Materials, Methods, and Masterpieces of Medieval Art
by Janetta Rebold Benton
August 2009, 303pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-99418-1
$95, £74, 83€, A131
eBook Available: 978-1-56720-655-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

During the Middle Ages, embellishment was applied to buildings, objects, and bodies, and ornament was abundant and opulent. Colorful paintings, mosaics, and tapestries covered walls; stained glass glittered in windows; gems and enamel sparkled on objects exquisitely crafted of gold and silver. Members of the upper class adorned themselves in elegant attire, the clergy donned sumptuous ecclesiastical vestments, and elaborate armor was the ultimate military mode.

A comprehensive and informed analysis explores the startlingly diverse and sophisticated fine arts in the Middle Ages.

Materials, Methods, and Masterpieces of Medieval Art provides a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the work done by artists in western Europe during the Middle Ages. Art historian Janetta Rebold Benton uses examples such as the Book of Kells, Bury Saint Edmunds Cross, and the Bayeux Tapestry, and the work of artists such as Jan van Eyck and Giotto to explore the various media available to medieval artists and the ways in which those media were used to create a stunning array of masterworks.

Although the visual arts of the Middle Ages were extremely colorful, today much of that color has diminished or disappeared, the pigments and threads faded, the gold abraded, the silver tarnished. Materials, Methods, and Masterpieces of Medieval Art allows these works to sparkle once more.


  • Includes 76 illustrations
Janetta Rebold Benton is distinguished professor of art history and director of the Pforzheimer Honors College at Pace University, Pleasantville, NY. She is staff lecturer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and lectures also for the Smithsonian Institution, The Cloisters, National Gallery of Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and elsewhere in America and abroad. Dr. Benton is the author of seven other art history books and numerous scholarly articles. She was educated at Harvard University, MDP diploma; Brown University, Ph.D.; George Washington University, M.A.; and Cornell University, B.F.A.
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