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BooksEmma Maayan Fanar, Revelation through the Alphabet. Aniconism and Illustrated Initial Letters...

Emma Maayan Fanar, Revelation through the Alphabet. Aniconism and Illustrated Initial Letters in Byzantine Artistic Imagination. La Pomme d’or, Geneva 2011.

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Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

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The book explores aniconic tendencies in the post-iconoclastic lectionaries, with special emphasis on illuminated initial letters, unravelling their sources and models and offering an innovative approach to the enigma of their sudden and widespread appearance in the late ninth- and tenth-century Byzantine manuscripts.

The unique position of illuminated letters, as part of the text on one hand and of the pictorial programme on the other, creates a variety of artistic possibilities concerning their forms and meanings, which transcend other forms of manuscript illumination. The timing of their spreading, notably the end of the ninth century, is not accidental but deeply tied to the fundamental changes in Byzantine art and thought after the iconoclastic period.

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