This engaging study introduces the reader to one of the greatest achievements of Western art: the climactic phase of Gothic architecture in the first half of the thirteenth century. Through a comparative analysis of the cathedrals of Chartres, Reims, and Amiens, the author illuminates the technical, theological, artistic, and social factors that formed the High Gothic synthesis. Drawing on a lifetime of scholarship, he successively characterizes the different parts of the Gothic cathedral and describes the human context of the three great buildings.
"This book is unquestionably a major contribution to our understanding of the formal organization of Gothic architecture."--Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
"Jantzen's method of analysis is a happy mixture of the archaeological approach of the early twentieth-century French historians of medieval architecture and of the more theoretically-minded German schools."--Robert Branner, journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
"An uncommonly readable analysis of the major features of Gothic architecture in its mature phase and an ideal introduction to the subject."--Walter Cahn, Yale University
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