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In this book, Conrad Rudolph studies and reconstructs Hugh of Saint Victor's forty-two-page written work, The Mystic Ark, which describes the medieval painting of the same name. In medieval written sources, works of art are not often referred to, let alone described in any detail. Almost completely ignored by art historians because of the immense difficulty of its text, Hugh of Saint Victor's Mystic Ark (c.1125–30) is among the most unusual sources we have for an understanding of medieval artistic culture. Depicting all time, all space, all matter, all human history and all spiritual striving, this highly polemical painting deals with a series of cultural issues crucial in the education of society's elite during one of the great periods of intellectual change in Western history.
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