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Towards a Social History of Art: Defining "Mozarabic"

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Medieval Spanish art posed a particular problem for art historians due to the difficulty in reconciling strcmg formal differences between perceived Classicism on the one hand and foreign "Mozarabic" elements on the other. The connotations of such formal designations reveal much about larger perceptions of historical development at the beginning of this century. The term "Mozarabic" in early essays by Meyer Schapiro among others attained its definition solely in opposition to other earlier and later styles. It was understood in a pejorative light as the inferior counterpart to other formal idioms such as the Romanesque.


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