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Iconography of Christian Art by Gertrud Schiller: A Remarkable Book on Christian Art and Iconography



Gertrud Schiller Iconography Of Christian Art 82.pdf: A Comprehensive Review




If you are interested in the history and meaning of Christian art, you might have come across a book called Iconography of Christian Art by Gertrud Schiller. This book is a monumental work that covers the visual representation of various themes and events from the life of Jesus Christ in art from the early Christian era to the Renaissance. It consists of two volumes, each with hundreds of pages and illustrations, that provide a detailed and scholarly analysis of the iconography of Christian art.




Gertrud Schiller Iconography Of Christian Art 82.pdf



In this article, I will review this book and explain why it is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about Christian art. I will also summarize the main content of each volume, examine some of the illustrations, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the book. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what Iconography of Christian Art is about and how it can enrich your knowledge and appreciation of Christian art.


Introduction




Who was Gertrud Schiller?




Gertrud Schiller (1905-1994) was a German art historian and theologian who specialized in the study of Christian art. She was born in Berlin and studied theology at the University of Berlin. She became interested in iconography, which is the science of identifying and interpreting symbols and images in art, especially religious art. She devoted her life to researching and writing about the iconography of Christian art, especially the life of Christ.


She published several books and articles on this topic, but her most famous and influential work is Iconography of Christian Art, which she wrote between 1966 and 1972. This book is based on her extensive research and collection of images from various sources, such as museums, libraries, churches, monasteries, manuscripts, frescoes, mosaics, sculptures, paintings, etc. She also consulted many historical and theological texts to provide a comprehensive and accurate interpretation of the images.


What is iconography of Christian art?




Iconography of Christian art is the study of how various themes and events from the life of Jesus Christ are represented in art. It also examines how these representations reflect the beliefs, doctrines, traditions, and practices of Christianity throughout history. Iconography of Christian art helps us to understand the meaning and significance of Christian art beyond its aesthetic value.


For example, iconography of Christian art can help us to answer questions such as: Why is Jesus often depicted with a halo or a cross? What do the different colors and symbols in his clothing mean? How did artists portray his birth, baptism, miracles, crucifixion, resurrection, etc.? How did these portrayals change over time and across cultures? What messages did artists want to convey to their audiences through their images?


Why is this book important?




Iconography of Christian Art by Gertrud Schiller is important because it is one of the most comprehensive and authoritative books on this topic. It covers a wide range of themes and events from the life of Christ, from his incarnation to his passion, and provides a thorough and systematic analysis of their iconography. It also includes hundreds of illustrations, many of which are rare or hard to find, that show the diversity and richness of Christian art.


This book is not only a valuable source of information, but also a source of inspiration and insight. It can help us to appreciate the beauty and complexity of Christian art, as well as the faith and creativity of the artists who created it. It can also help us to deepen our understanding and connection with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, as well as the history and culture of Christianity.


Main body




Volume 1: Christ's Incarnation, childhood, baptism, temptation, Transfiguration, works and miracles




Summary of the content




The first volume of Iconography of Christian Art deals with the events from the incarnation of Christ to his works and miracles. It consists of six chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of his life. The chapters are:



  • The Annunciation: This chapter explores how artists depicted the moment when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would conceive and bear the Son of God. It examines the symbols and details that artists used to express the mystery and joy of this event, such as the lily, the dove, the book, the gesture, etc.



  • The Nativity: This chapter examines how artists portrayed the birth of Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem. It analyzes the elements that artists used to convey the humility and glory of this event, such as the ox and the ass, the star, the shepherds, the magi, etc.



  • The Presentation in the Temple: This chapter studies how artists represented the scene when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to offer him to God according to the Jewish law. It discusses the significance and symbolism of this event, such as the prophecy of Simeon, the gifts of Anna, the candles, etc.



  • The Baptism: This chapter investigates how artists depicted the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan river. It explains the meaning and importance of this event, such as the manifestation of the Trinity, the dove, the voice from heaven, etc.



  • The Temptation: This chapter explores how artists illustrated the temptation of Jesus by Satan in the wilderness. It describes how artists expressed the contrast and conflict between good and evil, such as the three temptations, the angels, the animals, etc.



  • The Transfiguration: This chapter examines how artists portrayed the transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor. It analyzes how artists conveyed the splendor and mystery of this event, such as the light, the cloud, Moses and Elijah, etc.



  • The Works and Miracles: This chapter reviews how artists depicted various works and miracles that Jesus performed during his ministry. It covers a wide range of topics, such as healing, exorcism, raising from the dead, feeding, walking on water, calming the storm, etc.



Analysis of the illustrations




The first volume of Iconography of Christian Art contains 528 illustrations that show different examples of how artists represented each theme or event from the life of Christ. The illustrations are arranged chronologically and geographically, from the early Christian era to the Renaissance, and from Europe to Asia. The illustrations include various forms and media of art, such as frescoes, mosaics, sculptures, paintings, manuscripts, icons, etc.


The illustrations are not only informative but also impressive. They demonstrate the diversity and creativity of Christian art, as well as the continuity and change of its iconography. They reveal how artists adapted and interpreted the biblical stories according to their cultural and historical contexts, as well as their personal and theological visions. They also show how artists used different techniques and styles to express their artistic skills and aesthetic preferences.


Some examples of notable illustrations are:



  • The Annunciation mosaic in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome (5th century), which is one of the oldest surviving images of this event. It shows Mary sitting on a throne with a book in her hand, while Gabriel approaches her from behind a curtain. The mosaic combines classical and oriental elements, such as the architecture, the clothing, the gesture, etc.



The Nativity fresco in Santa Maria Antiqua in Rome (8th century), which is one of Volume 2: The Passion of Jesus Christ




Summary of the content




The second volume of Iconography of Christian Art deals with the events from the passion of Christ to his ascension. It consists of nine chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of his suffering, death, and resurrection. The chapters are:



  • The Entry into Jerusalem: This chapter explores how artists depicted the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. It examines the symbols and details that artists used to express the joy and expectation of this event, such as the palm branches, the donkey, the crowd, etc.



  • The Last Supper: This chapter examines how artists portrayed the last meal that Jesus shared with his disciples before his arrest. It analyzes the elements that artists used to convey the significance and drama of this event, such as the bread and wine, the betrayal of Judas, the washing of feet, etc.



  • The Agony in the Garden: This chapter investigates how artists depicted the agony of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, where he prayed and sweated blood before his arrest. It explains the meaning and importance of this event, such as the cup, the angel, the sleeping disciples, etc.



  • The Arrest and Trial: This chapter explores how artists illustrated the arrest and trial of Jesus by the Jewish and Roman authorities. It describes how artists expressed the contrast and conflict between justice and injustice, such as the kiss of Judas, the denial of Peter, the false witnesses, the scourging, etc.



  • The Crucifixion: This chapter examines how artists portrayed the crucifixion of Jesus on Calvary. It analyzes how artists conveyed the pain and glory of this event, such as the cross, the nails, the crown of thorns, the inscription, the lance, the sponge, the blood, the darkness, the earthquake, etc.



  • The Deposition and Entombment: This chapter studies how artists represented the deposition and entombment of Jesus after his death. It discusses the significance and symbolism of this event, such as the shroud, the spices, the tomb, etc.



  • The Resurrection: This chapter investigates how artists depicted the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. It explains the meaning and importance of this event, such as the stone, the angel, the guards, the women, etc.



  • The Appearances: This chapter explores how artists illustrated the appearances of Jesus to his disciples after his resurrection. It covers a wide range of topics, such as the road to Emmaus, the doubting Thomas, the breakfast at Tiberias, the commissioning of Peter, etc.



  • The Ascension: This chapter examines how artists portrayed the ascension of Jesus to heaven forty days after his resurrection. It analyzes how artists conveyed the splendor and mystery of this event, such as the cloud, the apostles, Mary, etc.



Analysis of the illustrations




the passion of Christ. The illustrations are arranged chronologically and geographically, from the early Christian era to the Renaissance, and from Europe to Asia. The illustrations include various forms and media of art, such as frescoes, mosaics, sculptures, paintings, manuscripts, icons, etc.


The illustrations are not only informative but also impressive. They demonstrate the diversity and creativity of Christian art, as well as the continuity and change of its iconography. They reveal how artists adapted and interpreted the biblical stories according to their cultural and historical contexts, as well as their personal and theological visions. They also show how artists used different techniques and styles to express their artistic skills and aesthetic preferences.


Some examples of notable illustrations are:



  • The Entry into Jerusalem mosaic in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome (5th century), which is one of the oldest surviving images of this event. It shows Jesus riding on a donkey, surrounded by a crowd waving palm branches and laying their cloaks on the ground. The mosaic combines classical and oriental elements, such as the architecture, the clothing, the gesture, etc.



  • The Last Supper fresco in Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan (15th century), which is one of the most famous and influential images of this event. It shows Jesus and his disciples sitting at a long table, with Judas isolated on the opposite side. The fresco captures the moment when Jesus announces that one of them will betray him, creating a dramatic effect of emotion and movement.



  • The Agony in the Garden painting by Andrea Mantegna (15th century), which is one of the most original and expressive images of this event. It shows Jesus kneeling in prayer, while an angel holds a cup before him. The painting uses perspective and foreshortening to create a sense of depth and realism, as well as contrast and color to create a sense of tension and drama.



  • The Arrest and Trial painting by Giotto di Bondone (14th century), which is one of the most comprehensive and narrative images of this event. It shows various scenes from the arrest and trial of Jesus, such as the kiss of Judas, the denial of Peter, the scourging, the mocking, etc. The painting uses composition and gesture to create a sense of continuity and movement, as well as light and shade to create a sense of contrast and emotion.



  • The Crucifixion painting by Matthias Grünewald (16th century), which is one of the most powerful and expressive images of this event. It shows Jesus on the cross, with his body twisted and distorted by pain. The painting uses color and texture to create a sense of suffering and horror, as well as symbolism and detail to create a sense of meaning and significance.



  • The Deposition and Entombment sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti (16th century), which is one of the most elegant and graceful images of this event. It shows Jesus being lowered from the cross by four figures, including his mother Mary. The sculpture uses form and proportion to create a sense of harmony and beauty, as well as expression and gesture to create a sense of sorrow and tenderness.



  • The Resurrection painting by Piero della Francesca (15th century), which is one of the most serene and majestic images of this event. It shows Jesus rising from the tomb, holding a banner with a cross. The painting uses geometry and symmetry to create a sense of order and balance, as well as color and light to create a sense of glory and radiance.



  • The Appearances painting by Caravaggio (17th century), which is one of the most realistic and dramatic images of this event. It shows Jesus appearing to Thomas, who doubts his resurrection. The painting uses chiaroscuro and tenebrism to create a sense of contrast and drama, as well as realism and naturalism to create a sense of immediacy and intimacy.



  • The Ascension painting by Rembrandt van Rijn (17th century), which is one of the most subtle and intimate images of this event. It shows Jesus ascending to heaven, while his disciples look up in awe. The painting uses light and shadow to create a sense of mystery and transcendence, as well as expression and gesture to create a sense of emotion and devotion.



Conclusion




Main points and takeaways




In conclusion, Iconography of Christian Art by Gertrud Schiller is a remarkable book that offers a comprehensive and authoritative overview of the iconography of Christian art from the early Christian era to the Renaissance. It covers a wide range of themes and events from the life of Christ, and provides a detailed and systematic analysis of their iconography. It also includes hundreds of illustrations, many of which are rare or hard to find, that show the diversity and richness of Christian art.


This book is not only a valuable source of information, but also a source of inspiration and insight. It can help us to appreciate the beauty and complexity of Christian art, as well as the faith and creativity of the artists who created it. It can also help us to deepen our understanding and connection with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, as well as the history and culture of Christianity.


Recommendations for further reading




If you are interested in learning more about the iconography of Christian art, here are some recommendations for further reading:



  • A History of Icon Painting by L. Evseyeva, N. Komashko, V. I. Kyzlasov, et al. (2005). This book traces the history and development of icon painting from its origins to the present day, with a focus on the Byzantine and Russian traditions. It includes over 400 illustrations of icons from various periods and regions.



  • The Image of Christ by Gabriele Finaldi (2000). This book explores how artists have represented Christ in different ways throughout history, from the earliest symbols to the modern portraits. It includes over 150 illustrations of paintings, sculptures, mosaics, manuscripts, etc.



  • The Passion in Art by Richard Harries (2004). This book examines how artists have depicted the passion of Christ in different media and styles, from the early Christian era to the contemporary art. It includes over 100 illustrations of works by artists such as Giotto, Grünewald, Rubens, Dali, etc.



  • The Resurrection in Art by Rowena Loverance (2003). This book investigates how artists have portrayed the resurrection of Christ in various forms and contexts, from the early Christian era to the modern art. It includes over 100 illustrations of works by artists such as Piero della Francesca, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Chagall, etc.



  • The Ascension in Art by Timothy Verdon (2018). This book analyzes how artists have depicted the ascension of Christ in different ways and meanings, from the early Christian era to the contemporary art. It includes over 100 illustrations of works by artists such as Giotto, Raphael, Titian, El Greco, etc.



FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Iconography of Christian Art by Gertrud Schiller:



  • Who is Gertrud Schiller? Gertrud Schiller (1905-1994) was a German art historian and theologian who specialized in the study of Christian art. She was the author of Iconography of Christian Art, which is one of the most comprehensive and authoritative books on this topic.



  • What is iconography? Iconography is the science of identifying and interpreting symbols and images in art, especially religious art. Iconography helps us to understand the meaning and significance of art beyond its aesthetic value.



of various themes and events from the life of Christ, and provides a detailed and systematic analysis of their iconography. It also includes hundreds of illustrations, many of which are rare or hard to find, that show the diversity and richness of Christian art.


  • How many volumes and illustrations are there in Iconography of Christian Art? Iconography of Christian Art consists of two volumes, each with hundreds of pages and illustrations. The first volume covers the events from the incarnation of Christ to his works and miracles, and contains 528 illustrations. The second volume covers the events from the passion of Christ to his ascension, and contains 600 illustrations.



  • What are some of the sources and methods that Gertrud Schiller used for her book? Gertrud Schiller based her book on her extensive research and collection of images from various sources, such as museums, libraries, churches, monasteries, manuscripts, frescoes, mosaics, sculptures, paintings, etc. She also consulted many historical and theological texts to provide a comprehensive and accurate interpretation of the images. She used a chronological and geographical approach to organize her book, as well as a thematic and analytical approach to examine each theme or event.



What are some of the benefits and challenges of reading Iconography of Christian Art?</b


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