Item description for Early Christian & Byzantine Art: A&I (Art and Ideas) by John Lowden...
Overview Explains how and why Early Christian and Byzantine art was made and used
Publishers Description In the 1320's AD the Emperor Constantine moved the capital of his Empire from Rome to Byzantium, which was renamed Conatantinople, and until its fall in 1453 remained a major artistic centre. Under successive emperors and empresses for more than a thousand years, artists, archtects and craftsmen produced superb and intriguing works ranging fom the grandest public buildings to the smallest and most personal items. Today this art is generally termed early Christian and Byzantine.
Citations And Professional Reviews Early Christian & Byzantine Art: A&I (Art and Ideas) by John Lowden has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 622
Booklist - 06/01/1997 page 1638
New York Times - 12/07/1997 page 30
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/1997 page 74
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/1998 page 416
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 477
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Studio: Phaidon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.66" Width: 6.38" Height: 1.01" Weight: 1.95 lbs.
Release Date Apr 24, 1997
Publisher Phaidon Press
ISBN 0714831689 ISBN13 9780714831688
Availability 0 units.
More About John Lowden
John Lowden is Reader in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He is the author of Illuminated Prophet Books: A Study of Byzantine Manuscripts of the Major and Minor Prophets (1988) and The Octateuchs: A Study in Byzantine Manuscript Illustration (1992), both from Penn State Press.
John Lowden currently resides in London. John Lowden has an academic affiliation as follows - The Courtauld Institute of Art.
Reviews - What do customers think about Early Christian & Byzantine Art: A&I (Art and Ideas)?
Falls Flat May 21, 2005
This is a frustrating book. Graphically, with its numerous vivid, full-color photographs, it is quite striking. Textually, though not poorly written, per se, it is bland. Moreover, even though surveys are seldom ground-breaking, Lowden's ideas strike me as ones that are not his own - he seems in thrall to reception theory. The area of Byzantine art about which he does seem to know more than most - illuminated manuscripts - gets more coverage than it probably deserves. (Then again, Lowden is described as an illuminated manuscript expert on the dust jacket of the book, so perhaps his indulgence is understandable.) In short, and despite its now unfashionable approach, David Talbot Rice's "Art of the Byzantine Era" still stands in my mind as a better-written and more enduring short survey of Byzantine and early Christian art. Lowden's work is much better graphically, but he lacks Rice's flair and ability to express his enthusiasm for his subject.
A good survey book on 12 centuries of Byzantine art Oct 24, 2001
Like another reviewer, I also had this book for a course on Byzantine art. For the most part, Lowden's book is a "survey" in the fullest sense of the word: on average, he only spends a paragraph or two on a particular monument, focusing primarily on style and iconography for icon panels, mosaics, architecture, and "minor arts" (always a dilemma when writing a survey book--quantity of material versus level of depth in one's discussion). He also follows the traditional chronological framework of discussing Early Christian/Byzantine art: from the catacombs and the reign of Constantine, to the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Having said this, Lowden's book stands out among other surveys for many reasons. Although too numerous for the length of this review, among such strengths are his extensive discussions of Byzantine manuscripts (Lowden's area of scholarly interest), including a chapter on production and reception. He also devotes some attention to the factors surrounding the rise of Iconoclasm, and subsequent artistic production after the iconophiles had "triumphed" over this era of the destruction of figural imagery. Although a handful of other Byzantine art surveys have been published since Lowden's book (some good, some bad), I feel that this ranks within a small, high-quality group of studies on Byzantine art.
helpful for the fledgling byzantine scholar Aug 1, 2000
This book was one of my textbooks for a Byzantine art class in college. The pictures are beautifully reproduced and well-presented and the typeface is bold and easy on myopic eyes. The text may seem a bit bland to the well-educated byzantine scholar, but it was a great book for becoming acquainted with one of the richest periods in the history of art. Concisely written, Lowden's book provides the insight and joyful curiosity of an engaged scholar who obviously enjoyed writing the book. That said, I highly recommend this book.
Art Without Ideas? Mar 18, 1998
This is a frustrating book. Graphically, with its numerous vivid, full-color photographs, it is quite striking. Textually, though not poorly written, per se, it is bland. Furthermore, though Lowden (mercifully) dispenses with jargon, he does pay lip service to one of the most recent academic trends in art history: reception theory. I really wish he wouldn't have. Even though surveys are seldom ground-breaking, Lowden's ideas particularly strike me as ones that are not his own. The only area of Byzantine art about which he does seem to know more than most - illuminated manuscripts - gets more coverage than it probably deserves. Then again, Lowden is described as an illuminated manuscript expert on the dust jacket of the book, so perhaps his indulgence is understandable. In short, David Talbot Rice's "Art of the Byzantine Era" still stands in my mind as a better-written and more enduring short survey of Byzantine and early Christian art. Lowden's work is much better graphically, but he lacks Rice's flair and ability to express his enthusiasm for his subject.