Building the Great Cathedrals

Overview

This volume is a study of the people who commissioned, designed, and built the great cathedrals of Europe, from the eleventh through the sixteenth centuries. Historian Francois Icher has written a lively, detailed account of the process by which these masterpieces of world architecture came to be - from their commissioning by a bishop or wealthy patron, to the hiring of an architect and mastercraftsmen, to the daily labor on the construction site. Supplementing the author's highly readable narrative are many ...
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Overview

This volume is a study of the people who commissioned, designed, and built the great cathedrals of Europe, from the eleventh through the sixteenth centuries. Historian Francois Icher has written a lively, detailed account of the process by which these masterpieces of world architecture came to be - from their commissioning by a bishop or wealthy patron, to the hiring of an architect and mastercraftsmen, to the daily labor on the construction site. Supplementing the author's highly readable narrative are many stories and anecdotes about particular cathedrals and their construction; an appendix of archival documents that furnish additional details about the construction process at various sites; and a bibliography. Building the Great Cathedrals is extensively illustrated with current photographs of many of the structures, with architectural drawings, and with art works such as mosaics and illuminated manuscript pages that depict scenes on the construction site, including craftsmen at work, individual tools and instruments, and symbols and emblems of the guilds and orders.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The great European cathedrals continue to amaze and delight visitors. With their lacy stonework and the sparkling tracery of their stained glass windows, few structures have been able to hold in thrall their onlookers for so many centuries. In this extensively illustrated work, Icher, a specialist in the history of guilds and European craftsmen associations, traces the origins of the cathedral as an ecclesiastical structure, the elements of patronage involved in financing the construction, and the various workers, from the architect down through quarrymen, stone cutters, glass artists, and sculptors. An extensive bibliography, index, and selections from original documents add to both the general and the scholarly interest of the work. The highlight, however, is the extensive illustration of cathedrals (both photographs and from secondary sources such as manuscripts and paintings). For both young and old who wish a more chronological approach to the construction of cathedrals, the classic work is David Macaulay's Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction (LJ 12/73). Recommended for collections, particularly public libraries, with an interest in art and architecture.--Martin R. Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Institution Libs., Arlington, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810982161
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/1901
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. I The Age of the Cathedrals 13
Ch. II Patronage, Financing, and the Workshop Committee 33
Ch. III The Architect 53
Ch. IV Before Reaching the Cathedral Construction-Site 67
Ch. V The Cathedral Construction-Site 85
Ch. VI The Memory of the Builders 145
Conclusion 186
List of Illustrations 189
Bibliography 196
Index 197
Photograph Credits 200
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