This book explores the role and function of the vision and the experience of the gigantic.
Assaf Pinkus is Professor of Art History at Tel Aviv University and Professor Honorarium at the University of Vienna. His diverse studies engage with Gothic art and late medieval culture; workshop practices and economic models; patronage, narrative and spectatorship; nonreligious experience and response; imagination and somaesthetics; violence imagery; and, most recently, the global history of giants. He is a recipient of ISF, Minerva, GIF, and Gerda Henkel research grants and several international prizes.
The visual landscape north of the Alps between the 14th and 16th centuries was shaped by colossal representations of epic and mythological giants, reincarnated and cast as Christian heroes. In contexts religious or lay, private or public, giants dominated urban spaces but also rural ones. They were painted on church facades and stood tall as sculptures in town squares. Rather than portraying specific characters from particular texts, the figures embodied the notion of “the gigantic” as it appeared in contemporary writings:
Introduction: Toward a Global History of Giants
Chapter 1 The Giant as the Late Medieval Sublime
Chapter 2 Being a Giant: Geographies and Temporalities
Chapter 3 Out of Scale: Experiencing the Gigantic
Chapter 4 A Giant in the City: The Protective Roland
Chapter 5 Chaos and Order in the Cities: Roland and his Companions
Chapter 6 Giants of London: Henry V’s Triumphal Entry
Epilogue: More Good then Evil