Early Medieval Art Summary

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Book Review: “Early Medieval Art”, by Lawrence Nees

It was during the Middle Ages (300-1000 AD), that various distinctive forms of art began to emerge in western Europe. A variety of significant mosaics, buildings and other forms of art came from this time that continue to be analyzed in the present. In the book Early Medieval Art, Lawrence Nees successfully provides an intricate interpretation of these various art forms that developed in this time in history while allowing the reader to conceptualize the emerging cultures of the first millennium in Europe. Nees is able to do this by outlining key aspects of the studied works of art that symbolize how life was at this point in history. At the beginning of his book, it is apparent that Nees seeks to provide a less traditional view on art at this time when he states, “I offer a different story of early medieval art in place of the more traditional tale of the decline of Rome and triumph of Christianity”. Nees’ thesis is subsequently inexplicitly stated to analyze the role of tradition in early medieval western art and its transformation as time progressed. By following a non-conventional thesis when writing this book, Nees is able to contribute a new perspective into the overall topic of medieval art. Although Nees clearly states that he seeks to explore other analyses of early medieval art that don’t focus on the decline of Roman culture, he doesn’t neglect this important topic completely. To completely ignore this
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