Radical Marble : Architectural Innovation from Antiquity to the Present book cover
1st Edition

Radical Marble
Architectural Innovation from Antiquity to the Present

ISBN 9780367666866
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
190 Pages

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Book Description

Marble is one of the great veins through the architectural tradition and fundamental building block of the Mediterranean world, from the Parthenon of mid-fifth century Athens, which was constructed of pentelic marble, to Justinian’s Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and the Renaissance and Baroque basilica of St. Peter’s in the Vatican. Scholarship has done much in recent years to reveal the ways and means of marble. The use of colored marbles in Roman imperial architecture has recently been the subject of a major exhibition and the medieval traditions of marble working have been studied in the context of family genealogies and social networks. In addition, architectural historians have revealed the meanings evoked by marble revetted and paved surfaces, from Heavenly Jerusalem to frozen water. The present volume builds upon the body of recent and emerging research - from antiquity to the present day - to embrace a global focus and address the more unusual (or at least unexpected) uses, meanings, and aesthetic appeal of marble. It presents instances where the use of marble has revolutionized architectural practice, suggested new meaning for the built environment, or defined a new aesthetic - moments where this well-known material has been put to radical use.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Radical Marble: Architecture and Innovation from Antiquity to Modernity 1. Decoration as Deliberate Design: the Strategic Display of Polychrome Marbles at the Baths of Caracalla 2. Justinian’s Hagia Sophia, Angels and Restlessness 3. Controversial Continuities. Giacinto Gimma and the Art of Marble Intarsia 4. ‘In Bright tints ... Nature’s Own Formation’: the Uses and Meaning of Marble in Victorian Building Culture 5. The Silent Seed of Modernity: How Marble Made Rationalism 6. "In consequence of their whiteness": Photographing Marble Sculpture from Talbot to Today 7.The Radical Politics of Marble in Fascist Italy


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J. Nicholas Napoli (Ph.D. Princeton) lives in Brooklyn and currently works with GKV Architects in New York; previously, he taught History of Art and Architecture at the University of York, University of Virginia, and Pratt Institute. He was a visiting senior fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in 2013, and published his book on the Certosa di San Martino in Naples with Ashgate in 2015.

William Tronzo (Ph.D. Harvard) is Senior Teaching Professor in History of Art, Architecture and Landscape and Director of European Studies at the University of California, San Diego.