The medieval cult of saints: formations and transformations explores the politacal economy and visual topography of the cult of saint in Medieval Europe. Especially in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, litugies for veneration of saints were incorporated into public spectacles staged in sumptuous architecture and coordinated with market fairs that attracted audiences of locals and pilgrim visitors. Using more than thirty picture cycles of saints’live in a range of media, published together for the first time, Abou-el-Hay examines a spectrum of cult practices. She argues that repeated and emphasized subjects visualized renewal, expansion, and fierce competition among cults.,
She then applies her results to the history of one monastry and its cult, St. Amand d’Elnone, where three distinct illustrated versions of its patron’s life, produced over a hundred years, document how the covent shifted the visual record of its patron as it devised economic strategies to protect its property and privileges.