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Medieval Bologna: Art for a University City

Medieval Bologna: Art for a University City

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Medieval Bologna: Art for a University City

W024617 | $55.00 / 10% library disc.
Exhibition Catalog

Ed. by Trinita Kennedy. Frist Art Museum, Nashville, 2020. Published in association with Paul Holberton Publishing, London.

208pp. Well illustrated (chiefly col.). 29 x 25 cm. In English. Hardcover.

ISBN 9781911300816

Accompanying an exhibition at the Frist Art Museum, this lavishly illustrated catalogue is the first major study in English about manuscript illumination, painting, and sculpture in the northern Italian city of Bologna between the years 1200 and 1400. By focusing on Bologna, Europe’s first university city, this publication aims to expand our understanding of art and its purposes in the medieval world. Universities are a medieval invention, and Bologna has the distinction of having the oldest one in Europe. Its origins have been traced to the late 11th century, when masters and students started gathering in the city to study Roman law. The academic setting gave rise to Bologna’s unique artistic culture. Professors enjoyed high social status and were buried in impressive tombs carved with classroom scenes. Most importantly, teachers and students created a tremendous demand for books. By the mid-13th century, the city had become the preeminent center for manuscript production in Italy. Most books were made outside traditional monastic scriptoria, within a revolutionary commercial system involving stationers, parchment makers, scribes, illuminators, and clients. A new style of script, called the littera Bononiensis, distinguished Bolognese books, and the city’s illuminators were celebrated in Dante’s Divine Comedy. The legal textbooks produced in great numbers in the city are remarkable for their heft and size. In addition to illuminations, which include colorful narrative scenes, these manuscripts often contain in their margins the notes, corrections, and doodles of their original owners.

Subject Headings: Eastern and Western European Art ; Western Art -- Italy -- 300 A.D.-1400 -- Manuscripts and Book Design ; Several Fine Arts Media (Western) --

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