Radical Marble: Architectural Innovation from Antiquity to the Present, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Radical Marble

Architectural Innovation from Antiquity to the Present, 1st Edition

Edited by J. Nicholas Napoli, William Tronzo


176 pages | 24 Color Illus. | 51 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-04-16
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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

Inroduction: J. Nicholas Napoli and William Tronzo

Chapter 1. Decoration as Deliberate Design: the Strategic Display of Polychrome Marbles at the Baths of Caracalla

Maryl B. Gensheimer

Chapter 2. Justinian’ s Hagia Sophia, angels and restlessness

William Tronzo

Chapter 3. Controversial Continuities. Giacinto Gimma and the Art of Marble Intarsia

Joris van Gastel

Chapter 4. ‘In Bright tints … Nature’s Own Formation’: the Uses and Meaning of Marble in Victorian Building Culture

G. A. Bremner

Chapter 5. The Silent Seed of Modernity: How Marble made Rationalism

Daniele Vadalà

Chapter 6. "In consequence of their whiteness": Photographing Marble Sculpture from Talbot to Today

Geraldine Johnson

Chapter 7. The Radical Politics of Marble in Fascist Italy

David Rifkind


About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Art History

Routledge Research in Art History is our home for the latest scholarship in the field of art history. The series publishes research monographs and edited collections, covering areas including art history, theory, and visual culture. These high-level books focus on art and artists from around the world and from a multitude of time periods. By making these studies available to the worldwide academic community, the series aims to promote quality art history research.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / History / General
ARCHITECTURE / History / Ancient & Classical
ARCHITECTURE / History / Contemporary (1945-)
ART / General
ART / History / General
ART / History / Ancient & Classical
ART / History / Contemporary (1945-)
ART / Art & Politics
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Ancient / Rome
HISTORY / Renaissance