A historian of medieval art and architecture with a rich appreciation of literary studies, Stephen Murray brings all those fields to bear on a new approach to understanding the great Gothic churches of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
Plotting Gothic positions the rhetoric of the Gothic as a series of three interlocking plots: a spatial plot tied to the material construction of the churches, a social plot stemming from the collaborative efforts that made Gothic output possible, and a rhetorical plot involving narratives that treat the churches as objects of desire. Drawing on the testimony of three witnesses involved in church building—Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis, Gervase of Canterbury, and the image maker Villard de Honnecourt—and a range of secondary sources, Murray traces common patterns in the way medieval buildings were represented in words and images. Our witnesses provide vital information about the way the great churches of Gothic were built and the complexity of their meanings. Taking a fresh approach to Gothic architecture, Plotting Gothic offers an invigorating new way to understand some of the most lasting achievements of the medieval era.
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Part I Three Eyewitnesses of Gothic
Part II Staking Out the Plot
Part III Animating the Plot
Abbot Suger administratione altar Amiens Cathedral Andreas Speer archbishop architec architectural forms Architectural History architectural production artisans audience Becket bishop builders Canterbury Cathedral Carl Barnes century chapels chevet choir Christ clergy columns consecration consecratione construction divine edifice Figure France French geometric Gervase of Canterbury Gervase’s Gothic architecture Gothic cathedral History of Canterbury Ibid images interlocutor kind king liturgical look masonry master mason material meaning modern monastic monks monument multiple narrative natural nave notion Notre-Dame of Paris object of desire Panofsky passage Paul Frankl Peter Kidson plot pointed arch prototypes Reims Cathedral relics represent rhetorical rib vaults Robert Willis role S-Denis Saint-Denis saints Sedlmayr seen Simson space Stephen Murray stone story of Gothic storytelling structure Stubbs suggested templates things three witnesses tion Tractatus Troyes Cathedral understood vesci Villard de Honnecourt Villard Enterprise Viollet-le-Duc western frontispiece William of Sens words written sources