A hardback volume presenting a history of early medieval art through the stories of objects in the British Museum. The book has been specially published to coincide with the re-opening of the gallery covering this period in the British Museum.
Richly illustrated, Masterpieces: Early Medieval Art showcases some of the collection’s most outstanding and internationally renowned artefacts, such as the Projecta Casket, the treasures from the Sutton Hoo ship burial and the Fuller Brooch. The discussion of each object provides an insight into their makers and owners, as well as the world in which they were created.
Drawn from all the major cultures of the period and covering an extensive geographical and chronological sweep, this publication celebrates the artistic accomplishment of objects made from a varied and attractive array of materials such as gold, silver, precious stones, ivory, glass, ceramics and textiles. This approach bridges the gap that is commonly presented between the Mediterranean and the North of Europe, the Empire (whether Roman or Byzantine) and the ‘barbarian’ world in a period that saw Christianity established as a major religion as well as the rise of Islam.
The book is divided into thematic sections, each with an introductory summary providing an art-historical background. All objects are illustrated with large colour photographs accompanied by text that explains the background and unique features of each piece. Comprehensive maps are also included to help put these extraordinary objects into a geographical context.
A must-have volume for general readers interested in the period and students of a wide range of subjects from history to archaeology.
Sonja Marzinzik is the registrar at the State Archaeological Collection of Bavaria, Munich. She worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum for over a decade and is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. She has authored numerous articles and two monographs, including one on the Sutton Hoo Helmet (British Museum Press, 2005).