Universe of Stone: Chartres Cathedral and the Invention of the Gothic AKA Universe of Stone: A Biography of Chartres Cathedral

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9780061154300: Universe of Stone: Chartres Cathedral and the Invention of the Gothic AKA Universe of Stone: A Biography of Chartres Cathedral

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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About the Author:

Philip Ball's book Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; his Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another won the UK's Aventis Prize. He is a consulting editor for Nature magazine, and he lives in London.

From The New Yorker:

In this lively biography of Chartres Cathedral, Ball explores the configuration of cultural and technological factors that enabled Europe to achieve a "liberation from gravity" in the twelfth century, including the rise of scholasticism, Platonic obsessions with light and proportion, and heroic masons who "turned geometry into stone." The accomplishments of Gothic architecture were all the more remarkable given that stonework was virtually forgotten in the West in the centuries after Rome fell. Though much of the history of Chartres Cathedral remains opaque, Ball’s account of its construction reveals fascinating details (such as the origins of its blue glass, likely scavenged from Roman or Byzantine sites) and evokes its raison d’Ítre: in an era when architecture "existed to reveal the deep design of God’s creation," Chartres "encoded a set of symbols and relationships that mapped out the universe itself."
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Book Description HARPER PERENNIAL, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 226 x 150 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780061154300

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Book Description HARPER PERENNIAL, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 226 x 150 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780061154300

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Book Description HARPER PERENNIAL, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 226 x 150 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780061154300

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