Natasha O'Hear considers seven different visualisations of all or part of the Book of Revelation across a range of different media, from illuminated manuscripts, to tapestries, to altarpieces to paintings woodcut prints. Artists featured include the Van Eycks, Memling, Botticelli, Durer and Cranach the Elder. This study is a contribution to the history of interpretation of the Book of Revelation in the Late Medieval and Early Modern period in the form of seven visual case studies ranging from 1250-1522.
It is also is an attempt to understand the different ways in which images exhibit hermeneutical strategies akin to what is found in textual exegesis, but with the peculiar properties of synchronicity of both subject-matter and effect that distinguish them from reading a text. The book explores the multi-faceted scope of visual exegesis as a way of exploring the content and the character of a biblical text such as The Book of Revelation, as well as the complementary relationship between textual and visual exegesis.
Natasha O'Hear currently teaches English at an inner city school in North London. Prior to this she was Junior Research Fellowship at Worcester College, Oxford and a Lecturer in Theology at the University of Oxford.
"...[T]his is a brilliant, readable, and illuminating study, which shows convincingly why at least some of the artists O'Hear discusses should be regarded as profound and creative biblical exegetes, capable of grasping Revelation's essential subject matter to a degree that has frequently eluded those who write the commentaries." --Journal of Theological Studies
"This book is a model for a reception-historical approach to the Bible in the arts that wishes to take this approach seriously by giving due attention to specific works of art rather than to rush into generalisations. Reception history builds on tradition, but lives from innovation and that is made clear again in this book." --Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
"I recommend this volume for anyone with an interest in any aspect of medieval and early modern artwork inspired by Revelation." --Transpositions
"[O'Hear] is sure-footed and writes elegantly... O'Hear is convinced that only artists are able to recapitulate the visionary experience of Revelation. This study alerts us to a crucial way of re-engaging with scripture, and there are timely reminders of both St Bridget of Sweden and St Teresa of Avila if we would see God as the Word made flesh." --Church Times Review
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