NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS by Alain Erlande-Brandenburg

NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

While art historian Erlande-Brandenburg’s careful, vigorous study of the construction of one of the greatest medieval cathedrals and of the symbolic intentions of its architecture, sculpture, and stained glass, does not break new ground, it does offer a clear, useful review of Notre Dame’s long history and importance. Drawing on everything from archaeological research to period documents, Erlande-Brandenburg, curator of the MusÇe de Cluny in Paris, situates the 12th-century cathedral within the context of its times, and offers an animated discussion of the ideas of the unknown master architects who came up with a design characterized by a mixture of “ambition, technical acumen, clarity, and serenity.” He explains both why the cathedral looks the way it does and how the effects were achieved. (Its delicate columns and soaring vaults are among the greatest architectural creations of the Middle Ages.) He also devotes considerable space to a discussion of the nature of the magnificent sculptures of saints, sinners, and demons added to the exterior of the cathedral, and its stained-glass windows. (262 illustrations, including 138 in color)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8109-1394-1
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1998