Religious Poverty, Visual Riches (Hardback)
The Dominican friars of late-medieval Italy were vowed to a life of religious poverty. Yet their churches contained many visual riches, as this groundbreaking study reveals. Works by supreme practitioners - Cimabue, Duccio, Giotto and Simone Martini - are here set in a wider Dominican context. The contents of major foundations - Siena, Pisa, Perugia and Santa Maria Novella in Florence - are studied alongside less well-known centres. For the first time these frescoes and panel paintings are brought together with illuminated choir books, carved crucifixes, goldsmith's work, tombs and stained glass. At the heart of the book is the Dominicans' evolving relationship with the laity, expressed at first by the partitioning of their churches, and subsequently by the ever-increasing sharing of space, and of the production and use of art. Joanna Cannon's magisterial study is informed by extensive new research, using chronicles, legislation, liturgy, sermons and other sources to explore the place of art in the lives of the friars and the urban laity of Central Italy.