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Legends in Limestone: Lazarus, Gislebertus, and the Cathedral of Autun 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226745152
ISBN-10: 0226745155
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About the Author

Meyer Schapiro was University Professor at Columbia University. His papers and articles have been collected in numerous books, including "Modern Art," "Romanesque Art," and "Theory and Philosophy of Art,"
Linda Seidel is the Hanna Holborn Gray Professor Emerita at the University of Chicago. She has written many books, including "Songs of Glory," "Legends in Limestone," and "Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait,"
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (October 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226745155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226745152
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,190,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has any interest whatsoever in Autun should read this book. One of the most cherished ideas of recent art history is that the magnificent sculptural program of the Cathedral is the work of an identifiable individual artist, Gislebertus, who presumably carved his name on the tympanum at the entrance to the church. It's hard to visit Autun without buying the book by Grivot and Zarnecki who champion this theory. Politely Linda Seidel challenges their conclusions as a "romantic conjecture...based on anachronistic assumptions about artistic personalities." She then develops a context for thinking about the building and its sculpture through examination of its place in local historical and rhetorical terms. Her discussion of medieval methods of remembering and recasting the past to provide authority to the present is compelling. Most useful is that her approach provides a sophisticated logic to the Roman references in the architectural detail and an intelligence to the sculptural program that have occasionally been dismissed as naive borrowing and unrelated sequences. Her attention to the aesthetics of the monument is short but informed with her recognition of the atypical orientation of the building and the resulting movement of light in the interior particularly sensitive. Her discussion of the emblematic Flight into Egypt capital is admirably comprehensive but tantalizingly brief. She has read widely and deeply and is able to bring a broad range of ideas and evidence to her argument that in themselves make a fascinating part of her presentation. Her writing is careful, clear and wonderfully accessible to readers of all levels of interest. The footnotes are extensive, appropriate, and, thanks to the layout, easily accessed.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book offers, not only a great look at the era of the construction of the pilgrimage church in Autun, but also a fascinating history of the church since then, and some interesting theories on how legends about the church and its alleged sculptor came to be. It's sufficiently scholarly to be plausible, and well researched, but it's still written in prose that a normal educated reader will enjoy. I especially liked the speculation on how the church came to acquire the relics of Saint Lazarus. If you are interested in medieval history and architecture, you will find information to like in this book.
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