The Fantasy of the Middle Ages An Epic Journey through Imaginary Medieval Worlds Bryan C. Keene, Larisa Grollemond

Publication date:
19 Jul 2022
J. Paul Getty Museum
144 pages: 260 x 229mm
140 color illustrations; 140 color illustrations

From the soaring castles of Sleeping Beauty to the bloody battles of Game of Thrones, from Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings to mythical beasts in Dungeons & Dragons and from Medieval Times to the Renaissance Faire to Disneyland, the Middle Ages have inspired artists, playwrights, filmmakers, gamers, and writers for centuries. Indeed, no other historical era has captured the imaginations of so many creators. This volume aims to uncover the many reasons why the Middle Ages have proven so flexible-and applicable-to a variety of modern moments from the eighteenth through the twenty-first century. These "medieval" worlds are often the perfect ground for exploring contemporary cultural concerns and anxieties, saying much more about the time and place in which they were created than they do about the actual conditions of the medieval period. With 140 color illustrations, from sources ranging from thirteenth-century illuminated manuscripts to contemporary films and video games, and a preface by Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton, The Fantasy of the Middle Ages will surprise and delight both enthusiasts and scholars. This title is published to accompany an exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from June 21-September 11, 2022.

Larisa Grollemond is assistant curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Bryan C. Keene is an assistant professor of art history at Riverside City College and a former associate curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum.