communicative content of a text or image, can provide a counterbalance to iconographic studies of medieval sculpture that privilege the producer of images and often ignore the viewer.” (Mathews 7) The viewer of an image can see it in a completely different way in contrast to the artist. If I lived in the 12th century and were to see Christ being tempted by a group of demons, I would kind of judge the person that made the sculpture and question whether or not he did it for good or evil. Another quote from the reading is when Mathews states, “The possibility of a common interpretive mode seems particularly likely for narrative art, which is so prominent in medieval architectural sculpture.” (Mathews 7) This restates what she said early but with context to the medieval ages. Since there is no description of the artwork of the cathedral, people will take what they see in different ways that might not always be positive, and especially in the medieval times, people were very intolerant of references to demons/ magic.
Karen Mathews thesis on the interpretation of the south portal of the cathedral of Santiago was well thought out. She brings to the reader some great thoughts to ponder about the different views that a viewer of art can have, giving different theories for each perspective. She even displays different views from scholars, one being “Scholarship on Romanesque architectural decoration has emphasized the role of sculpture as advertising for a shrine.” (Mathews 6) and another “The authors of the Historia Compostellana interpreted the urban rebellions in Santiago as the forces of evil overwhelming the good intentions of Bishop Gelmirez for his church and city.” (Mathews 6) I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the cathedral of Santiago and seeing all the different perspectives art can bring.
- Spring '14
- Ode, Mathews, South Portal, Karen Rose Mathews