Cover image for A Lost Art Rediscovered: The Architectural Ceramics of Byzantium Edited by Sharon E. J. Gerstel and and  Julie Lauffenburger

A Lost Art Rediscovered

The Architectural Ceramics of Byzantium

Edited by Sharon E. J. Gerstel, and Julie Lauffenburger

BUY

$93.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-02139-3

428 pages
8.5" × 11"
85 color/365 b&w illustrations/32 maps
2001
Co-published with Walters Art Museum

A Lost Art Rediscovered

The Architectural Ceramics of Byzantium

Edited by Sharon E. J. Gerstel, and Julie Lauffenburger

“This comprehensive and wide-ranging book revises our whole conception of polychrome revetment tiles by raising them above the level of artifacts of material culture to their proper context among the luxury arts of Byzantium. It promises to become a standard work on ornament and its role in architecture.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Subjects
During the tenth and eleventh centuries, splendid Byzantine buildings were enriched by colorful ceramic tiles decorated with an impressive range of figural and ornamental patterns. Despite their widespread use, traces of this important decorative medium have, for the most part, disappeared. Relegated to museum storerooms, hidden in private collections, buried under layers of construction, and eclipsed by more durable media, polychrome tiles have until now been denied their full role in our understanding of Byzantine decoration and aesthetics.

A Lost Art Rediscovered includes a fully illustrated catalogue of all known tiles produced in the region of Constantinople, including the substantial collection owned by the Walters Art Museum, as well as those belonging to museums and private collections around the world. Some tiles included in the catalogue are now lost; the discovery of others is reported here for the first time. A series of scholarly essays gives the ceramics their rightful place in the study of Byzantine art and treats aspects of patronage, manufacture, function, ornament, and cultural significance. This comprehensive publication heralds the first large-scale, permanent installation of the Byzantine tiles in the collection of the Walters Art Museum.

Contributors include Jeffrey C. Anderson, Anne Bouquillon, Anthony Cutler, Elizabeth S. Ettinghausen, Cyril Mango, Marlia Mundell Mango, William Tronzo, and Christine Vogt.

“This comprehensive and wide-ranging book revises our whole conception of polychrome revetment tiles by raising them above the level of artifacts of material culture to their proper context among the luxury arts of Byzantium. It promises to become a standard work on ornament and its role in architecture.”
“This exciting material in this fine new publication comprises the ceramic tiles that once adorned Byzantine structures in Constantinople in a restricted period of history, that is, roughly between the ninth and the mid-twelfth centuries.”

Sharon E. J. Gerstel is Associate Professor of Byzantine Art and Archaeology at the University of Maryland.

Julie A. Lauffenburger is Senior Objects Conservator at the Walters Art Museum.

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