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Even in an age of soaring skyscrapers and cavernous sports stadiums, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence still retains a rare power to astonish. Yet the elegance of the building belies the tremendous labour, technical ingenuity and bitter personal strife involved in its creation. For over a century after work on the cathedral began in 1296, the proposed dome was regarded as all but impossible to build because of its enormous size. The greatest architectural puzzle of its age, when finally completed in 1436 the dome was hailed as one of the great wonders of the world. It has gone down in history as a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. This book tells the extraordinary story of how the cupola was raised and of the dome's architect, the brilliant and volatile Filippo Brunelleschi. Denounced as a madman at the start of his labours, he was celebrated at their end as a great genius. His life was one of ambition, ingenuity, rivalry and intrigue - a human drama set against the plagues, wars, political feuds and intellectual ferments of Renaissance Florence, the glorious era for which the dome remains the most compelling symbol. Brunelleschi's Dome was voted Non-Fiction Book of the Year by American Independent Booksellers.
Minarets have defined Cairo's skyline since its early history: they are one of the most characteristic features of Islamic architecture. In Egypt, where civilizations have manifested themselves through awe-inspiring structures since antiquity, 'a thousand minarets' reveal the impact of Islamic civilization and urban aesthetics. "The Minarets of Cairo" offers an accessible and vivid insight into the religious, historical and architectural significance of the minaret in Cairo from the Arab Conquest, through the Abbasid, Fatimid, Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman periods. Students and scholars will welcome historian and art historian Doris Behrens-Abouseif's excellent new research and analysis as well as over one hundred illustrated entries for individual minarets, brought to life by Nicholas Warner's masterly architectural drawings and reconstructions. With nearly three hundred illustrations, this beautiful book provides depth and color, displaying to full effect historic Cairo's most impressive monuments.
Between the ninth and fourteenth century, hundreds of
architecturally exquisite Byzantine churches, many of them adorned
with beautiful frescoes, were built in the area now known as the
Republic of Macedonia. The condition of these buildings has been of
ongoing concern because of deterioration and destruction from
forces both human and natural, including devastating
Before the Mughal style came to dominate the Islamic architecture of the Indian sub-continent, Bengal and its rulers had developed their own forms. The mosque architecture of the Independent Sultanate period (from the 14th to the 16th centuries) represents the most important element of the Islamic architecture of Bengal. This distinctive regional style drew its inspiration from the indigenous vernacular architecture of Bengal, itself heavily influenced by Hindu/Buddhist temple architecture. The early Muslim architecture of Bangladesh is an important but little studied part of the architectural heritage of the Islamic world and the Indian sub-continent. Perween Hasan's work is a most original contribution to this subject.
This book is devoted to the former Viennese synagogues that were destroyed and thus disappeared irretrievably from the face of the city. With the help of computer-aided design and rapid prototyping, a working group was able to virtually rebuild the destroyed synagogues. Historical photographs and plans from the time these synagogues were built are contrasted with the virtual reconstructions. Together with the accompanying texts, the book provides a complete image of the individual houses of prayer. Of particular interest are the re-creations of the urban fabric that place the destroyed synagogues in the context of the present-day city. (Series: Stadtbildverluste - Vol. 4)
This book is about the Christ Pantokrator, an imposing monumental complex serving monastic, dynastic, medical and social purposes in Constantinople, founded by Emperor John II Komnenos and Empress Piroska-Eirene in 1118. Now called the Zeyrek Mosque, the second largest Byzantine religious edifice after Hagia Sophia still standing in Istanbul represents the most remarkable architectural and the most ambitious social project of the Komnenian dynasty. This volume approaches the Pantokrator from a special perspective, focusing on its co-founder, Empress Piroska-Eirene, the daughter of the Hungarian king Ladislaus I. This particular vantage point enables its authors to explore not only the architecture, the monastic and medical functions of the complex, but also Hungarian-Byzantine relations, the cultural and religious history of early medieval Hungary, imperial representation, personal faith and dynastic holiness. Piroska's wedding with John Komnenos came to be perceived as a union of East and West. The life of the Empress, a "sainted ruler," and her memory in early Arpadian Hungary and Komnenian Byzantium are discussed in the context of women and power, monastic foundations, architectural innovations, and spiritual models.
St. Peter's in the Vatican has a long and turbulent history. First constructed in the fourth century to honor the tomb of St. Peter, it gained enormous prestige as a repository of holy relics, objects and events during the course of the Middle Ages. After the return of the papacy from Avignon in the fifteenth century, the Early Christian edifice was gradually torn down and replaced by the new structure now in place. The history of the design and construction of this new building spans several centuries and involved several of the most brilliant architects, including Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini, of the early modern period. This volume presents an overview of St. Peter's history from the late antique period to the twentieth century. Focusing on selected and key moments in the monument's history and evolution, it serves as the first comprehensive overview of a unique monument of the Western tradition.
"No other single work offers a comparable wealth of information about the missions of California, all of which is superbly organized and clearly presented. This authoritative yet accessible volume offers readers a compelling and balanced account of the founding and early history of the missions, the birth and growth of the mission myth, and modern preservation efforts, as well as concise historical profiles of individual missions. A noteworthy achievement."--Rose Marie Beebe, Santa Clara University, Coauthor of "Lands of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California "and "Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women"" ""The California missions endure on the landscape as wondrous monuments, inviting us to stand and ponder what happened there. Long subjected to one-dimensional, celebratory accounts, the missions in recent decades have benefited from more thoughtful analysis, and in this splendid book they receive the eloquent, multilayered chronicle they deserve." --Douglas Monroy, Colorado College, Author of "Thrown Among Strangers: The Making of Mexican Culture in Frontier California "and "The Borders Within: Encounters Between Mexico and the U.S. "
Illustrated in color throughout, "The California Missions: History, Art, and Preservation" combines engaging text with historical paintings, archival photographs, and recent photography to create a vivid profile of these iconic institutions. Initial chapters recount their founding and early history, examine their rediscovery in the late nineteenth century, and trace the beginnings of the mission restoration movement. Subsequent chapters present mission architecture and wall murals, survey the rich holdings of European and Native American art in mission collections, and examine the challenges involved in preserving the mission heritage for future generations. The second part of the book provides concise historical profiles of each of the twenty-one missions. There is also a glossary.
This volume provides a fascinating study of the iconography of
altarpieces and the artistic collaboration between Jews and
Christians. In the multi-cultural society of late medieval Spain,
Jewish and Christian artists worked together to produce retablos
(large multi-paneled altarpieces) as well as Latin and Hebrew
Sometimes art is also a political gesture of historical significance. In the case of Reims Cathedral, the crown jewel of French sacred architecture, this statement can be affirmed without a doubt. Heavily damaged in 1914 by German troops, the cathedral was presented with three new stained glass windows by the painter and installation artist Imi Knoebel (*1940 in Dessau), representing a gift from Germany to France. Knoebel is a "Minimal" artist who, in celebration of the cathedral's 800th anniversary, illuminated the choir space in 2011 with his six stained glass windows. Since then, he has continued his work in the sacred sphere. He spent three years in an intensive examination of the interiors of the Jeanne D'Arc Chapel. The resulting combinations of luminous colors inside the High Gothic architecture are harmonious and poignant. This publication sheds light on the process of producing glass facades and documents their creation, from the first sketch to the ultimate installation at Reims Cathedral.
St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle is one of the symbols of the Czech statehood; it is the coronation and burial site of Bohemian kings and to this day is a leading Christian cathedral, a residence of archbishops, the venue for state ceremonies and, last but not least, a much sought-after tourist attraction. St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle, the first English-language book on this iconic structure, presents the cathedral's history, inseparably linked to the history of the Czech lands. The authors present the circumstances of the cathedral's foundating by Charles IV in the fourteenth century and the progression of the construction, including later alterations and additions. The book focuses particularly on a detailed description of the sculpted and artistic decoration and significant monuments including St Wenceslaus' Chapel and the burial site of Bohemian kings. The text, set in the broader context of the developments of European architecture, is richly illustrated with contemporary photographs, historical images, reconstructions, and plans.
An interdisciplinary study of one of the most important monuments in Islamic artThe Nasrid builders of the Alhambra the best-preserved medieval Muslim palatial city were so exacting that some of their work could not be fully explained until the invention of fractal geometry. Their design principles have been obscured, however, by the loss of all archival material. This book resolves that impasse by investigating the neglected, interdisciplinary contexts of medieval poetics and optics and through comparative study of Islamic court ceremonials. This reframing enables the reconstruction of the underlying, integrated aesthetic, focusing on the harmonious interrelationship between diverse artistic media architecture, poetry and textiles in the experience of the beholder, resulting in a new understanding of the Alhambra.Key FeaturesIllustrated in colour throughoutTakes an inter-medial approach integrating the study of poetic inscriptions, textiles and court ceremonial into the discussion of architectureInter-disciplinary, combining art history, optics and literary studiesCase studies explore specific, relatively neglected spaces within the AlhambraInformed by both medieval and contemporary theoryConsiders the most recent technical analyses to distinguish clearly original elements
A historian of medieval art and architecture with a rich
appreciation of literary studies, Stephen Murray brings all those
fields to bear in presenting a new way of understanding the great
Gothic churches of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries: as
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