That Divine Order

Music and the Visual Arts from Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century
That Divine Order
Music and the Visual Arts from Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century
By Peter Vergo
Phaidon Press, 2005
ISBN 0 7148 4351 2

The links between the visual and music arts has always been a strong one. This can be at the inspirational level, the structural or the theoretical. Both draw structure from mathematical linkages, whether it be divine proportion, the music scale, theories on color and note progressions. The assumption had been made since Pythagorean times of the divine nature of music and many artists aspired to bring that divinity across into the visual arts.

In this book the author takes an in-depth look at these issues and makes detailed comparisons between music and visual art practices. He also examines how the relationship changed over time. The book is divided into chapters that follow in chronological sequence over the long period of time the book covers, they are:
*    The Cry of the Phoenix
*    Spherical Music
*    Gothic Architecture and Polyphony
*    Divine Harmonies
*    Mode and Mood
*    Melodies for the Eye
*    Epilogue: Color-Music – The Art of Light
The Epilogue brings the book forward to the 19th and early 20th Centuries.

This academic book will appeal to students of art history and theory as well as practicing artists of a thoughtful and intellectual disposition. Well written and with thoughtful insights, this is an excellent book for those interested in exploring this important area. Recommended.

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