware that illustrates how those technologies can utterly transform the study of old master art. An extremely important book, one likely to become the most influential recent study of art of this period, The Place of Narrative is also a beautiful artifact."—David Carrier, Leonardo

"Covering over a millennium and dealing with the whole of Italy, Lavin makes pioneering use of new methodology employing a computer database . . . [and] novel terminology to describe the disposition of scenes of church and chapel walls. . . . We should recognize this as a book of high seriousness which reaches out into new areas and which will fruitfully stimulate much thought on a neglected subject of very considerable significance."—Julian Gardner, Burlington Magazine
 

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The place of narrative: mural decoration in Italian churches, 431-1600

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For over one thousand years great cycles of Christian stories were spread across the walls of ecclesiastical structures. This highly specialized venture analyzes the narrative "disposition'' or ... Read full review

Contents

The Place of Narrative
1
Medieval Protocols
15
The Cycle in the Private Chapel 13001350
43
Narrative in the Public Domain 13401400
71
Nationalism and the Festival Mode The Legend of the True Cross
99
Tradition and the New Synthesis in the Early Fifteenth Century
121
Disposition as a Theopolitical Tool Fra Filippo Mantegna Piero della Francesca
151
Consolidation of Tradition The Sistine Chapel and Beyond
193
New Continuities Narrative Disposition in the Sixteenth Century
239
NARRART DATA
261
Selected Cycle Entries
269
List of Cycles by Patterns of Disposition
290
Notes
293
Bibliography
373
Photographic Credits
395
Index
397

The Expanded Field and Its Narrative Implications
215

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About the author (1990)

Marilyn Aronberg Lavin, professor of the history of art, has taught at Princeton University, Yale University, and the University of Maryland. She is author of Piero della Francesca: The Flagellation.

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