916 pages | 1467 Color Illus. | 253 B/W Illus.
This volume tells the story of European architecture in the ‘middle ages’ – from the destruction by northern barbarians of Rome and the urban society it had fostered to the rediscovery of Classical values and the rebirth of humanism in 15th-century Italy.
This period saw the evolution of feudalism, with its patterns of dependency and obligation, the establishment of monasticism in its varied forms, and the rise of the Holy Roman Empire. The art and architecture that emerged alongside this profound social reordering is known as Romanesque. Based on the legacy of ancient Rome, it included elements from Carolingian, Ottonian, Byzantine and northern European traditions. This synthesis produced some of its most powerful monuments in the glorious abbey churches that a period of prosperity and political stability fostered in unprecedented numbers.
Romanesque architecture was succeeded by the Gothic, a movement that originated at the abbey of S. Denis in France in the 12th century. Structurally daring, it heralded a new architecture of light, most enduringly expressed in great cathedrals, subsequently in the growing sophistication of houses and civic architecture as feudal magnates increasingly ceded power to the central authority.
The book ends with the Italian rediscovery of Classical ideas and ideals and the emergence of the great Renaissance theorists and architects, including Brunelleschi, Alberti and Bramante. As well as the palazzos, villas and churches of Renaissance Italy, this period saw the building of great châteaux in France, palaces in Germany and the golden-domed cathedrals of Russia.
With more than two thousand images, including many plans, The West is an unprecedented single-volume survey of the period, covering the whole of Europe from Ireland to Russia, and placing architectural developments within their political, technological, artistic and intellectual contexts.
Part 1: Renovation of Gravitas Prologue 1.1. Empire Regained and Relapsed 1.2. The Centre: Holy Roman Empire 1.3. The East: Towards the Third Rome 1.4. The West: Post Carolingian Diversity Part 2: Refraction of Light Introductions to the Gothic Age 2.1. Light Into Stone: The Gothic Cathedral 2.2. Secular Building in the Gothic Age Part 3: Revival of Classicism Introduction 3.1. Cataclysm and Classicism at Large Epilogue: From Medieval Towards Neo-Classical Abroad Conclusion Glossary Further Reading Index
Architecture in Context is a series of seven books by Christopher Tadgell describing and illustrating all the seminal traditions from man’s early settlements in the Euphrates and Jordan valleys to the technologically complex and stylistically sophisticated buildings of the second half of the twentieth century. In a synthesis of extraordinary range, it brings together the fruits of a lifetime of teaching and travelling the world, seeing and photographing buildings. Each stand-alone volume sets the buildings described and illustrated within their political, technological, social and cultural contexts, exploring architecture not only as the development of form but as an expression of the civilization within which it evolved.
The series focuses on the story of the Classical tradition from its origins in Mesopotamia and Egypt, through its realization in ancient Greece and Rome, to the Renaissance, Neo-Classicism, Eclecticism and Modernism. This thread is supplemented with excursions to cover the development of architecture in Central America, India, South-East Asia, and the Islamic world.
For students of architecture and art history, for travellers and for readers who want to understand the genesis of the buildings they see around them, each volume provides a complete, readable and superbly illustrated reference.