chapter  32
30 Pages

Art of the Treasuries of Monasteries and Cathedrals

WithWhitney S. Stoddard

The whole distinction between the major and minor arts is a nineteenth-century invention and did not exist in the Middle Ages. The goldsmith, the enameler, the illuminator, and the sculptor in stone were all equally important as artists creating objects for the Christian liturgy. Just as there is no distinction to be made between “minor” and “major” arts, thus the terms “monumental” and “small” cannot be applied to these works; the monumental quality of this period is in no sense determined by size. The Cleveland Museum of Art has an outstanding collection of Medieval art, both in its coverage and its quality. The Boston plaque, a work of the craft of the goldsmith, which included the art of enameling, is made of gilded copper and enamel. Ivory croziers and silver chalices in pairs exhibited the evolution of Medieval art from the early twelfth to the mid-fourteenth centuries.