Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Images of Adventure: Ywain in the Visual Arts

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Images of Adventure: Ywain in the Visual Arts

Article excerpt

James A. Rushing's book examines pictures of Ywain (Iwein, Yvain) from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century as an example of the ways in which medieval visual images may have functioned independently of texts, and for their role in the development of a self-conscious vernacular culture in the high Middle Ages. Rushing provides a detailed description of each pictorial work and its historical background before engaging in iconographic and close structural analysis couched in theoretical terminology coined by Barthes ('nucleus', 'sequence', 'lexis', 'code'). His suggestion is that both artists and recipients viewed the pictures as autonomous works of art. A firm historical platform is claimed for this approach with reference to Gregory the Great (600) and the Middle High German poet Thomasin of Zirclaria (1215-16), whose reflections evince a medieval awareness of the significance of images as `literature for the laity'. Rushing regards the study as a whole as a contribution towards a 'new' area of research, in the wake of scholars such as Curschmann and Ott, which he dubs `image-and-text' studies.

In the course of the work the reader is presented with a comprehensive and varied collection of pictures of Ywain, from the wall paintings at Rodenegg and Schmalkalden to the miniatures of two illuminated manuscripts of Chretien's Yvain, from a group of five English misericords to a fourteenthcentury embroidery (Maltererteppich) and the Runkelstein 'Triads'. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.