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HEAVENLY VAULTS: FROM ROMANESQUE TO GOTHIC IN EUROPEAN ARCHITECTURE
David Stephenson

Princeton Architectural Press, 2009
Hardcover
192 pages
125 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781568988405

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Photographer David Stephenson continues his exploration of the architecturally sublime by focusing his camera on the amazing vaulted ceilings of the medieval churches, cathedrals, and basilicas of Europe. Stephenson presents more than eighty Romanesque and Gothic vaults in kaleidoscopic photographs that reveal their complex geometrical structures, decorative detailing, and ornamental painting in ways they have never before been seen.

From simple arched stone tunnels, or so-called barrel vaults, to quadripartite and sexpartite rib vaults, to intricate tierceron and lierne vaults with their added decorative ribs, to complicated net, fan, and diamond vaults of the late Gothic period, Stephenson's visual taxonomy of this ancient structural form showcases numerous varieties across time and location. In an accompanying essay, the author charts the history of the vault and explains its technological developments.

 

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