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Language of Forms: Lectures on Insular Manuscript Art
by by Meyer Schapiro
Binding: Paperback, 212 pages
Publisher: Pierpont Morgan Library
Weight: 175
Dimension: H: 0.5 x L: 10.9 x W: 8.3 inches

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Book Description:
Meyer Schapiro gave a series of compelling lectures on Insular manuscript art at the Morgan Library in 1968. The focus of these ground breaking lectures, art produced in the seventh and eight centuries in Ireland, England and Scotland, had been admired as being skillful and ornate but was also viewed with distaste for being perceived as the artist's inability to represent the human or animal figure. Schapiro demonstrates that Insular manuscript art, traditionally regarded as irrational, barbaric and even ridiculous, was in reality completely rational, highly sophisticated and the most accomplished arts of the period. Schapiro took a totally new approach to Insular book painting, rejecting the classical standard of nature by which the images were being judged. His approach to seeking the 'preconditions and circumstances' helps us to better understand this art. The Language of Forms provides an invaluable historical document as well as the opportunity to 'listen' once again to his incomparable, revelatory analyses of images through which he taught his students to see. Others can now follow the spellbinding lecturer as he works his way through an image, making us see what we had not, infecting us with his enthusiasm, his pleasure in exploring and his delight.

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