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Kupfer, Marcia

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ISBN 10: 0300057202 / ISBN 13: 9780300057201
Published by Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2003
Condition: As New Hardcover
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About this Item

261 pp; of text which focuses on the rich, stylistically diverse group of frescoe cycles dispersed throughout the medieval diocese of Bourges; this is followed by 229 plates, q of which are in full-color, extensive notes, bibliography. Bookseller Inventory # 72058

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven, CT

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: as new

About this title


Monumental wall painting once embellished countless rural churches throughout France during the 11th and 12th centuries. In this book, Marcia Kupfer focuses on the rich, stylistically diverse group of fresco cycles dispersed throughout the medieval diocese of Bourges. To interpret the social and political roles of monumental painting, Kupfer explores what she calls "the politics of narrative" - the complex relation between the external world and the story of redemption unfolding across church walls. It is commonly assumed that Romanesque wall painting served simply as a way to teach lay audiences about the Bible and the lives of the saints. Kupfer's findings suggest that, on the contrary, these fresco cycles were an instrument of ecclesiastical authority that helped to structure communities around the churches. Organizing the social order in ways that promoted the particular interests of ecclesiastical patrons, the pictorial representation of sacred history at once defined the parish as the canonical centre of the Christian community and enforced divisions between clergy and laity. Kupfer first situates the 19 extant or visually documented monuments in their historical, artistic, and ideological contexts. She then provides close readings of the three best-preserved and most extensive wall painting cycles at Chalivoy-Milon, Brinay and Vicq. An appendix offers a catalogue raisonne of all 19 monuments. Heavily illustrated with a photographic inventory of the works, gound plans and drawings and perspective diagrams of the fresco cycles in their architectural contexts, the book expands the archaeological basis for the study of French Romanesque art.

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