French Art: Prehistory to the Middle Ages

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Flammarion, 1994 - Art - 336 pages
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The renowned art historian Andre Chastel intended his history of art in France from prehistoric times to the nineteenth century to be the crowning achievement of his long and distinguished career. The fruit of ten years of research and writing, this fully documented and erudite study goes beyond conventional art historical analysis to get at the heart of over two millenia of artistic creation. The first volume opens with the artifacts left behind by the earliest inhabitants of the area that forms modern France - prehistoric cave dwellers, Celts, Gallo-Romans, and Merovingians - which are examined in Part I, along with the stunning artistic achievements of Charlemagne and his Carolingian successors. Part II explores the development of monumental Romanesque and Gothic sculpture and architecture, as well as the growing importance of manuscript illumination, ivory carving, and precious metalwork. The late Gothic period is the subject of the last section, which concludes with the highly refined and stylized courtly art of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries - the final and perfect flowering of the medieval world. A synthesis of the social, economic, political and intellectual conditions of each period covered provides the context for a detailed examination of the works of art and documents featured in the copious illustrations. Chastel's exacting scholarship and lively and accessible style make this monumental and beautifully designed volume an essential reference for art historians and students as well as a superb gift for anyone seeking to comprehend fully the highest artistic achievements of French civilization.

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French art

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Perhaps because it was not in the vanguard of European art during the Renaissance, French art of this period has not garnered much appreciation or consideration outside of France. This translation of ... Read full review

French art

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Chastel completes his exquisite art historical trilogy (French Art: The Renaissance, 1430-1620, LJ 12/95; French Art: Prehistory to the Middle Ages, Flammarion, 1994) with this volume on the visual ... Read full review


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