The Place of Narrative

Mural Decoration in Italian Churches, 431-1600

Marilyn Aronberg Lavin

The Place of Narrative
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Marilyn Aronberg Lavin

426 pages | 24 color plates, 209 halftones, 58 line drawings | 8-1/2 x 11 | © 1990
Paper $81.00 ISBN: 9780226469607 Published February 1995
Looking at more than two hundred Italian medieval and Renaissance mural cycles, Lavin examines—with the aid of computer technology—the "rearranged" chronologies of familiar religious stories found therein.

"Like many masterpieces, Lavin's book builds upon a simple idea . . . it is possible to do a computer analysis of . . . visual narratives. . . . This is the first computer-based study of the visual arts of which I am aware that illustrates how those technologies can utterly transform the study of old master art. An extremely important book, one likely to become the most influential recent study of art of this period, The Place of Narrative is also a beautiful artifact."—David Carrier, Leonardo

"Covering over a millennium and dealing with the whole of Italy, Lavin makes pioneering use of new methodology employing a computer database . . . [and] novel terminology to describe the disposition of scenes of church and chapel walls. . . . We should recognize this as a book of high seriousness which reaches out into new areas and which will fruitfully stimulate much thought on a neglected subject of very considerable significance."—Julian Gardner, Burlington Magazine

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List of Illustrations
Introduction: The Place of Narrative
1: Medieval Protocols
2: The Cycle in the Private Chapel, 1300-1350
3: Narrative in the Public Domain, 1340-1400
4: Nationalism and the Festival Mode: The Legend of the True Cross
5: Tradition and the New Synthesis in the Early Fifteenth Century
6: Disposition as a Theopolitical Tool: Fra Filippo, Mantegna, Piero della Francesca
7: Consolidation of Tradition: The Sistine Chapel and Beyond
8: The Expanded Field and Its Narrative Implications
9: New Continuities: Narrative Disposition in the Sixteenth Century
The Computer Database: NARRART DATA
Appendix 1: Selected Cycle Entries
Appendix 2: List of Cycles by Patterns of Disposition
Photographic Credits
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