Minerva 196

In this issue:

– Golden worlds: the art and power of precious manuscripts
– The birth of Gothic: the great age of cathedral-building in medieval Europe
– Ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
– She who must be obeyed: entering the realm of the goddesses at the British Museum
– Underground Naples: restoring an ancient necropolis

Cover Date: Jul / Aug 2022, Volume 33 Issue 4Postage Information: UK - free, Rest of World - Add £2


Availability: 90 in stock


The golden scene on our cover of the Buddha granting his disciples promises that they too may attain Buddhahood comes from a spectacularly lavish scroll of the Lotus Sutra. Beyond this opening image, the scroll contains exquisite gold calligraphy that is on display in an exhibition at the British Library along with many other equally sumptuous texts. They were produced in different parts of the world, out of different religious and political traditions, and using different techniques, but what unites them is the gleam of gold. As curators Annabel Teh Gallop, Eleanor Jackson, and Kathleen Doyle write, whether it is for a sacred text like the Lotus Sutra or a secular one like a land grant or a favour-currying diplomatic letter, gold has long been considered to have a special ability to elevate the status of a document.

Next, we visit Naples with Dalu Jones, as she takes us down into the Ipogeo dei Cristallini, a group of four ancient Greek tombs beneath the streets of the southern Italian city. Here, restorers are busy at work as they ready the sepulchral space for visitors, watched from on high by a large head of Medusa that once protected the deceased.

Protection from malevolent forces is one aspect of feminine power explored at a new exhibition at the British Museum. But as well as figures of compassion and salvation, some women were seen as destructive demonesses. Lindsay Fulcher guides us through some of the different attitudes to female spiritual power held by different cultures, and how these are expressed in art.

A spiritual theme continues in our next feature, when Emma J Wells tells us the story of how the Gothic style of architecture came to set the tone for medieval churches, with flying buttresses and ‘strainer’ arches deployed by abbots, master masons, and kings as they vied to create towering cathedrals filled with light.

Finally, we catch up with Christine Kondoleon, Laure Marest, and Phoebe Segal, curators at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, to hear about their work revitalising galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine art, which include everything from Archaic temple friezes to Cy Twombly’s 20th-century painting.

Additional information

Weight 0.234 kg
Rest of World Delivery



Volume 33

Published Year


Cover Date

Jul / Aug 2022

Volume Name

Volume 33 Issue 4

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top