Violence and Daily Life
Reading, Art and Polemics in the Citeaux "Moralia in Job"
The 12th-century manuscript of Gregory the Great's "Moralia in Job" contains images of seemingly gratuitous violence and daily life. This book argues that beyond the face value of these illuminations lies an undercurrent of thematic consistency. Like obscure events from Scripture, the author maintains, the iamges may lead to another level of meaning yet to be discovered. Rudolph focuses on the ways spirituality and politics operate in the artistic process that produced this particular manuscript. By exploring these interactions, we can understand how the form of spirituality embodied in this manuscript legitimzed a very intimate attitude on the part of the artist toward the subject. The images are in fact, he argues, the product of Gregory's demand that one "become" what one reads: some reflect the ideal monk crafting a holy place out of the wilderness, others the Cistercian notion of spiritual advancement as a violent struggle.
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In this study Conrad Rudolph examines the meaning of the historiated initials of the famous Citeaux Moralia in Job completed around 1111... By successfully addressing the issues of production, audience, and iconography through this framework of exegetical method, Rudolph's argument provides a major contribution to our understanding of this important example of Romanesque monastic manuscript illumination and a major methodological contribution to the study of medieval monastic art in general. culum--A Journal of Medieval Studies