The Gothic Stained Glass of Reims Cathedral (Hardback)
  • The Gothic Stained Glass of Reims Cathedral (Hardback)
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The Gothic Stained Glass of Reims Cathedral (Hardback)

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£43.95
Hardback 364 Pages / Published: 05/10/2011
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Dubbed the Cathedral of France and first church of French Christendom, the Gothic cathedral of Reims was the coronation site of more than two dozen French kings--and a target of German bombardment in World War I. Before 1914 its medieval stained glass had enjoyed the fame of Chartres and Bourges. The first extensive study focusing on the stained glass of this preeminent cathedral, The Gothic Stained Glass of Reims Cathedral offers a groundbreaking analysis of its glazing program. Through unique insights into the clerical agenda and its influence over a building devoted to the coronation of the French monarchy, Lillich considers the stained glass in the context of building chronology, political events, and artistic movements to present a completely new understanding of the stained glass of Reims.

Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press
ISBN: 9780271037776
Number of pages: 364
Weight: 1814 g
Dimensions: 254 x 229 x 32 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"The cathedral of Reims is a vital element of French medieval political and ecclesiastical history as well as a much-studied monument for its architecture and sculpture. Renovations, natural and human disasters, and equally problematic restoration campaigns have obstructed a competent overview of its windows. Meredith Lillich has been engaged in the study of Reims for many years, and this publication emerges as the definitive volume on the glazing."

--Virginia Raguin, College of the Holy Cross


"Meredith Lillich is a preeminent specialist in the study of French Gothic stained glass. During a distinguished academic career as a legendary teacher of art history, she has published spectacular studies of stained glass that have become models of art-historical interpretation for generations of students and scholars. But her book on Reims is particularly special. She explores the cathedral's curiously understudied windows from a variety of perspectives--from the stylistic habits and design tendencies of the artists who produced them to the messages they conveyed to the audiences who initially viewed them. The elaborate programs of the upper-story glazing emerge as carefully crafted visual dialogues around the bold moral concerns of the Church and its claim to power during the thirteenth century; they balance broad ecclesiastical agendas with focused local meanings related to the role of this archiepiscopal see as an administrative hub and as the coronation site for the kings of France. Lillich writes with clarity, insight, and verve, her language embodying her affection and enthusiasm for this major medium of medieval painting and the dedicated human beings who created the windows and devised their meanings. This is a book to be cherished by all who are interested in cathedrals, stained-glass windows, and the rich Gothic culture that brought them into being."

--Michael W. Cothren, Swarthmore College


"Lillich is refreshingly practical in her view of the unfolding of the glass and of the discourses of power and division which have dominated some recent discussions of Rheims. Lillich is a contextualist when she needs to be, but above all she brings to this study the experience and relaxed assurance of a lifetime's work, and patiently pulls together the information in a way that helps the reader. Arranged as an east-west exposition of the glass, her monograph contains all the technical material that will satisfy specialists in regard to reordering, reuse (including pre-1210 glass from the previous church), damage and conservation. She works methodically through to the glazing of the west front. This book is thoroughly documented, clearly written and makes the very best of an exceptionally demanding subject."

--Paul Binski, The Art Newspaper


"This book is fundamental reading for all scholars of the glazing programme at Reims cathedral."

--Pippa Salonius, Parergon


"It is a genuine pleasure to read The Gothic Stained Glass of Reims Cathedral, for one is in the company of an art historian who not only knows and loves her trade, but whose breadth of knowledge ranges from medieval foldstools to ferculum Salomonis; from heraldry to royal fashion; and from angelic symphonic instruments to bishops' seals."

--Donna Sadler, Speculum


"In this spectacular book--the fruit of profound research--Meredith Lillich rescues the stained glass of Reims Cathedral from obscurity. With careful scrutiny of the remains and always mindful of the limitations of the evidence, Lillich coaxes the glass to reveal its remarkable secrets. The result is a stunning evocation of the history of the thirteenth century, including the nature and extent of episcopal power in the period, the concern with heresy, and the splendor and ambition of the French monarchy. This book has no rivals and hardly any equals."

--William Chester Jordan, Princeton University


"A masterly analysis of the stained glass of Reims Cathedral, until now a largely neglected stepchild of the cathedral's sculptural decoration. Style is not overlooked, and the different phases of glazing are dated, but Meredith Lillich's aim is to present a convincing case for the iconography of the clerestory windows, reflecting the uses of the areas of the cathedral below them: chevet, the apostolic succession of the archbishops of Reims and their suffragans; transept, the chapter and its offices; nave, the coronation site. This is done with many a well-turned phrase, buttressed with extensive documentation and full-color illustrations of the glass."

--Carl F. Barnes Jr., former president of The International Center of Medieval Art


"Wittily and compellingly written, meticulously and imaginatively researched, and lavishly illustrated, Meredith Lillich's The Gothic Stained Glass of Reims Cathedral is an impressive achievement. She situates the glass in the liturgical, historical, and political context of the coronation cathedral of France, studying its origins and the many vicissitudes experienced by the precious pieces that have survived. Focusing on the glass, Lillich provides a host of insights into and observations about the church that houses the windows, the individuals who created and preserve them, and the monarchs who traveled to Reims to receive their crowns within the church's precincts."

--Elizabeth A. R. Brown, Brooklyn College, CUNY


"This is, flat out, a great book, one destined to be both a classic in medieval studies and a model for future scholars. Meredith Parsons Lillich has accomplished a 'scholarly miracle' an excellent, comprehensive, readable analysis of the many complex, sophisticated, and multivalent programs of stained glass in the upper (clerestory) windows at Reims Cathedral, arguably the most important Gothic cathedral in France. This superb book goes a long way toward filling one of the largest 'black holes' in our knowledge of thirteenth-century Gothic art."

--William W. Clark, Queens College, CUNY


"Meredith Lillich explores the cathedral's curiously understudied windows from a variety of perspectives--from the stylistic habits and design tendencies of the artists who produced them to the messages they conveyed to the audiences who initially viewed them. The elaborate programs of the upper-story glazing emerge as carefully crafted visual dialogues around the bold moral concerns of the Church and its claim to power during the thirteenth century; they balance broad ecclesiastical agendas with focused local meanings related to the role of this archiepiscopal see as an administrative hub and as the coronation site for the kings of France. Lillich writes with clarity, insight, and verve. . . . This is a book to be cherished by all who are interested in cathedrals, stained-glass windows, and the rich Gothic culture that brought them into being."

--Michael W. Cothren, Swarthmore College


"Lillich . . . brings to this study all the experience and relaxed assurance of a lifetime's work, and patiently pulls together the information in a way that helps the reader.

This book is thoroughly documented, clearly written and makes the very best of an exceptionally demanding subject."

--Paul Binski, Art Newspaper


"The Gothic Stained Glass of Reims Cathedral offers an unparalleled and exceptional analysis of an insufficiently explored glazing program of immense artistic richness. Lillich's book, supported by a grant from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, is compellingly written, meticulously researched, and enriched with extensive documentation and full-color illustrations of the glass. . . . Intended for both specialists and nonspecialists, the book is easy to read and will interest not only art historians, but also anyone passionate about medieval architecture."

--Andrzej Dziedzic, Sixteenth Century Journal


"Th se, synth se, hypoth se. Ces trois mots peuvent r sumer l'impression que donne ce livre. rudition brillante, fruit d'un travail m ri, mise au point en grande partie d finitive sur un vaste sujet qui tait bien mal connu et propositions parfois hardies, qui auront le m rite de faire r agir et encore progresser la recherche.

"

--Patrick Demouy, Bulletin monumental

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