Two new book acquisitions.
#1The Madonna and Child of Saint Mary's in Florence.
This book, published in 2003, is a scholarly collection detailing the restoration of the Madonna and Child icon pictured above.
The restorers discovered hidden relics compartments and pushed back the date another century. The icon's creator-traditionally attributed to artist Coppo di Marcovaldo (1225 – 1276), was called into question after an extensive study.
The book includes photographs of the icon itself in various stages of restoration. Included are detailed explanations of microphotograph and ultraviolet fluorescence studies on paint layers and build-up, wood and relics.
St Marys is the oldest church in Florence.
I've only skimmed through the book, but am guessing that this icon was brought in from the East, as a gift from the Byzantines or as part of a "booty".
#2 The Book of Pontiffs of the Church of Ravenna (2004), an English translation of the main source for medieval Ravenna. Ravenna was Byzantium's great western capital.
The book records a ninth century collection of the deeds of Ravenna's bishops according to Agnellus of Ravenna and is "unlike any other known from the early middle ages."
It "has been particularly important to art historians because of the wealth of information it contains about the art and architecture of Ravenna."
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