Universe of Stone: Chartres Cathedral and the Invention of the Gothic

Universe of Stone: Chartres Cathedral and the Invention of the Gothic

by Philip Ball
     
 

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Chartres Cathedral, south of Paris, is revered as one of the most beautiful and profound works of art in the Western canon. But what did it mean to those who constructed it in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries—and why was it built at such immense height and with such glorious play of light, in the soaring manner we now call Gothic?

In this eminently

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Overview

Chartres Cathedral, south of Paris, is revered as one of the most beautiful and profound works of art in the Western canon. But what did it mean to those who constructed it in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries—and why was it built at such immense height and with such glorious play of light, in the soaring manner we now call Gothic?

In this eminently fascinating work, author Philip Ball makes sense of the visual and emotional power of Chartres and brilliantly explores how its construction—and the creation of other Gothic cathedrals—represented a profound and dramatic shift in the way medieval thinkers perceived their relationship with their world. Beautifully illustrated and written, filled with astonishing insight, Universe of Stone embeds the magnificent cathedral in the culture of the twelfth century—its schools of philosophy and science, its trades and technologies, its politics and religious debates—enabling us to view this ancient architectural marvel with fresh eyes.

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Editorial Reviews

The New Yorker
“A lively biography of Chartres Cathedral. . . . Ball’s account of its construction reveals fascinating details . . . and evokes its raison d’être.”
Christian Science Monitor
“A terrific book…A lucid, thoughtful tour de force…A fascinating book with important insights and observations on every page.”
Los Angeles Times
“Lively...Ball puts the fun back in medieval scholasticism...seems as much at ease on the medieval building site as in an abbey library.”
Wall Street Journal
“There is no better general introduction to the subject... [Ball’s] account is bold and plausible.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061154300
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/28/2009
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,254,374
Product dimensions:
6.08(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.96(d)

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