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'Sermons in stone': eleventh-century figural sculpture from Croatia

Skoblar, Magdalena (2011) 'Sermons in stone': eleventh-century figural sculpture from Croatia. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis examines eleventh-century figural sculptures from Croatia by focusing on their iconography and potential symbolical significance. It consists of a detailed analysis of seventeen well-preserved carvings and an accompanying catalogue with six additional pieces, which are too damaged and fragmentary to be analyzed. These figural sculptures have been studied together on only two occasions, more than fifty years ago, and these publications focused on the manner of their carving and their dating. This stylistic approach has dominated the Croatian scholarship, and the investigation of the meaning of figural sculptures has been mostly sporadic and unsystematic. As such, it has created a vacuum in which the sculptures exist as catalogue entries in neat stylistic categories. In contrast, this thesis examines the figural sculptures by applying an iconographic analysis. This methodological approach investigates the visual sources for the schemes depicted, followed by the exploration of their iconographic significance, at the basis of which are the exegetical writings of early Christian and early medieval theologians. Thus, this thesis examines the figural sculptures in their contexts (architectural, religious and social) the results of which provide a deeper understanding of and more information about the culture and society which had produced them. Following from this, the chapters are grouped according to the current amount of information about their original architectural setting. Chapters 1 and 2 focus on the sculptures from the churches of Holy Dominica (reconstructed) and St Lawrence (still extant) at Zadar, which provide an excellent architectural context. Chapter 3 deals with three different sites where the churches have been preserved only in their foundations (St Mary’s, Biskupija; SS Peter and Moses, Solin; St Michael’s, Koločep). Finally, Chapter 4 analyzes the sculptures existing or discovered outside their original architectural setting.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Croatia, eleventh century, sculpture, iconography, early medieval
Academic Units: The University of York > History of Art (York)
Depositing User: Dr Magdalena Skoblar
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2012 10:00
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:46
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1567

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