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The Heritage Of Saint Bernard In Medieval Art

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Chapter Summary

That Bernard's personality was multi-faceted is a truism acknowledged by most Bernardine scholars. The abbot of Cîteaux's attempt to curb the cult of Bernard may also have put a damper on the portrayals of the saint in art. More important, however, was Bernard's own opposition to figural representations in a Cistercian context. Bernard in the visual arts has much to say about the evolution of the Cistercian Order and the wider medieval Church as the centuries unfurled. However, this change is eclipsed by the greater knowledge of the saint through the stories in the Golden Legend, by the dissemination of his works, and by the rise of pseudo-Bernard texts.

Keywords: medieval art; Saint Bernard



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