Pictures as Language: How the Byzantines exploited them


24 x 17 cm
486 pp. 297 illus.
Publication: 2000
ISBN 1 899828 36 2
ISBN-13 978 1 899828 36 4

Book Description

Christopher Walter, in his research on Byzantine art, has been particularly concerned by the significative value of iconography. The Byzantines, perhaps more than other cultural groups, were aware that pictures could “speak”. The form and content of their “message” is explored here in a series of twenty-six articles, together with the use to which this “message” could be put.

The first group of six articles is concerned with manuscript illustration. The second group of six articles shows how pictures could be used for ecclesiological purposes, not only to set out the universal mission of the Church. and its relations with political authorities, but also the relations of a local Church with the ensemble. A third group of three articles is concerned with the use of pictures in order to instruct the faithful on the raison d’être of the liturgy. The fourth group of seven articles studies the use of pictures to make better known to the populace the role of saints in the life of terrestrial men. Finally two articles document the use of iconography on apotropaic objects like amulets. In an epilogue the author brings up to date the bibliography of the subjects studied in these articles.


  • Preface
  • Les dessins carolingiens dans un manuscrit de Verceil
  • Un commentaire enluminé des homélies de Grégoire de Nazianze
  • The Triumph of Saint Peter in the Church of Saint Clement at Ohrid and the iconography of the Triumph of the Martyrs
  • The Portrait of Jakov of Serres in Londin Additional 39629
  • The Date and Content of the Dionysiou Lectionary
  • The Icon and the Image of Christ
  • The Second Council of Nicaea and Byzantine Tradition
  • Icons of the First Council of Nicaea
  • Political Imagery: Osmosis Between East and West
  • A Problem Picture of the Emperor John VIII and the Patriarch Joseph
  • The Significance of the Portrait of Danilo II as Donor in his Church of the Bogorodica
  • Portraits of Serbian Bishops Appointed on Byzantine Territory
  • The Christ Child on the Altar in the Radoslav Narthex: a Learned or a Popular Theme?
  • A New Look at the Sanctuary Barrier
  • The Byzantine Sanctuary – a Word List
  • The Iconography of the Prophet Habakkuk
  • The Invention of Saint John the Baptist’s Head in the Wall-Calendar at Graanica
  • Salome and the Head of Saint John the Baptist
  • The Abgar Cycle at Matei
  • Saint Clement in the Chersonese and the Iconography of his Miracle
  • Saints of Second Iconoclasm in the Madrid Scylitzes
  • The Portrait of Saint Paraskeve
  • The Intaglio of Solomon in the Benaki Museum and the Origins of the Iconography of Warrior Saints
  • Some Unpublished Intaglios of Solomon in the British Museum
  • Additional Notes
  • Index
  • Additional information




    There are no reviews yet.

    Be the first to review “Pictures as Language: How the Byzantines exploited them”