Friday, December 11, 2020

"In the Beginning Was the Image"

New from Oxford University Press: In the Beginning Was the Image: Art and the Reformation Bible by David H. Price.

About the book, from the publisher:

This pioneering study focuses on the decisive contributions of the three leading artists of the Northern Renaissance--Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and Hans Holbein the Younger-- to the printed Bible and to the transformation of ecclesiastical art in the Protestant Reformation.

A time of artistic and theological revolution, the Renaissance and Reformation also witnessed a visual reformation of the Bible. In David H. Price's new interpretation, these artists emerge as major reformers in their own right who created a dynamic and innovative visual culture of biblicism. In the Beginning Was the Image explicitly addresses a key paradox of the Bible's new cultural status: as divergent Bible editions and translations shattered the unity of Christianity, new artistic approaches arose to accommodate theological and textual diversity. Rulers and theologians produced new Bibles as foundations for transformative socio-political movements, and their success, according to Price's compelling research, depended on the inventiveness and creativity of these artists.

Written in a style designed to be accessible to a broad range of readers, Price's richly nuanced study explores the art of Dürer, Cranach, and Holbein and the biblical iconographies they developed to connect the new biblicism to faith and political authority.
--Marshal Zeringue