In the rapidly changing world of the early Middle Ages, depictions of the cosmos represented a consistent point of reference across the three dominant states—the Frankish, Byzantine, and Islamic Empires. As these empires diverged from their Greco-Roman roots, cosmic imagery created a web of visual continuity, though local meanings of these images varied greatly. Using thrones, tables, mantles, frescoes, and manuscripts, Benjamin Anderson, assistant professor in the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, will show how cosmological motifs informed relationships between individuals, especially the ruling elite, and communities. His new book Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art (Yale University Press, Feb. 2017) is the first to consider such imagery across the dramatically diverse cultures of Western Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic Middle East. Anderson will discuss the distinctions between the cosmological art of these three cultures and the importance of astronomical imagery to the study of art history. This event is sponsored by Olin Library, part of Cornell University Library's Chats in the Stacks series. Light refreshments served.
Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 4:30pm