Word Becomes Image: Openwork vessels as a reflection of Late Antique transformation

Word Becomes Image: Openwork vessels as a reflection of Late Antique transformation

by Hallie G. Meredith


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Transformationpresents a diachronic investigation providing a rich case study as well as an approach tracing the contours of a category of Roman material culture defined by the Roman period technique of openwork carving. As the first comprehensive assemblage of openwork vessels from Classical to late Antiquity, this work offers primary evidence documenting a key example of the fundamental shift from naturalism to abstraction in which inscriptions are transformed and word becomes image. A glass blower herself, Hallie Meredith poses questions about process, tactility and reception providing a clear picture of the original contexts of production and reception demonstrated by the Roman technique of openwork carving. In an in-depth analysis of the corpus as a whole, typologies (old and new), imagery, geometric patterning and inscriptions as the major divisions among openwork decorative elements, basic design principles are identified, non openwork carving and its relation to openwork decoration are discussed, as are the function, handling, display, movement and provenance of openwork vessels throughout the Roman Empire. Art historians and archaeologists working on the transition from Classical to late Antiquity, as well as scholars focusing on these and later periods of study, can fruitfully apply this approach to visual culture. This work shows how openwork vessels are a reflection of a wide-reaching Roman cultural aesthetic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781784911294
Publisher: Brown, David Book Company
Publication date: 10/15/2015
Pages: 279
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

Table of Contents

Word becomes Image
Inscriptional Art
Animating Ancient Art
The Emergence of a Late Antique Tradition
Case Study Reflects Cultural Transformations
Chapter Overviews
I. Crafting the Value of Glass:
Non-Narrative Texts: Reception of Craft in Late Antiquity
Archaeological and Textual Evidence of Three Stages of Glass Trade and Production
The Cold-Working Stage: the Tertiary Production of Glass Vessels
The Value of Craftsmanship
II. Openwork Vessels: A Roman Category:
High Relief Material Culture: A Late Roman Cultural Aesthetic
Blurring the Boundaries between Text and Image in the Fourth Century
Re-Viewing Open Work Vessels: Reflections of a Roman Cultural Aesthetic
III. Inscribing Openwork Vessels with Meaning:
Previous Typologies
Schematic Typology of Openwork Vessels
The Movement of Openwork Vessels throughout the Roman Empire
Openwork Vessels in Grave Assemblages
Appendix: Contemporaneous, Regionally Distributed Inscribed Glassware
Country (Provenance or Currently), Figure Number, Present (or Last) Location, Descriptive Title Known as
Catalogue Figure Sample
Catalogue Figures
CD: Full catalogue with images in colour

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