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Posts tagged ‘medieval art’

Celtic Gothic Figures

While I love Gothic art, there is something especially appealing about the Irish Gothic style.  The heavy infusion of Celtic design and the stylized figures energize this art and gives it a playful feel.  Many of the medieval ruins I found in Ireland where not particularly ornate which made the appearance of Gothic figures and motifs that much more enjoyable.

Doorway decoration from the Monastery at Dysert O’Dea (County Clare):

Doorway decoration from the Monastery at Dysert O'Dea. Read more

ArtSmart Roundtable – Medieval Europe at the Cloisters, New York City

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art history-focused travel blogs with a post on a common theme.  For March we are discussing Art Worth Traveling For.  You can find links below to all the group’s amazing destinations this month.  We also want to welcome the Roundtable’s newest member, Murissa from The Wanderfull Traveler!

I love medieval art and architecture.  In the back of my mind, I have the perfect medieval art itinerary planned: starting among the great Cathedrals of France, I move south through the Pyrenees into Spain and enjoy all the pilgrimage churches along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.  Someday I’ll do all of this!  But in the meantime, for an infusion of Medieval art without leaving the US, I have to recommend a visit to the hauntingly beautiful Cloisters Museum in New York City.  Going far beyond the normal concept of a museum, the Cloisters recreates the atmosphere of a medieval monastery by literally transporting parts from Europe and reconstructing them in Northern Manhattan.

Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Cloisters, New York City

The Cloister from Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, (ca. 1130–40) as can be viewed at the Cloisters Museum in New York City. This structure is Catalan in style but is from present day France. (Photo: The Cloisters Collection)

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ArtSmart Roundtable – Images of Mary Magdalene

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art history-focused travel blogs with a post on a common theme.  For February we are discussing the iconography of a few historical, religious or mythical figures to help you “read” some of the images you may encounter on the road.  I’ve always thought that understanding the context and source material for imagery really deepens your appreciation for art.  You can find links below to all the group’s articles this month.

Flanders Book of Hours Illuminated Manuscript - St Lawrence

The martyr St. Lawrence was “grilled” to death and is usually seen with a metal cooking rack. Book of Hours, 1510, Flanders, Syracuse University Special Collections.

I love seeing Saints in European art because it is so easy to tell who everyone is.  There is a characteristic object or dress to each figure that helps you decipher his or her identity.  I’ve always been partial to John the Baptist with his wild man appearance and camel hair attire.  But what about the saints with less straight-forward stories?  Theological and historical confusion has long shrouded St. Mary Magdalene; consequently, she has a complex visual iconography.

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