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Ottonian Imperial Art and Portraiture represents the first art historical consideration of the patronage of the Ottonian Emperors Otto III (983-1002) and Henry II (1002-1024). Author Eliza Garrison analyzes liturgical artworks created for both rulers with the larger goal of addressing the ways in which individual art objects and the collections to which they belonged were perceived as elements of a material historical narrative and as portraits. Since these objects and images had the capacity to stand in for the ruler in his physical absence, she argues, they also performed political functions that were bound to their ritualized use in the liturgy t only during the ruler's lifetime, but even after his death. Garrison investigates how treasury objects could relay officially sanctioned information in a manner that texts alone could t, offering the first full length exploration of this central phemen of the Ottonian era.
Eliza Garrison is Assistant Professor of Art History at Middlebury College, USA.