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Title: Painted Churches of Medieval Lebanon: An Overview
Other Titles: نظرة عامة على كنائس تحوي جداريات من القرون الوسطى في لبنان
Un aperçu des églises peintes du Liban médiéval
Authors: Voderstrasse, Tasha
Keywords: Painted Churches - Lebanon
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: University of Balamand
Part of: Chronos
Issue: 24
Start page: 129
End page: 161
The modern country of Lebanon preserves an important medieval and post-medieval legacy of standing churches and Christian religious art. After their discovery by western scholars in the 19th century, the art of the churches only attracted limited scholarly attention until about 100 years later, when they began to be studied in detail. Now a variety of studies have appeared on the churches and their art, including several books (Nordiguian and Voisin 1999 and subsequent new editions; Cruikshank Dodd 2004; Immerzeel 2009; Zibawi 2009) and numerous articles in both print and online. This article seeks to provide an overview of the studies of these monuments, first discussing the origins of the study of these churches and the viewpoints of the different scholars who have approached the material, and then examining some of the surviving monuments. The churches discussed here date to what can be most accurately termed as a high medieval period of the 12th-13th centuries AD, when Lebanon was under the rule of the Crusaders. Nevertheless, while the region was under Crusader control, there is a growing recognition that the monuments that were produced were local art that was influenced from a variety of sources. Post-Crusader material will not be discussed, although it should be noted that the country also possesses important Christian art from the subsequent periods. The article will not only examine the standing architecture, but also the wall paintings, which have been the subject of considerable attention on the part of scholars in recent years. Further, other Christian religious items that would have been found or still can be found in the churches, such as icons, will also be treated here, particularly as a number of scholars have related the different art forms to each other. It is by examining all forms of Christian art surviving in Lebanon from this period that we can come to a better understanding of how and why this material was produced, as well as how the studies of this material has evolved through time. It can also help provide new ideas for further research, in addition to the valuable work of documentation, restoration, and interpretation that has been occurring since the end of the 20th century.
Open URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Chronos

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