Imprinting the Divine Byzantine and Russian Icons from The Menil Collection Annemarie Weyl Carr, Bertrand Davezac, Clare Elliott

Publication date:
29 Nov 2011
The Menil Collection
168 pages: 286 x 241mm
85 color illus.

The Menil Collection in Houston houses one of the most important collections of Byzantine and Russian icons in the United States - a collection that spans over one thousand years, from the 7th to the 18th century. Understanding the power of this art form, seldom recognized outside of Russia and Greece, Dominique de Menil assembled the collection in the 1980s and introduced these exceptional examples to the United States.

Imprinting the Divine presents sixty of these exquisite works in full colour, many of which have never been published, accompanied by compelling descriptions and essays that explore the history and artistry of these precious images. Christian Orthodoxy developed in the Near East during the Byzantine Empire and eventually spread to the surrounding regions of Greece, Russia, Serbia, and Bulgaria. Along with the practices of the faith came the tradition of icons, which varied stylistically by region. Most often painted on wooden panels, these icons are more than just depictions of holy people; they are, in effect, holy images that transcend time and place. These works had to be recognizable and true to their subjects, but they also blended familiar elements to generate new messages.

Annemarie Weyl Carr is a university distinguished professor emerita of art history at Southern Methodist University. Bertrand Davezac is a former curator at the Menil Collection. Clare Elliott is assistant curator at the Menil Collection.

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