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740BOOK REVIEWS teen years have been exceptionally interesting for publication in the field of the history of the thirteenth-century papacy and curia (for example, the articles in Società e istituzioni dell'ltalia comunale: Vesempio di Perugia (secoli XIIXIV ) (Perugia, 1988), as well as Italian duecento architecture, some of which has been published in various articles by Radke himself. Thus fundamental recent studies that concern the importation of French elements and the mediation between local Italian traditions and foreign imports are missing (for example, Saggi in onore di Renato Bonelli [Quaderni dell'Istituto di Storia delrArchitettura ] , 1990-1992, or Il gótico europeo in Italia, edd. V Pace and M. Bagnoli [Naples, 1994]). In general, the volume tends to make abstraction of the Italian Eterature in favor of studies in English and in German, a weakness that often characterizes publications on medieval Italy produced by American scholars. The delay of the book and the inability of the author and/or editors to update the text in relation to the new literature present fundamental flaws in a study that might have been of central importance in the analysis of the intersection of indigenous building traditions with imported motifs in thirteenthcentury Italian architecture. Caroline Bruzelius TheAmericanAcademy in Rome Portals, Pilgrimage, and Crusade in Western Tuscany. By Dorothy F. Glass. (Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1997. Pp. xvii, 145. $39.50.) This small book examines nine closely-related, twelfth-century narrative reliefs, most above entrance portals of Romanesque churches in Pistoia, Lucca, and artistically affiliated centers. The author's project began with a question about art along the Via Francigena, the primary pilgrimage route from northern Europe to Rome, then narrowed in scope to the portal from San Leonardo al Frígido, but in the end confronted perhaps the most difficult problem in Italian Romanesque sculpture, its iconography. The nine reliefs are deceptively transparent. We know their dates with some accuracy; some are signed and can be compared with other works by the same artists—some even bear inscriptions identifying the scenes depicted.What has been lacking, and what Glass has supplied, are the interpretive contexts within which the reliefs could become meaningful . A book with only sixty-eight pages of text is probably too slight to be described as magisterial; "lapidary," given the subject, might seem an unfortunate pun. So I will characterize this book as exemplary, an adjective already justly associated with Glass's earlier publications on Romanesque sculpture in Campania and on Cosmatesque pavements.Yet her most recent publication has a special excellence which places it among the very best studies of Romanesque art. Glass teases meaning from the reliefs through close readings of their inscriptions and superlatively skillful formal analyses, illuminating her examples through comparison with related works especially, but by no means only, in BOOK REVIEWS741 Italy. Convinced that "the subject matter was firmly grounded in present realities " (p. 61), she brings to bear on the reliefs her knowledge of history, liturgy, politics, hagiography devotional practices, and liturgical drama in order to identify a sense of something contemporary or "lived" in them. As she sums up her discussion of Sant'Andrea in Pistoia:"the portal sculpture is significant precisely because it transmutes episodes from the gospels into images that could have been perceived by medieval viewers in terms of events witnessed and known in twelfth-century Pistoia" (p. 18). The author's interpretive contexts are diverse in kind. Some are temporal: the book opens with a chapter titled "Time and Place" and closes with chapters devoted to the past (chapter six) and the present (chapter seven). Other contexts explore aspects of Christian devotional practice (what Glass refers to as "paraliturgical activity" [p. 36]), suggested by the chapter titles "Adoration and Participation " (chapter two) and "Preaching and Serving" (chapter three). The most pervasive contexts, she suggests, are pilgrimage and crusade, understood not only in their literal but also metaphorical senses: so, "Marching to Jerusalem" (chapter four) and "Sailing from Byzantium" (chapter five). As she remarks, following her association of the Entry intoJerusalem (the subject of three of the lintels) not only with pilgrimage but also with Palm Sunday processions, "historical time fuses with actual time to become ritual time" (p...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 740-742
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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