The Medieval Art Industry - WSJ

2023-04-22 14:02:54 By : Ms. Ada zhang

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The Medieval Art Industry - WSJ

Created around 1250, the small stained glass panel “God and the Tree of Knowledge” most likely illuminated a cathedral in Troyes, France. To the faithful, its depiction of Christ in the Garden of Paradise would have recalled biblical teachings, and its brilliant sunlit colors might have evoked the Holy Spirit. But this jewel-like fragment and others like it were energy hogs. Stained glass was in great demand in the Middle Ages, and manufacturing it required large quantities of sand, wood ash and powdered metals melted at extremely high temperatures. According to one estimate, the European glass industry burned through roughly 13 million tons of firewood between 1250 and 1500.

That sort of statistic isn’t often associated with the art of the Middle Ages, but “The Nature of Things: Medieval Art and Ecology, 1100-1550,” a new exhibition opening on March 10 at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, brings an environmental perspective to the subject. With some 50 sculptures, textiles, books and other objects, the show explores not only medieval art and culture but the resources, raw materials and processes involved in producing those works, and their ecological impact in Western Europe and beyond. Emphasizing “materials and materiality,” the exhibition “links those materials back to a particular environmental context,” such as the fields or quarries they came from, explained the show’s organizer, Pulitzer Foundation curator Heather Alexis Smith.

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The Medieval Art Industry - WSJ

Tree Of Life Metal Wall Art This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit www.djreprints.com.