Carolingian Art: A Study of Early Medieval Painting and Sculpture in Western Europe

Carolingian Art: A Study of Early Medieval Painting and Sculpture in Western Europe

Carolingian Art: A Study of Early Medieval Painting and Sculpture in Western Europe

Carolingian Art: A Study of Early Medieval Painting and Sculpture in Western Europe

Excerpt

In a discipline which has been evolving as rapidly as art history in the past generation an essay which first saw the light in 1935 might well appear obsolete. But perhaps the very compartmentalization of modern art-historical studies may leave relatively intact, and still useful, a book the original reason for which was the evident need for a study of the relations between two phases of Western art which had hitherto been studied in isolation. Late antique art and early medieval art had long been examined separately in great detail: what had not been attempted was to consider the latter historical exercise in terms of the former. Such success as Carolingian Art may have enjoyed since its first appearance can be ascribed to the fact that no one had hitherto attempted to define exactly what was implied in the term "antique" when studying the indebtedness of the art of the ninth century to the art, or arts, of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries.

The art, or arts, I repeat: for my major argument was that "the antique" must be held a dangerously uniformalizing term for an historical process that was anything but homogeneous. I tried to make clear to the generation brought up on Boeckler, K"hler, Goldschmidt, and Zimmermann the findings of the generation brought up on Riegl and Strzygowski. If it taught us anything, thirty or forty years ago, the great Viennese school of the previous generation . . .

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