Top Medieval Art Quotes

Browse top 20 famous quotes and sayings about Medieval Art by most favorite authors.

Favorite Medieval Art Quotes

1. "Our horizon is the creation of a noble society to which, like the medieval builder of those glorious cathedrals, you will have added your conception, your artful piece of stone."
Author: Adrienne Clarkson
2. "Paris was a universe whole and entire unto herself, hollowed and fashioned by history; so she seemed in this age of Napoleon III with her towering buildings, her massive cathedrals, her grand boulevards and ancient winding medieval streets--as vast and indestructible as nature itself. All was embraced by her, by her volatile and enchanted populace thronging the galleries, the theaters, the cafes, giving birth over and over to genius and sanctity, philosophy and war, frivolity and the finest art; so it seemed that if all the world outside her were to sink into darkness, what was fine, what was beautiful, what was essential might there still come to its finest flower. Even the majestic trees that graced and sheltered her streets were attuned to her--and the waters of the Seine, contained and beautiful as they wound through her heart; so that the earth on that spot, so shaped by blood and consciousness, had ceased to be the earth and had become Paris."
Author: Anne Rice
3. "And yet, despite repeated assurances that women aren't particularly sexual creatures, in cultures around the world men have gone to extraordinary lengths to control female libido: female genital mutilation, head-to-toe chadors, medieval witch burnings, chastity belts, suffocating corsets, muttered insults about "insatiable" whores, pathologizing, paternalistic medical diagnoses of nymphomania or hysteria, the debilitating scorn heaped on any female who chooses to be generous with her sexuality...all parts of a worldwide campaign to keep the supposedly low-key female libido under control. Why the electrified high-security razor-wire fence to contain a kitty-cat?"
Author: Christopher Ryan
4. "[Medieval] Art was not just a static element in society, or even one which interacted with the various social groups. It was not simply something which was made to decorate or to instruct — or even to overawe and dominate. Rather, it was that and more. It was potentially controversial in ways both similar and dissimilar to its couterpart today. It was something which could by its force of attraction not only form the basis for the economy of a particular way of life, it could also come to change that way of life in ways counter to the original intent. Along with this and because of this, art carried a host of implications, both social and moral, which had to be justified. Indeed, it is from the two related and basic elements of justification and function — claim and reality — that Bernard approaches the question of art in the Apologia."
Author: Conrad Rudolph
5. "Suttree surfaced from these fevered deeps to hear a maudlin voice chant latin by his bedside, what medieval ghost come to usurp his fallen corporeality. An oiled thumball redolent of lime and sage pondered his shuttered lids.Miserere mei, Deus ...His ears anointed, his lips ... omnis maligna discordia ... Bechrismed with scented oils he lay boneless in a cold euphoria. Japheth when you left your father's house the birds had flown. You were not prepared for such weathers. You'd spoke too lightly of the winter in your father's heart. We saw you in the streets. Sad."
Author: Cormac McCarthy
6. "In the medieval tradition, Beksinski seems to believe art to be a forewarning about the fragility of the flesh– whatever pleasures we know are doomed to perish– thus, his paintings manage to evoke at once the process of decay and the ongoing struggle for life. They hold within them a secret poetry, stained with blood and rust."
Author: Guillermo Del Toro
7. "The ultimate binding element in the medieval order was subordination to the divine will and its earthly representatives, notably the pope."
Author: Irving Babbitt
8. "It always gave Wolf a peculiar thrill thus to tighten his grip upon his stick, thus to wrap himself more closely in his faded overcoat. Objects of this kind played a queer part in his secret life-illusion. His stick was like a plough-handle, a ship's runner, a gun, a spade, a sword, a spear. His threadbare overcoat was like a medieval jerkin, like a monk's habit, like a classic toga! It gave him a primeval delight merely to move one foot in front of the other, merely to prod the ground with his stick, merely to feel the flapping of his coat about his knees, when this mood predominated. It always associated itself with his consciousness of the historic continuity---so incredibly charged with marvels of dreamy fancy---of human beings moving to and fro across the earth. It associated itself, too, with his deep, obstinate quarrel with modern inventions, with modern machinery...."
Author: John Cowper Powys
9. "If you were a medieval scholar reading a book, you knew that there was a reasonable likelihood you'd never see that particular text again, and so a high premium was placed on remembering what you read. You couldn't just pull a book off the shelf to consult it for a quote or an idea."
Author: Joshua Foer
10. "I have sieged many a castle in my day, m'lady, but my attack on your keep will be the sweetest of all."She giggled as I kissed every inch of her face. "Oh, we're doing medieval now? Okay, I can do that. I've been to a Renaissance Faire. Avast ye varlet! No quarter!""That was piratical, dearling, but we'll go with it if you like. Lower your gangplanks and prepare to be boarded!"-Dane and Megan (Stag Party)"
Author: Katie MacAlister
11. "The streets of Prague were a fantasia scarcely touched by the twenty-first century—or the twentieth or nineteenth, for that matter. It was a city of alchemists and dreamers, its medieval cobbles once trod by golems, mystics, invading armies. Tall houses glowed goldenrod and carmine and eggshell blue, embellished with Rococo plasterwork and capped in roofs of uniform red. Baroque cupolas were the soft green of antique copper, and Gothic steeples stood ready to impale fallen angels. The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins, and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks. Thugs wore Motzart wigs and pushed chamber music on street corners, and marionettes hung in windows, making the whole city seem like a theater with unseen puppeteers crouched behind velvet."
Author: Laini Taylor
12. "Angela Carter...refused to join in rejecting or denouncing fairy tales, but instead embraced the whole stigmatized genre, its stock characters and well-known plots, and with wonderful verve and invention, perverse grace and wicked fun, soaked them in a new ?ery liquor that brought them leaping back to life. From her childhood, through her English degree at the University of Bristol where she specialised in Medieval Literature, and her experiences as a young woman on the folk-music circuit in the West Country, Angela Carter was steeped in English and Celtic faerie, in romances of chivalry and the grail, Chaucerian storytelling and Spenserian allegory, and she was to become fairy tale's rescuer, the form's own knight errant, who seized hold of it in its moribund state and plunged it into the fontaine de jouvence itself.(from "Chamber of Secrets: The Sorcery of Angela Carter")"
Author: Marina Warner
13. "The middle ages did not care much for alphabetical order, because they were committed to rational order. To the medieval mind, the universe [is] a harmonious whole whose parts are related to one another. It was the responsibility of the author or scholar to discern these rational relationships -- of hierarchy, or of chronology, or of similarities and differences, and so forth."
Author: Matthew Battles
14. "But now science is the belief system that is hundreds of years old. And, like the medieval system before it, science is starting not to fit the world any more. Science has attained so much power that its practical limits begin to be apparent. Largely through science, billions of us live in one small world, densely packed and intercommunicating. But science cannot help us decide what to do with that world, or how to live. Science can make a nuclear reactor, but it cannot tell us not to build it. Science can make pesticide, but cannot tell us not to use it. And our world starts to seem polluted in fundamental ways---air, and water, and land---because of ungovernable science."
Author: Michael Crichton
15. "Even the earliest silent readers recognized the striking change in their consciousness that took place as they immersed themselves in the pages of a book. The medieval bishop Isaac of Syria described how, whenever he read to himself, "as in a dream, I enter a state when my sense and thoughts are concentrated. Then, when with prolonging of this silence the turmoil of my memories is stilled in my heart, ceaseless waves of joy are sent me by inner thoughts, beyond expectation suddenly arising to delight my heart." Reading a book was a meditative act, but it didn't involve a clearing of the mind. It involved a filling, or replenishing, or the mind. Readers disengaged their attention from the outward flow of passing stimuli in order to engage it more deeply with an inward flow of words, ideas, and emotions. That was—and is—the essence of the unique mental process of deep reading."
Author: Nicholas Carr
16. "Saint Augustine proliferated central theological and political doctrines of the Church, following Saint Paul closely. History is the scene of the struggle between the Heavenly and Earthly Cities, but only God before the Last Judgment knows the membership rolls. Human nature is so sinful (rebellious and corrupt) that only those who have received grace, i.e., have been chosen by God to love Him, can be saved for eternal life. This theory caused a lot of trouble for the medieval church, which by and large abandoned it. It was revived much later by Martin Luther."By the early fifth century, at a series of church councils, the Christians had hammered out a compromise theory of the Trinity -- God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Church) -- more or less of one substance but with three personalities. Those who would not accept this compromise were branded as heretics and sooner or later persecuted by the imperial state."
Author: Norman F. Cantor
17. "The Reformation was a time when men went blind, staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellar full of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred proof Grace–bottle after bottle of pure distilate of Scripture, one sip of which would convince anyone that God saves us single-handedly. The word of the Gospel–after all those centuries of trying to lift yourself into heaven by worrying about the perfection of your bootstraps–suddenly turned out to be a flat announcement that the saved were home before they started…Grace has to be drunk straight: no water, no ice, and certainly no ginger ale; neither goodness, nor badness, not the flowers that bloom in the spring of super spirituality could be allowed to enter into the case."
Author: Robert Farrar Capon
18. "That a thing made by hand, the work and thought of a single craftsman, can endure much longer than its maker, through centuries in fact, can survive natural catastrophe, neglect, and even mistreatment, has always filled me with wonder. Sometimes in museums, looking at a humble piece of pottery from ancient Persia or Pompeii, or a finely wrought page from a medieval illuminated manuscript toiled over by a nameless monk, or a primitive tool with a carved handle, I am moved to tears. The unknown life of the maker is evanescent in its brevity, but the work of his or her hands and heart remains."
Author: Susan Vreeland
19. "To look after a medieval estate, one required a map, an indexed account book and an abacus. For its time, this was a highly sophisticated geographical information system. Looking after the earth and each of its parts requires more data, a better index and more data processing."
Author: Tom Turner
20. "In rereading one of the best essays I know on Dante's Paradiso, Giovanni Getto's "Aspetti della poesia di Dante" (Aspects of Dante's Poetry, 1947), one can see that there is not one single image of Paradise that does not stem from a tradition that was part of the medieval reader's heritage, I won't say of ideas, but of daily fantasies and feelings. It is from the biblical tradition and the church fathers that these radiances come from, these vortices of flame, these lamps, these suns, these brilliances and brightnesses emerging "like a horizon clearing" (Par. 14.69)...For medieval man, reading about this light and luminosity was equivalent to when we dream about the sinuous gracefulness of a movie star, the elegant lines of a car...It is this appeal to a poetry of understanding that can make the Paradiso fascinating even for the modern reader who has lost the reference points familiar to his medieval counterpart."
Author: Umberto Eco

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It is not by believing but by doubting that one can attain to the truth, which is ever changing form and condition."
Author: Augusto Roa Bastos

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