This volume examines the relationship between preaching and art,
addressing with particular detail the use of works of art in
preaching and the importance of the pulpit itself. A challenging
issue in the field of sermon studies is the relationship between
preaching and art, in particular the manner in which preachers used
works of art in their preaching and described specific pictures in
their sermons; and the pulpit itself.
The thesis of the book is that pulpits should be viewed in the
context of the world of preaching in Renaissance Florence and in
connection with sacred oratory. Indeed, like preached sermons,
pulpits used rhetorical strategies to deliver religious messages.
The author adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the topic by
combining art history, historical analysis, and sermon studies; and
she examines the pulpit's patronage, location, and function as well
as its chronological development. This book combines a general
survey of pulpits in Tuscany, with close analysis of five specific
pulpits. Designed and executed by important artists located in
Florence and Prato, these five pulpits are the most exquisite and
impressive monuments of their type, and each has a complex and rich
iconographic programme. The author reveals that the period between
the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries constitutes a distinct
phase in the development of pulpits, different from the earlier
tradition, and from pulpits constructed after the Council of Trent
and during the Catholic Reformation.
Debby Nirit Ben-Aryeh received her PhD from the Hebrew
University and was a Postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. She
currently teaches at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.