In the middle of the fourteenth century, Europe was devastated by an appalling epidemic which killed a third of its population. Accused of having spread the disease, Jewish communities faced terrible persecutions, which often led them to bury their most valuable goods. Two of these hoards, discovered at Colmar in 1863 and at Erfurt in 1998, are discussed and illustrated in this splendid catalogue, published to accompany an exhibition at the Wallace Collection London. More
Medieval and Later Ivories in The Courtauld Gallery: Complete Catalogue
Hardback, 144 pages, 285 x 245 mm, 90 colour illustrations
ISBN: 978 1 907372 60 5
In 1966 Mark Gambier-Parry bequeathed to the Courtauld the art collection formed by his grandfather Thomas Gambier Parry (who died in 1888). In addition to important paintings, Renaissance glass and ceramics and Islamic metalwork, this included twenty-eight ivories. Since 1967 about half of the ivories have been on permanent display at The Courtauld, yet they have remained largely unknown, even to experts. This catalogue is the first publication dedicated solely to the collection. There are examples of the highest quality of ivory carving, both secular and religious in content, and a number of the objects are of outstanding interest. They are a revealing tribute to the perceptive eye of Thomas Gambier Parry, a distinguished Victorian collector and Gothic Revival artist responsible for a number of richly painted church interiors in England, such as the Eastern part of the nave ceiling, and the octagon, at Ely Cathedral.
The earliest objects in date, probably late 11th century, are the group of walrus ivory plaquettes set into the sides and lids of a casket, portraying the Apostles and Christ in Majesty surrounded by the symbols of the Evangelists. The style leaves little doubt that they should be associated with a group of portable altars at Kloster Melk in Austria. A gap of some two centuries separates the casket panels from the next important object – the central portion of an ivory triptych, containing a Deesis group of Christ enthroned between angels holding instruments of the Passion in the upper register, and the Virgin and Child between candle-bearing angels below. The style of the ivory relates it securely to the atelier of the Soissons Diptych in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The Gambier-Parry fragment employs bold cutting of the frame to accentuate the three-dimensional quantities of the relief. Somewhat later in date, towards the middle of the 14th century, is a complete diptych of the Crucifixion and Virgin with angels, the faces of which Gambier-Parry described as “worthy of Luini”. The extraordinary foreshortening of the swooning Virgin’s head can happily be paralleled to a diptych in the Schoolmeesters Collection, Liège, by the “aterlie aux visages caractérisés”, as named by Raymond Koechlin. The Gambier-Parry diptych, must rank with the finest productions of the workshop.
"Fellow John Lowden's complete catalogue reveals the riches of a largely unknown aspect of The Courtauld Gallery's collections: twenty-eight ivories bequeathed to The Courtauld in 1966 by Mark Gambier-Parry from the art collection formed by his grandfather, Thomas Gambier-Parry (who died in 1888)." Salon, Issue 312, 20 January 2014
This is the catalogue to an outstanding collection of Medieval art from a private collection. Ranging from paintings and sculpture to stained glass, manuscripts and caskets, many of the objects presented here are of absolute rarity, some are previously unpublished and - until recently - unknown. More
These works of museum quality, from an anonymous collection (one of the most important currently in private hands), were exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2005. Many of the objects in the catalogue will be well known to those familiar with the specialist literature, even if they were unaware of their whereabouts. More
Medieval art has been collected for at least 200 years, yet there is a perception that if it is not locked away in a monastery it has found its home in a museum long ago. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is the richness and variety of what still lies unclaimed by history that makes this material so interesting. More
The importance of Gombrich’s work on the history of taste has yet to be fully recognised, and when it comes to the application of developments in psychology to the visual arts he has remained largely, among art historians, on his own. These essays assess the nature of his empiricism, the degree to which his ideas have been adopted, overturned or developed, and his contribution to the dialogue of art and perception. More
"This sumptuously illustrated book, which accompanied the exhibition at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges in 2007–08, is an important new study of the late-fourteenth-century Valenciennes-born sculptor André Beauneveu whose surviving works deserve to be more widely known." (Church Monuments journal) The full scope of his talent was exploited by the celebrated royal patron Jean de Berry, for whom he produced manuscript illuminations, made designs for stained glass and oversaw the construction of his château at Mehun-sur-Yevre. However, it is primarily his very great skill in the handling of stone which gives Beauneveu such particular significance in the history of late medieval art. More