Universe of Stone: Chartres Cathedral and the Invention of the Gothic

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Harper Collins, Mar 17, 2009 - Architecture - 336 pages
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Chartres Cathedral, south of Paris, is revered as one of the most beautiful and profound works of art in the Western canon. But what did it mean to those who constructed it in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries—and why was it built at such immense height and with such glorious play of light, in the soaring manner we now call Gothic?

In this eminently fascinating work, author Philip Ball makes sense of the visual and emotional power of Chartres and brilliantly explores how its construction—and the creation of other Gothic cathedrals—represented a profound and dramatic shift in the way medieval thinkers perceived their relationship with their world. Beautifully illustrated and written, filled with astonishing insight, Universe of Stone embeds the magnificent cathedral in the culture of the twelfth century—its schools of philosophy and science, its trades and technologies, its politics and religious debates—enabling us to view this ancient architectural marvel with fresh eyes.

 

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A Fascinating Biography of Chartes Cathedral

User Review  - Brian, Merch - Borders

For the lovers of BRUNELLESCHI’S DOME and MICHELANGELO AND THE POPE’S CEILING, or even of Huysman’s CATHEDRAL, this biography of Chartres Cathedral will prove a delight. Read full review

Contents

The Isle Rises
8
A Change of Style
23
Heaven on Earth
52
Seek Not to Know High Things
69
Building by Numbers
100
Masters of Works
136
Hammer and Stone
170
Underneath the Arches
193
Holy Radiance
233
Hard Labour
256
A New Beginning
281
Architectural Glossary
292
09
309
Index
317
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Philip Ball's book Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; his Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another won the UK's Aventis Prize. He is a consulting editor for Nature magazine, and he lives in London.

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