Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna by Elina GertsmanWorlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna by Elina Gertsman

Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna

byElina Gertsman

Hardcover | April 9, 2015

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In Worlds Within, Elina Gertsman investigates the Shrine Madonnas, or Vierges ouvrantes—sculptures that conceal within their bodies complex carved and/or painted iconographies. The Shrine Madonna emerged in Europe at the end of the 1200s and reached a peak of popularity during the following three centuries. Gertsman argues that the appearance of these objects—predicated as they are on the dynamic of concealment, revelation, and fragmentation—points to the changing roles of vision and sensation in the complex, performative ways in which audiences were expected to engage with devotional images, both in public and in private. Worlds Within considers these fascinating sculptures in terms of the rhetoric of secrecy, the discourse of containment, and the tropes of unveiling. Gertsman demonstrates how the statues were associated with the processes of seeing and memory-making and how they functioned as instruments of revelatory knowledge and spiritual reformation in the context of late medieval European culture.

Elina Gertsman is Associate Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University.Elina Gertsman is Associate Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University.
Title:Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine MadonnaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 10 × 9 × 0.6 inPublished:April 9, 2015Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271064013

ISBN - 13:9780271064017


Table of Contents


List of Illustrations


Introduction: A Cause of Error

1 Secrets: Revealing Bodies, Fragmented Vision

2 Ruptures: Holy Anatomy, Affective Obstetrics

3 Play: Animate Substance, Uncanny Performance

4 Imprints: Hybrid Memories, Interior Journeys

Postscript: The Excavated Body

Appendix: Shrine Madonnas ca. 1270–ca. 1500, in Approximate Chronological Order




Editorial Reviews

“Gertsman’s approach is sagacious and unquestionably original.”

—George Lazaroiu, Sixteenth Century Journal