Arts of the Medieval Cathedrals: Studies on Architecture, Stained Glass and Sculpture in Honor of Anne Prache, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Arts of the Medieval Cathedrals

Studies on Architecture, Stained Glass and Sculpture in Honor of Anne Prache, 1st Edition

Edited by Kathleen Nolan, Dany Sandron


314 pages

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Hardback: 9781472440556
pub: 2015-06-05
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The touchstones of Gothic monumental art in France - the abbey church of Saint-Denis and the cathedrals of Chartres, Reims, and Bourges - form the core of this collection dedicated to the memory of Anne Prache. The essays reflect the impact of Prache’s career, both as a scholar of wide-ranging interests and as a builder of bridges between the French and American academic communities. Thus the authors include scholars in France and the United States, both academics and museum professionals, while the thematic matrix of the book, divided into architecture, stained glass, and sculpture, reflects the multiple media explored by Prache during her long career. The essays employ a varied range of methodologies to explore Gothic monuments. The chapters in the architectural section include an intensive archeological analysis of the foundations of Reims Cathedral, the close reading of a late medieval literary text for a symbolic understanding of Paris, and essays that explore the medieval use of practical geometry in designing entire buildings and their components. Saint-Denis, Reims, and Chartres, all monuments studied by Prache, are discussed in the next part, on stained glass. These chapters demonstrate how old problems can be clarified by new evidence, whether from the accessibility of previously unknown archival information, for Reims, or through revelations that arise from restoration, at Chartres. These essays also include a study showing the complexity of making attributions for the storied glass of Saint-Denis. The final set of essays likewise takes different approaches to sculpture, whether constructing links to the liturgy at Reims, or discussing the meaning of a sculptural ensemble studied by Prache early in her career, the cloister of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux in Châlons-en-Champagne, or scrupulously examining the façade sculpture at Bourges Cathedral for insights into the design process. As a whole, the volume provides a window onto key directions in the study of

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword, Kathleen Nolan and Dany Sandron; Preface; Anne Prache: a distinctive approach to the history of architecture, Dany Sandron; Introduction, Kathleen Nolan. Part I Architecture: The 13th-century foundations of Notre-Dame de Reims: new evidence for the construction history of the cathedral, Walter Berry; Cathedral, palace, hôtel: architectural emblems of an ideal society, Michael T. Davis; Ambulatories, arcade screens, and visual experience from Saint-Remi to Saint-Quentin, Ellen M. Shortell; Roriczer, Schmuttermayer, and two late Gothic portals at The Cloisters, Nancy Wu. Part II Stained Glass: Stained glass and the chronology of Reims Cathedral, Sylvie Balcon-Berry; Joseph's Dream in the Thomson Collection: reconsidering the reconstruction of the Infancy of Christ window from Suger’s Saint-Denis, Michael W. Cothren; The west rose window of the cathedral of Chartres, Claudine Lautier; Out with the new and in with the old: Jacques Coeur’s Annunciation window and its reception in Bourges Cathedral, Philippe Lorentz. Part III Sculpture: Teachers, preachers, and the Good Shepherd at Reims Cathedral: another look at the radiating chapel sculptures, William W. Clark; The function of drawings in the planning of Gothic sculpture: evidence from the archivolts of the central portal of Bourges Cathedral, Fabienne Joubert; Joseph at Chartres: sculpture lost and found, Charles T. Little; Filiae Hierusalem: female statue-columns from Notre-Dame-en-Vaux, Kathleen Nolan and Susan Leibacher Ward; A little-known work from the 14th century: the façade of the cathedral of Lyons, Nicolas Reveyron. Afterword, Gérard P. Prache; Index.

About the Editors

Kathleen Nolan is Professor of Art History at Hollins University, Roanoke, VA, USA. Dany Sandron is Professor of the History of Art and Archaeology of the Middle Ages at the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), Paris, France, where he is also Director of the Centre André-Chastel.

About the Series

AVISTA Studies in the History of Medieval Technology, Science and Art

AVISTA Studies in History of Medieval Technology, Science and Art is a series organised by AVISTA (The Association Villard de Honnecourt for Interdisciplinary Study of Medieval Technology, Science and Art). The aim of the series is to promote the cross-disciplinary objectives of AVISTA by publishing in the areas of the history of science, technology, architecture, and art. The society takes its name from Villard (Wilars) de Honnecourt, an elusive persona of the 13th century whose autograph portfolio contains a variety of fascinating drawings and descriptions of both the fine and mechanical arts.

For further information about the series please contact Michael Greenwood at


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / History / Medieval
HISTORY / Social History