Early Netherlandish Carved Altarpieces, 1380-1550: Medieval Tastes and Mass Marketing

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9780521474832: Early Netherlandish Carved Altarpieces, 1380-1550: Medieval Tastes and Mass Marketing

A fascinating study of carved wooden altarpieces produced in the South Netherlands from the late fourteenth- through the mid-sixteenth centuries are among the most splendid examples of late medieval art. Such altarpieces powerfully express religious tastes and aesthetics of the late medieval period, but up to now have been one of the least known types of Netherlandish art.

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'In contrast to the paintings, the study of Netherlandish scuplted altarpieces is an underdeveloped area. Lynn Jacobs sets out to re-address ...' The Art Newspaper

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The carved wooden altarpieces produced in the South Netherlands from the late fourteenth- to the mid-sixteenth centuries are among the most lavish and splendid examples of late medieval art. Though currently one of the least known and appreciated types of Netherlandish art, such altarpieces were the most common form of decoration on the high altars of churches in the Lowlands during the late Gothic period. Exported in huge numbers throughout much of Europe, these retables include high distinctive visual and iconographic features. These detailed narratives and masterful combinations of painting, sculpture, and architectural decoration powerfully express religious tastes and aesthetics of the late medieval period. This study also demonstrates how these works, despite their large size and complexity, were often sold on the open market, thus providing evidence of the expanding capitalistic orientation of the Netherlandish art market at the end of the middle ages.

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