Why do people attack monuments and other public objects charged with authority by the societies that produced them? What do open assaults on images and artworks mean? Iconoclasm, the principled destruction of images, has recurred throughout human history as theory and practice. This book contains seven historical studies of the changing causes and meanings of iconoclasm and the radical transformations in the function of images it has brought about in societies around the world, from Ancient Egypt to Islamic India and Revolutionary Mexico, as well as Medieval and Reformation Europe. Scholars of art history, history and archaeology explore shifting definitions of art and the forms of representation in delineating varied forms of 'iconoclasm'.
Contents: Introduction: 'O for a muse of fire ... ', Anne McClanan and Jeffrey Johnson; Refiguring iconoclasm in the early Indian mosque, Finbarr B. Flood; The war against idols: the meanings of iconoclasm in revolutionary Mexico, 1910-40, Adrian A. Bantjes; Fallen idols and risen saints: western attitudes towards the worship of images and the 'cultura veterum deorum', Beate Fricke; Seeing is believing but words tell no lies: captions versus images in the Libri Carolini and Byzantine Iconoclasm, Liz James; Naming names and shifting identities in ancient Egyptian iconoclasm, Penelope Wilson; Supplanting the devotional image after Netherlandish iconoclasm, Mia M. Mochizuki; Preservation and destruction, oblivion and memory, Dario Gamboni; Index.
About the Editor: Anne McClanan is Associate Professor of Art History at Portland State University, USA and Jeffrey Johnson is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Central Arkansas, USA.
Reviews: ‘The editors have succeeded in combining profound essays across continents, centuries, and civilizations… this volume triumphs by restating, clarifying, and examining new theories about the destruction of images and monuments. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know or thinks they already know about iconoclasm.’ Sixteenth Century Journal
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