Before the Renaissance and Reformation, holy images were treated not as "art" but as objects of veneration which possessed the tangible presence of the Holy. In this magisterial book, Hans Belting traces the long history of the sacral image and its changing role in European culture. Likeness and Presence looks at the beliefs, superstitions, hopes, and fears that come into play as people handle and respond to sacred images, and presents a compelling interpretation of the place of the image in Western history.
Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image Before the Era of Art
University of Chicago Press