Best Selling Books by Diane Wolfthal

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release date: Apr 13, 2015
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Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts

The love of books in the Jewish tradition extends back over many centuries, and the ways of interpreting those books are as myriad as the traditions themselves. Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink offers the first full survey of Jewish illuminated manuscripts, ranging from their origins in the Middle Ages to the present day. Featuring some of the most beautiful examples of Jewish art of all time―including hand-illustrated versions of the Bible, the Haggadah, the prayer book, marriage documents, and other beloved Jewish texts―the book introduces readers to the history of these manuscripts and their interpretation.

Edited by Marc Michael Epstein with contributions from leading experts, this sumptuous volume features a lively and informative text, showing how Jewish aesthetic tastes and iconography overlapped with and diverged from those of Christianity, Islam, and other traditions. Featured manuscripts were commissioned by Jews and produced by Jews and non-Jews over many centuries, and represent Eastern and Western perspectives and the views of both pietistic and liberal communities across the Diaspora, including Europe, Israel, the Middle East, and Africa.

Magnificently illustrated with pages from hundreds of manuscripts, many previously unpublished or rarely seen, Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink offers surprising new perspectives on Jewish life, presenting the books of the People of the Book as never before.

release date: Oct 17, 2020
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New Studies on Old Masters: Essays in Renaissance Art in Honour of Colin Eisler (Essays and Studies, Volume 26)
Included in this volume is Suzanna B. Simor's article "The Credo in Siena: Art, Civic Religion and Politics in Sienese Images of the Christian Creeds", which was awarded the 2011 Worldwide Books Award for Publications Research given by the Art Libraries Society of North America.

The twenty essays in this collection examine critical issues in Renaissance art. Written by students of Colin Eisler (Professor, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University), they serve as both a tribute to an exceptional scholar and a reflection of his engagement with technical studies, connoisseurship, cultural exchanges between Italy and northern Europe, and the intersection between art and its religious and cultural contexts. Collectively, they highlight the ways in which Colin Eisler and his scholarly achievements have inspired and will continue to inspire innovative research into the art of western Europe and beyond.
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release date: Jul 20, 2010
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In and Out of the Marital Bed: Seeing Sex in Renaissance Europe

This book explores images whose sexual content has all too often been either ignored or denied.  Each chapter is devoted to a place that artists associated with sexual activity or desire: the bed, the dressing area of the home, the window and doorway, the bath, and the street.  By examining both canonical works, such as Jan van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait and Petrus Christus’ Goldsmith’s Shop and long-neglected objects, such as combs, badges, and bathhouse murals, and by investigating a wide range of sexualities—same-sex desire, adultery, marriage, courtship, and prostitution—Wolfthal demonstrates how illicit forms of sexuality were linked to the “chaste sexuality” of marriage.

release date: Feb 24, 1989
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The Beginnings of Netherlandish Canvas Painting: 1400-1530
The change from panel to canvas was revolutionary for Western painting. In the 15th and 16th centuries, canvases were very popular. However, few are preserved from that era and many are damaged.
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release date: Feb 15, 2000
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Peace and Negotiation: Strategies for Co-existence in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (ARIZONA STUDIES IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE)
Peace was far from a pale, static concept - a simple lack of violence - in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Rather, it was at times constructed as a rich and complex, positive and dynamic ideal. The thirteen articles in this volume cover a broad range of disciplines, times, and geographical areas and explore strategies that were used in the past to resolve conflict and attain peace. They examine events, texts, and images that date from the fifth through the sixteenth centuries, and their authors focus not only on Western Europe, but also on Scandinavia, the Caucusus, and Egypt. This volume rests on the assumption that peace covers a spectrum of situations that connects the personal and the political. Therefore, the papers presented here examine not only how nations negotiated peace, but also how individuals did. Similarly, although several essays spotlight those in the seat of power, others explore those who are politically marginalized. our views about peace and conflict, as this collection makes clear, are shaped in part by the mentalites of the past. Although some peacemaking strategies may be unacceptable to us today - forced marriages and conversions, for example - we can learn from other strategies how to transcend or modify various modes of antagonistic thinking.
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release date: Mar 30, 2005
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Framing The Family: Narrative And Representation In The Medieval And Early Modern Periods (MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCE TEXTS & STUDIES (SERIES))
The innovative and provocative essays in Framing the Family, are not primarily concerned with recovering the historical past, but rather seek to explore the complex relationship between history and cultural production in relation to the medieval and early modern family. These essays focus on diverse aspects of the family: the conjugal pair, the household, the relationship of parent to child, of the couple to the extended family, and of the nuclear family to the community. In doing so, they make clear the richness and complexity of representations and narratives of the medieval and Early Modern family, whose history is just now being written.
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release date: Jul 01, 2004
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Picturing Yiddish: Gender, Identity, and Memory in the Illustrated Yiddish Books of Renaissance Italy (Brill's Series in Jewish Studies)
This is the first comprehensive study of the images in five profusely illustrated Yiddish books from sixteenth-century Italy: a manuscript of Jewish customs, and four printed volumes - two books of customs, a chivalric romance, and a book of fables.
release date: Oct 23, 2000
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Images of Rape: The 'Heroic' Tradition and its Alternatives
Images of Rape: The "Heroic" Tradition and its Alternatives is the first in-depth exploration of rape as it has been portrayed in Western art from the twelfth through the seventeenth centuries. Examining the full range of representations, from those that glorify rape to those that condemn it, Diane Wolfthal illuminates the complex web of attitudes toward sexual violence that existed in the medieval and early modern society. She makes her case using a range of visual documentation, including picture Bibles, law treatises, justice paintings, war prints, and the manuscripts of Christine de Pizan.
release date: Feb 05, 2013
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Princes and Paupers: The Art of Jacques Callot (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)

The full spectrum of society springs to life in the detailed etchings of Jacques Callot (1592–1635). This acclaimed French printmaker trained in Italy and later worked as a court artist for Cosimo II de’ Medici in Florence. Callot revolutionized printmaking by developing the process of hard-ground etching, and he applied his technical skills to depicting the world around him.

The extraordinary etchings featured in this book testify to Callot’s mastery of sacred and profane imagery. The authors delve into Callot’s techniques and subjects, ranging from humorous scenes inspired by commedia dell’arte to noble feasts, biblical events, and even the horrors of war. They also explore how the artist used characters from opposite ends of society to expose the complexities and injustices of his time. With his keen sense of observation, Callot held a mirror to European culture of the early 1600s, revealing both its tragic and humorous aspects.

release date: Jun 28, 2010
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Money, Morality, and Culture in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe
One of the first volumes to explore the intersection of economics, morality, and culture, this collection analyzes the role of the developing monetary economy in Western Europe from the twelfth to the seventeenth century. The contributors”scholars from the fields of history, literature, art history and musicology”investigate how money infiltrated every aspect of everyday life, modified notions of social identity, and encouraged debates about ethical uses of wealth. These essays investigate how the new symbolic system of money restructured religious practices, familial routines, sexual activities, gender roles, urban space, and the production of literature and art. They explore the complex ethical and theological discussions which developed because the role of money in everyday life and the accumulation of wealth seemed to contradict Christian ideals of poverty and charity, revealing a rich web of reactions to the tensions inherent in a predominately Christian, (neo)capitalist culture. Money, Morality, and Culture in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe presents a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary assessment of the ways in which the rise of the monetary economy fundamentally affected morality and culture in Western Europe.
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