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Cover image for Cathedrals of Europe
Format:
Title:
Cathedrals of Europe
Uniform Title:
Cathédrales d'Europe. English
Author:
ISBN:
9780801437816
Publication Information:
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
279 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Contents:
From the church of Antiquity to the Medieval cathedral -- Ottonian and Romanesque cathedrals -- Cathedrals of the Gothic Age.
Summary:
"The great Medieval cathedrals are among the most remarkable monuments of that era. Art historian Anne Prache takes us on an amazing journey through the Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals still at the heart of ancient European cities, exploring the awe-inspiring buildings and the great riches they contain." "Prache surveys the history of church building from its humble beginnings in Late Antiquity through the construction of such masterworks of the Gothic style as Reims, Strasbourg, and Wells. Throughout, she reminds us that these magnificent expressions of faith also reflected their builders' hopes and fears, technical expertise, political views, and the ever-changing economic and social realities with which they had to contend."--Jacket.
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726.6094 Prache 2000
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Summary

Summary

The great Medieval cathedrals are among the most remarkable monuments of that era. The noted art historian Anne Prache takes us on an amazing journey through the Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals still at the heart of ancient European cities, exploring the awe-inspiring buildings and the great riches they contain.

Cathedrals of Europe stands out among other volumes on the subject in several key ways. Most of its stunning photographs are new, taken especially for this book; the pictures are combined with text that is both authoritative and extremely readable. Rather than concentrating only on such familiar monuments as Notre Dame and Chartres, the author covers many of the more obscure and less frequently visited cathedrals from Italy to Scandinavia, Poland to Portugal.

Prache surveys the history of church building from its humble beginnings in Late Antiquity through the construction of such masterworks of the Gothic style as Reims, Strasbourg, and Wells. Throughout, she reminds us that these magnificent expressions of faith also reflected their builders' hopes and fears, technical expertise, political views, and the ever-changing economic and social realities with which they had to contend.

The works of art that adorn the cathedrals--sculptures, paintings, mosaics, stained glass, furniture, and more--receive particular attention. Study of these aspects, Prache says, provides an "understanding of the aspirations, sufferings, fears, and faith of generations long removed in time."


Reviews 2

Choice Review

The general title of this beautifully produced and richly illustrated (mostly in color) volume is misleading. It is not just another coffee-table book on such great architectural works as Chartres, Notre Dame, and Canterbury; it ranges, surprising, from early Christian to late medieval in chronological chapters covering France, Italy, England, Germany, Spain, and even Portugal, Scandinavia, and Poland. Though concentrating on the architecture and including plans and original drawings, Prache (emer., The Sorbonne) also covers stained glass, sculpture, mosaics, wall paintings, and minor arts. She writes authoritatively, although the tiny captions on the fascinating illustrations are hard to read. The scholarly organization is exemplary; the excellent bibliography is arranged by individual buildings. Most surprising of all are the unhackneyed and beautifully reproduced illustrations of building details, illuminated manuscripts, metalwork, and mosaics. Highly recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduate and graduate students. T. J. McCormick; Wheaton College (MA)


Library Journal Review

The length and breadth of cathedral cultureDbuildings, decorations, windows, furnishings, art, illuminated liturgical manuscripts, relics, and treasuresDare covered in this English translation of a historical survey first published in 1999. Prolific medievalist Prache (art history, Sorbonne; Chartres Cathedral, o.p.) shares her profound knowledge in lengthy, well-disposed essays on major periods from the fourth century to the late Middle Ages. The explanatory sections on stained glass, mosaics, manuscripts, cloisters, and sculptured doorways are outstanding, as are the detailed photographsDmany of which were commissioned for the book. The scope is pan-European, with smaller, less-visited cathedrals also receiving attention. The bibliography is divided into periods and individual sites. Despite the text's small font size and the lack of a glossary, this single-volume overview is highly recommended.DRussell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Introduction
1 From the church of Antiquity to the Medieval Cathedralp. 11
The Fourth Century: The First Churchesp. 12
The Cathedral in the High Middle Agesp. 20
Historical backgroundp. 21
Art and architecturep. 22
The Carolingian Cathedralp. 30
Historical backgroundp. 31
Art and architecturep. 33
Decoration, furnishings and treasuresp. 35
2 Ottonian and Romanesque cathedralsp. 47
Historical Backgroundp. 48
Cathedrals of the Ottonian Erap. 52
Art and architecturep. 53
Furnishings and works of artp. 57
Treasures and illuminated manuscriptsp. 61
Manuscript illumination outside the Empirep. 67
Romanesque Cathedralsp. 74
Architecturep. 75
The cathedrals of Central Europe and Scandinaviap. 83
The cathedrals of Italy and Sicilyp. 89
The cathedrals of Spain and Portugalp. 108
The cathedrals of France and Belgiump. 111
English cathedralsp. 116
Decoration, furnishings and treasuresp. 121
3 Cathedrals of the Gothic Agep. 143
Historical Backgroundp. 144
The late twelfth and the thirteenth centuryp. 145
The crisis of the fourteenth centuryp. 148
The end of the Middle Agesp. 148
The First Gothic Cathedralsp. 150
The art of buildingp. 151
Twelfth-century Gothic cathedralsp. 157
French cathedrals of the thirteenth centuryp. 166
The spread of the Gothic cathedralp. 187
Cathedrals of the Late Middle Agesp. 216
Cathedrals of Englandp. 217
Cathedrals of Central Europep. 223
Cathedrals of Italyp. 233
Cathedrals of Francep. 237
Cathedrals of Spainp. 240
Decorations and furnishingsp. 247
Conclusionp. 252
Notesp. 265
Bibliographyp. 266
Analytical Indexp. 270
Iluminated Liturgical Manuscriptsp. 40
Polychrome Decoration: Paving and Interiorsp. 70
Cathedral Cloisters: Havens of Tranquilityp. 139
Sculpted Doorwaysp. 211
The Coloured Light of Stained Glass Windowsp. 257