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R. Bork
Late Gothic Architecture
Its Evolution, Extinction, and Reception

approx. 450 p., 301 b/w ill., 216 x 280 mm
ISBN: 978-2-503-56894-2
Languages: English
The publication is in production.The publication is in production. (07/2018)
Retail price: approx. EUR 115,00 excl. tax
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This book provides a sweeping reassessment of late Gothic architecture and its fate in the Renaissance.
In this book, Robert Bork offers a sweeping reassessment of late Gothic architecture and its fate in the Renaissance.  In a chronologically organized narrative covering the whole of western and central Europe, he demonstrates that the Gothic design tradition remained inherently vital throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, creating spectacular monuments in a wide variety of national and regional styles.  Bork argues that the displacement of this Gothic tradition from its long-standing position of artistic leadership in the years around 1500 reflected the impact of three main external forces: the rise of a rival architectural culture that championed the use of classical forms with a new theoretical sophistication; the appropriation of that architectural language by patrons who wished to associate themselves with papal and imperial Rome; and the chaos of the Reformation, which disrupted the circumstances of church construction on which the Gothic tradition had formerly depended.  Bork further argues that art historians have much to gain from considering the character and fate of late Gothic architecture, not only because the monuments in question are intrinsically fascinating, but also because examination of the way their story has been told—and left untold, in many accounts of the “Northern Renaissance”—can reveal a great deal about schemes of categorization and prioritization that continue to shape the discipline even in the twenty-first century.
Robert Bork, Professor of Art History at the University of Iowa, specializes in the study of Gothic architecture and medieval design practice.  Bork’s research has received support from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts.   His previous books include "Great Spires: Skyscrapers of the New Jerusalem" (2003) and "The Geometry of Creation: Architectural Drawing and the Dynamics of Gothic Design" (2011).
Table of Contents


Introduction:  The Anti-Gothic Turn

This section explains the need for a synthetic reassessment of the Late Gothic architectural tradition and its fate, arguing that its achievements have too often been neglected because of two contrasting historiographical tendencies: the celebration of the Renaissance, in broad accounts of the period; and the fragmentation of the discussion into narrow case studies that take the social background for granted, in the more nuanced scholarly literature.  The present book navigates between these extremes, offering a chronologically organized narrative that shows how the intrinsically dynamic late Gothic tradition succumbed to external forces, including the Reformation and the adoption of Renaissance classicism as an instrument of royal propaganda.

Chapter 1:  Getting the Point--Antiquity to 1300

This chapter introduces “De Architectura,” the treatise by the Roman architect Vitruvius that would prove so influential in the Renaissance, before concisely tracing the history of medieval architectural innovation that permitted the invention of the Gothic manner.  Consideration of the first phases of the Gothic style and its spread across Europe establishes a context for subsequent discussion of later medieval and Renaissance developments. 

Chapter 2:  From Gothic to Late Gothic--1300 to 1350

The first portion of this chapter explores the relationship between Gothic architecture, the figural arts, and new conceptions of history in the Italian world of Giotto, Petrarch, and their contemporaries.  The second portion traces the emergence of the Decorated and Perpendicular Styles in England, and the third discusses continental variations on the Gothic tradition in the rest of transalpine Europe during the first half of the fourteenth century. 

Chapter 3:  The Evolution of Late Gothic—1350 to 1400

This chapter begins with consideration of the Black Death and its social impact, before going on to trace the development of late Gothic architecture across Europe in the second half of the fourteenth century, with particular attention to the work of the Parlers and their followers.  The chapter concludes with a case study of the famous debates that took place in the Milan Cathedral workshop around 1400.

Chapter 4:  The Antique Mode and its Gothic Context—1400 to 1450

The first section of this chapter discusses the emergence of the antique architectural mode in Florence, acknowledging the crucial role of Brunelleschi in this development, while stressing the largely Gothic character of his greatest work, the dome of Florence Cathedral.   The rest of the chapter considers the simultaneous flourishing of late Gothic design in transalpine Europe, touching on the emergence of the French Flamboyant mode, the popularity of tower-building projects in the Holy Roman Empire, and the influx of northern designers into Iberia.

Interest Classification:
Fine Arts & Performing Arts
Medieval architecture

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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