Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 01 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Focusing on the glitter of gold in a fourteenth-century Byzantine cross—today inserted in the famous reliquary of Cardinal Bessarion, Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia—this chapter uncovers the important role phenomenology plays in the study of the spiritual operations of medieval art. The analysis draws on the inscriptions written on the cross in order to explore how gold’s sparkle functions as a vision of Paradise nourished by the Byzantine liturgy. This renewed engagement with the ephemerality of coruscation challenges the current neo-materialist turn in the humanities invested in semiotics, and argues by contrast that medieval matter is a medium of the spirit, whose descent and in-dwelling unfolds as a sensually saturated event and experience. Glitter, this chapter contends, enacts an optical manifestation—temporal and kinaesthetic—of divine ‘nearness’.

Keywords: cross, phenomenology, glitter, filigree, materiality, Byzantine liturgy

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.