This is the first full-length study of the enigmatic Early Medieval chapel near the river Clitunno in central Umbria. Judson Emerick makes the Tempietto del Clitunno, a celebrated art-historical test case, the focus of a study that penetrates to the deep structure of the discipline.
For centuries scholars have puzzled over the chapel's lavish Corinthian column screens, the crosses surrounded by Neo-Attic vine scrolls in its pedimental reliefs, and the Christian Latin inscriptions in huge Neo-Augustan block capitals from its friezes. The sixteenth-century humanists who named the building the "Tempietto del Clitunno" treated it as an ancient Roman temple that the Christians later converted. But modern art historians, learning that the Tempietto had been built from the ground up as a chapel, declared it an anomaly, the product of a most startling and unexpected Early Christian and medieval classical revival.
Emerick intervenes by critiquing the notion of classical revival in medieval architecture. Impatient with the old Enlightenment historical plot that makes the Tempietto into a dark-age prodigy, Emerick boldly redescribes the architectural record to take away the Tempietto's strangeness. He shows conclusively that the chapel's orders, pedimental reliefs, and inscriptions conform to ancient Roman Imperial Corinthian standards, but then goes on to show that just this Corinthian decorative system was frequent, even normal in festive, public, Christian cult rooms from Constantine's day down through the twelfth century.
History of style as an end in itself yields here to style treated as political phenomenon. Emerick turns to the frescoes on the Tempietto's rear apse wall for clues to the builders' political goals. He explains how grandees from the medieval Lombardo-Frankish Duchy of Spoleto, full participants in a Christian theocratic state, set up an array of Mediterranean icons inside the Tempietto to enhance their social and political control. The chapel's Corinthian decorative system, he concludes, must be integral to this political program.
Verse inscriptions in stone appeared in abundance on the fa ades of Romanesque churches in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Marking the place where medieval worshippers were transported from secular to sacred space, portal verse inscriptions provide important, and often overlooked, insights into the dynamic function of the portals and their art.
The Allegory of the Church is the first full-length study of Romanesque verse inscriptions in the context of church portals and portal sculpture, and is the product of a twenty-year study. Calvin B. Kendall demonstrates how these inscriptions served to express the role of the church building as a concrete allegory of Christ and the Church. Describing them in detail, he traces the history and nature of the changes in allegorical interpretation of the inscriptions until, as medieval assumptions about language and rhetoric changed, they were finally abandoned by Gothic artists.
An exemplary work of interdisciplinary scholarship, The Allegory of the Church includes a detailed catalogue of Romanesque verse inscriptions.
The widespread construction of castles in Britain began as soon as Duke William of Normandy set foot on the shores of southern England in 1066. The castles that were constructed in the ensuing centuries, and whose ruins still scatter the British countryside today, provide us with an enduring record of the needs and ambitions of the times. But the essence of the medieval castle--a structure that is equal parts military, residential, and symbolic--reveals itself not only through the grandeur of such architectural masterpieces as the Tower of London, and the imposing nature of such royal residences as Windsor, but also in the aging masonry carvings, enduring battlements, and more modest earthen ramparts that have survived alongside them. Through a feature-by-feature account of the architectural elements and techniques used in constructing the medieval castle, author Lise Hull allows the multiple functions of these multifarious forms to shine through, and in so doing, lends a new vitality to the thousand faces that the medieval world assumed to discourage its enemies, inspire its friends, and control its subjects.
This compelling investigation takes a unique look at each of the medieval castle's main roles: as an offensive presentation and defensive fortification, as a residential and administrative building, and as a symbolic structure demonstrating the status of its owner. Each chapter focuses on one specific role and uses concrete architectural features to demonstrate that aspect of the medieval castle in Britain. A wealth of illustrations is also provided, as is a glossary explaining the distinct parts of the castle and their functions. This book should be of interest to students researching architecture, the Middle Ages, or military history, as well as general readers interested in castles or considering a trip to Britain to observe some of these magnificent sites themselves.
From their introduction in the early twelfth century the Cistercians were one of the leading monastic orders in Britain. Many of the finest monastic remains - Fountains, Rievaulx and Tintern - are Cistercian. This 1986 book is a comprehensive survey of Cistercian art and architecture in the British Isles. The various contributions, all by leading specialists, cover the historical and literary background; the development of Cistercian architecture (especially in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when the Cistercians were in the forefront of architectural achievement, playing an important role in the introduction and dissemination of the Gothic style); and art forms such as wall painting, stained glass, tile pavements, and manuscript illumination, as well as liturgy and music. These studies reveal what was distinctively Cistercian in the art and architecture of the Order, and permit a distinct understanding of the remarkable contribution of the Cistercians to the culture of medieval Britain.
Fortress-Churches of Languedoc traces the changing relationship between military and religious realms as expressed in architecture across medieval Europe. The scholarship of medieval architecture has traditionally imposed a division between military and ecclesiastical structures. Often, however, medieval churches were provided with fortified enclosures, crenellations, iron-barred doors and other elements of defence, demonstrating the strong link between Church and state, and the military and religious realms. In her study of fortress-churches, Sheila Bonde focuses on three twelfth-century monuments in southern France - Maguelone, Agde and Saint-Pon-de-Thomiere, which are among the earliest examples of the type. She analyses her archaeological surveys of these structures, and also re-examines their documentation, which is here presented both in the original Latin and in English translations. The book also explores the larger context of fortification and authority in twelfth-century Languedoc and examines the dynamics of architectural exchange and innovation in the Mediterranean at a moment of critical historical importance."
The great Gothic cathedrals of Europe are among the most astonishing achievements of Western culture. Evoking feelings of awe and humility, they make us want to understand what inspired the people who had the audacity to build them. This engrossing book surveys an era that has fired the historical imagination for centuries. In it Robert A. Scott explores why medieval people built Gothic cathedrals, how they built them, what conception of the divine lay behind their creation, and how religious and secular leaders used cathedrals for social and political purposes. As a traveler's companion or a rich source of knowledge for the armchair enthusiast, The Gothic Enterprise helps us understand how ordinary people managed such tremendous feats of physical and creative energy at a time when technology was rudimentary, famine and disease were rampant, the climate was often harsh, and communal life was unstable and incessantly violent.
While most books about Gothic cathedrals focus on a particular building or on the cathedrals of a specific region, The Gothic Enterprise considers the idea of the cathedral as a humanly created space. Scott discusses why an impoverished people would commit so many social and personal resources to building something so physically stupendous and what this says about their ideas of the sacred, especially the vital role they ascribed to the divine as a protector against the dangers of everyday life.
Scott's narrative offers a wealth of fascinating details concerning daily life during medieval times. The author describes the difficulties master-builders faced in scheduling construction that wouldn't be completed during their own lifetimes, how they managed without adequate numeric systems or paper on which to make detailed drawings, and how climate, natural disasters, wars, variations in the hours of daylight throughout the year, and the celebration of holy days affected the pace and timing of work. Scott also explains such things as the role of relics, the quarrying and transporting of stone, and the incessant conflict cathedral-building projects caused within their communities. Finally, by drawing comparisons between Gothic cathedrals and other monumental building projects, such as Stonehenge, Scott expands our understanding of the human impulses that shape our landscape.
With meticulous research and carefully chosen illustrations, Phoebe Stanton here explores the influence of the English Gothic revival on American church architecture in the mid-nineteenth century, arguing that this fundamentally conservative movement provided a foundation for a new aesthetic. Examining the writings of the movement's leading proponents as well as a variety of important buildings, Stanton offers a comprehensive survey of the architectural principles and models that became most influential in America. She also confirms the importance of the Cambridge Camden Society, which provided the theoretical atmosphere and practical examples that helped to establish new standards of excellence in American architecture.
Great Gothic Cathedrals of France guides readers on a tour of twelve French cathedrals that best exemplify one of the greatest glories of Western civilization. From the beautiful facade of Notre-Dame in Paris to the transcendent beauty of the stained glass at Chartres, this book clarifies the significant elements of their architecture by means of its text and images. The cathedrals of Amiens, Paris, Saint Denis, Chartres, Reims, Laon, Noyon, Soissons, Sens, Beauvais, Bourges and Troyes as well as Sainte-Chapelle are all presented to give the reader and visitor to France a clear understanding of these extraordinary buildings. This publication also provides the reader with a chapter on how to "read" a stained glass window.