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DRESSING THE PART: TEXTILES AS PROPAGANDA IN THE MIDDLE AGES. Ed. by Kate Dimitrova and Margaret Goehring. Brepols Publishers, Turnhout, 2014. 214 pp. with 105 ills. (71 col.). 29 x 23 cm. ISBN 9782503536767 In English.
Publisher's description: During the Middle Ages, textiles played a particularly prominent role in the communication of wealth and authority by mediating the body politic and defining spaces of political, religious, and social power. The intrinsic material value of textiles-which could be woven out of silk, enriched with silver and gold threads, and garnished with precious stones-complemented an elaborate visual language that conveyed ideological messages. From the ornamented sphere of ecclesiastical dress and the celebrations of feast days to an aristocrat's various rites of passage (such as birth, marriage, coronation, and death), textiles functioned as propaganda. Rulers across the European, Byzantine and Islamic worlds expressed their dynastic claims, military prowess, political aspirations and accomplishments by commissioning, displaying, wearing, and offering textiles. Because textiles are portable, wearable and displayable their performative qualities result in multivalent meanings that medieval patrons exploited. In essence, the meaning of textiles can never truly be fixed. Textiles inherently represent a confluence of messages because they operate within multiple systems of signs-costume, liturgical display, ceremonies of state, funerary ritual, memorial display and personal or corporate identity to name a few.
Indexing: Western, Europe — 300 A.D.-1400 — Textile/Fiber Arts
Plans: 73
Worldwide Number: 157387
Hardcover $130.00    

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