Tree of Jesse Iconography in Northern Europe in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries  book cover
1st Edition

Tree of Jesse Iconography in Northern Europe in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

ISBN 9780367664732
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

This book is the first detailed investigation to focus on the late medieval use of Tree of Jesse imagery, traditionally a representation of the genealogical tree of Christ. In northern Europe, from the mid-fifteenth to the early sixteenth centuries, it could be found across a wide range of media. Yet, as this book vividly illustrates, it had evolved beyond a simple genealogy into something more complex, which could be modified to satisfy specific religious requirements. It was also able to function on a more temporal level, reflecting not only a clerical preoccupation with a sense of communal identity, but a more general interest in displaying a family’s heritage, continuity and/or social status. It is this dynamic and polyvalent element that makes the subject so fascinating.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Chapter One The Tree of Jesse and the Speculum Humanae Salvationis, Chapter Two The Tree of Jesse and Saint Anne, Chapter Three The Tree of Jesse, the Carmelites, and other Religious Orders, Chapter Four The Tree of Jesse and the Schöllenbach Altarpiece: A Case Study, Chapter Five The Tree of Jesse and Antwerp Carved Altarpieces, Chapters Six The Tree of Jesse in Northern France, Conclusion, Appendices, Bibliography

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Susan L. Green is an associate lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art and visiting lecturer at the New College of the Humanities, London.


"...Very successful ... the book materialises as a generously illustrated, well-researched monograph with a solid and varied bibliography and five useful and informative appendices."

--Nordic Review of Iconography

"...Her book is praiseworthy for closely examining iconographical motifs and recognize their interpretive flexibility, depending on context. Green’s case studies thoughtfully consider how Tree of Jesse imagery functions within each particular cultural setting."

--Historians of Netherlandish Art