The Invention of Norman Visual Culture

Art, Politics, and Dynastic Ambition

Author : Lisa Reilly
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publication Year January 2020
Copyright Year 2020
ISBN 9781108769068
Page 214
Language English


In this book, Lisa Reilly establishes a new interpretive paradigm for the eleventh and twelfth-century art and architecture of the Norman world in France, England, and Sicily. Traditionally, scholars have considered iconic works like the Cappella Palatina and the Bayeux Embroidery in a geographically piecemeal fashion that prevents us from seeing their full significance. Here, Reilly examines these works individually and within the larger context of a connected Norman world. Just as Rollo founded the Normandy ‘of different nationalities’, the Normans created a visual culture that relied on an assemblage of forms. To the modern eye, these works are perceived as culturally diverse. As Reilly demonstrates, the multiple sources for Norman visual culture served to expand their meaning. Norman artworks represented the cultural mix of each locale, and the triumph of Norman rule, not just as a military victory but as a legitimate succession, and often as the return of true Christian rule.