The Embodied Icon: Liturgical Vestments and Sacramental Power in Byzantium.

Hardcover | March 12, 2012

byWarren T. Woodfin

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In spite of the Orthodox liturgy's reputation for resistance to change, Byzantine liturgical dress underwent a period of extraordinary elaboration from the end of the eleventh century onwards. As part of this development, embroideries depicting holy figures and scenes began to appear on thevestments of the clergy. Examining the surviving Byzantine vestments in conjunction with contemporary visual and textual evidence, Woodfin relates their embroidered imagery both to the program of images used in churches, and to the hierarchical code of dress prevailing in the imperial court. Bothsets of visual cross-references serve to enforce a reading of the clergy as living icons of Christ. Finally, the book explores the competing configurations of the hierarchy of heaven as articulated in imperial and ecclesiastical art. It shows how the juxtaposition of real embroidered vestmentswith vestments depicted in paintings, allowed the Orthodox hierarchy to represent itself as a direct extension of the hierarchy of heaven. Drawing on the best of recent scholarship in Byzantine liturgy, monumental painting, and textile studies, Woodfin's volume is the first major illustrated study of Byzantine embroidered vestments to appear in over forty years.

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In spite of the Orthodox liturgy's reputation for resistance to change, Byzantine liturgical dress underwent a period of extraordinary elaboration from the end of the eleventh century onwards. As part of this development, embroideries depicting holy figures and scenes began to appear on thevestments of the clergy. Examining the survi...

Warren T. Woodfin is a specialist in the art and ritual of Byzantium and its neighboring cultures. He currently holds the post of Kallinikeion Assistant Professor of Byzantine Art and History at Queens College, the City University of New York, and is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut, University of Zurich, Switzer...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:368 pagesPublished:March 12, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199592098

ISBN - 13:9780199592098

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAcknowledgementsIntroductionPart I. Liturgical Vestments in the Orthodox Church1. The Vestments of the Byzantine Rite Described2. Moving pictures: Embroidered Vestments and the Iconography of the Church Interior3. Liturgical Mystagogy and the Embroidered ImagePart II. Liturgical Vestments in Byzantine Society4. Earthly Rivalry: Imperial and Ecclesiastical Dress5. As it is in Heaven: Vesture and the Unseen WorldConclusionAppendix A. Handlist of Embroidered Vestments to c. 1500Appendix B. Embroidered Vestments described in Byzantine TextsAppendix C. Vesting Prayers According to the Textus Receptus of the Greek RiteBibliographyIllustrations