front cover of Lands of Likeness
Lands of Likeness
For a Poetics of Contemplation
Kevin Hart
University of Chicago Press, 2023
An original and profound exploration of contemplation from philosopher, theologian, and poet Kevin Hart.
In Lands of Likeness, Kevin Hart develops a new hermeneutics of contemplation through a meditation on Christian thought and secular philosophy. Drawing on Kant, Schopenhauer, Coleridge, and Husserl, Hart first charts the emergence of contemplation in and beyond the Romantic era. Next, Hart shows this hermeneutic at work in poetry by Gerard Manley Hopkins, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, and others. Delivered in its original form as the prestigious Gifford Lectures, Lands of Likeness is a revelatory meditation on contemplation for the modern world.

front cover of Likeness and Presence
Likeness and Presence
A History of the Image before the Era of Art
Hans Belting
University of Chicago Press, 1993
Before the Renaissance and Reformation, holy images were treated not as "art" but as objects of veneration which possessed the tangible presence of the Holy. In this magisterial book, Hans Belting traces the long history of the sacral image and its changing role in European culture.
Likeness and Presence looks at the beliefs, superstitions, hopes, and fears that come into play as people handle and respond to sacred
images, and presents a compelling interpretation of the place of the image in Western history.

"A rarity within its genre—an art-historical analysis of iconography which is itself iconoclastic. . . . One of the most intellectually exciting and historically grounded interpretations of Christian iconography." —Graham Howes, Times Literary Supplement

"Likeness and Presence offers the best source to survey the facts of what European Christians put in their churches. . . . An impressively detailed contextual analysis of medieval objects." —Robin Cormack, New York Times Book Review

"I cannot begin to describe the richness or the imaginative grandeur of Hans Belting's book. . . . It is a work that anyone interested in art, or in the history of thought about art, should regard as urgent reading. It is a tremendous achievement."—Arthur C. Danto, New Republic

front cover of The Likeness of the King
The Likeness of the King
A Prehistory of Portraiture in Late Medieval France
Stephen Perkinson
University of Chicago Press, 2009

Anyone who has strolled through the halls of a museum knows that portraits occupy a central place in the history of art. But did portraits, as such, exist in the medieval era? Stephen Perkinson’s The Likeness of the King challenges the canonical account of the invention of modern portrait practices, offering a case against the tendency of recent scholarship to identify likenesses of historical personages as “the first modern portraits.”

Unwilling to accept the anachronistic nature of these claims, Perkinson both resists and complicates grand narratives of portraiture art that ignore historical context. Focusing on the Valois court of France, he argues that local practice prompted shifts in the late medieval understanding of how images could represent individuals and prompted artists and patrons to deploy likeness in a variety of ways. Through an examination of well-known images of the fourteenth- and early fifteenth-century kings of France, as well as largely overlooked objects such as wax votive figures and royal seals, Perkinson demonstrates that the changes evident in these images do not constitute a revolutionary break with the past, but instead were continuous with late medieval representational traditions.

“A lively, well-researched, and insightful work of scholarship on late-medieval portraiture and its cultural and intellectual context. The Likeness of the King provides a strong account of late-medieval aesthetics and specific, concrete examples of image-making and the often political needs it served. It offers smart handling of literary, philosophical, and archival sources; close and insightful reading of images; and a willingness to counter received ideas.”—Rebecca Zorach, University of Chicago 

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