Work of the Fellows: Monographs

Jaroslav Folda, Byzantine Art and Italian Panel Painting: The Virgin and Child Hodegetria and the Art of Chrysography

Folda, Jaroslav (Fellow, 1988-89; Fellow, 1998-99; Fellow, 2006-07)

New York: Cambridge University Press, 2022

From the publisher's description:

The Virgin and Child Hodegetria was a widely venerated Byzantine image depicting the Virgin holding and pointing to her son as the way to salvation. In this book, Jaroslav Folda traces the appropriation of this image by thirteenth-century Crusader and central Italian painters, where the Virgin Mary is transformed from the human mother of god, the Theotokos, of Byzantine icons, to the resplendent Madonna radiant in her heavenly home with Christ and the angels. This transformation, Folda demonstrates, was brought about by using chrysography, or golden highlighting, which came to be used on both the Virgin and Child. This book shows the important role played by Crusader painters in bringing about this shift and in disseminating the new imagery to Central Italy. By focusing on the Virgin and Child Hodegetria, Folda reveals complex artistic interchanges and influences extending across the Mediterranean from Byzantium and the Holy Land to Italy.


Subjects: Art; Religion; History;; Art History; Visual Art; Christian Iconography; Byzantine Art;