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The Gothic Cathedral: The Architecture of the Great Church 1130-1530 [Paperback]

Christopher Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 19.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 1992
"The Gothic Cathedral" focuses on the interaction between design and the requirements of patrons, following the creative processes of architects by reconstructing the problems and opportunities which faced them. Christopher Wilson presents the essential facts on such aspects of chonology, structural techniques and stylistic developments; and then goes further, seeing the story as a sequence of choices from which new solutions - and still greater challenges - arose.

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The Gothic Cathedral: The Architecture of the Great Church 1130-1530 + The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages (New Horizons)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Sep 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500276811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500276815
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 17.7 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A closely argued work of scholarship which stands out from books like it'
--Building Design

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Book 11 Mar 2012
A remarkable book by one of the leading art-historians of his generation.
Dr. Wilson examines a series of gothic cathedrals across Europe, and provides
a comprehensive, accessible and stimulating analysis for each.
The book is littered with profound observations, which transform and establish
the reader's understanding of 'the great church'. A brilliant response to a highly complex subject.Prize winning stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Soaring Book 1 Jun 2014
This the definitive book on the subject of Gothic Cathedrals both in Britain and across the Continent.
It is an exhaustive survey and deserves the prize that was awarded to Dr Wilson for his Herculean efforts. The photographs including his own are of a very high quality. I highly recommend this book both to the lay person and the art historian. Simply excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 16 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An easy to follow reading with great pictures making it a very enjoyable and full of fascinating information to read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
159 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gothic Cathedral is comprehesive AND readable! 4 Feb 2000
By "abitt62" - Published on Amazon.com
How I ended up being the first to review this book is beyond me. I would've guessed that many a learned architectural scholar would've long since sung the praises of this wonderful book. I, however, am just a layman with a lifelong passion for Gothic cathedral architecture, which started in the Washington National Cathedral and became educated, at least partiallly, in this book.
I consider Wilson's "The Gothic Cathedral", a 'must own' for anyone who has ever felt a yearning to know more about the soaring arches, brilliant glasswork, and impossibly high, vaulted ceilings of these magnificent medieval structures. This book, details the development of this unique form of architectural artistry; beginning with it's modest antecedents in Romanesque architecture and the groin-vaulted churches of Normandy and England and continuing through even the most elaborate and extravagant versions of late-Gothic throughout Europe. Mr. Wilson moves the reader, comfortably and comprehensibly through the chronological development of Gothic architecture, while neatly detailing the differences in coincidental development in several diverse geographic regions. Even I, with no formal architectural education, can now explain most of the finer points of Norman Romanesque, French High Gothic, and the Rayonnant styles of architecture, as well as explaining the odd metamorphisis of the English Decorated style into the very uniquely English, Perpendicular style.
The text is brilliantly cross-referenced with the illustrations, diagrams and photographs, which are both descriptive and beautiful, despite being all black and white. Finally, the glossary, index, and bibliography are complete and very helpful. If you think you MIGHT like this book... you will. Buy it.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Review of Great Architectural Monuments 15 July 2008
By Bruce Trinque - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Christoper Wilson's "The Gothic Cathedral: The Architecture of the Great Church, 1130-1530" is a superb survey of cathedrals and large European churches constructed across four centuries, not only filled with an incisive text but also wonderfully illustrated with hundreds of diagrams and exquisite photographs. It is true that the photos are only black-and-white so the reader cannot wholly grasp the glory of stained glass windows, but the photographs nonetheless render the Gothic architectural features and details with great clarity. This combination of excellent text and superb illustrations makes Wilson's book ideal for either close, intensive study or simple joyful browsing. I cannot imagine that anyone who appreciates glorious Gothic architecture would not find Wilson's "The Gothic Cathedral" not only a valuable but also a necessary addition to his or her library.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not at all what I expected, but then my expectations were far too low:) 15 Mar 2009
By Charles J. Rodkey - Published on Amazon.com
The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral

A work you will not soon forget. If you're looking for a detailed, multichapter description of engineering and construction management in early midieval times, this is perhaps not the exact text for your purpose. But if you considering the salient questions of how, where, when, who and specifically WHY Europeans built immense Gothic Cathedrals, I doubt you'd find a better layman's offering. Mixing religion and mysticism, cultural nuance and day to day living, geography and climate, ruling and ruled, and more... with a top flight researchers ability to discover, present and hone the finest and most remote connections, " The Gothic Enterprise" is no small monument to an author's love of form and place. To fully digest this takes several reads, and without fail something new is garnered and understood with each successive pass through this marvelous book. Enjoy it, I surely did!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gothic Cathedral 4 Nov 2010
By Gail E. Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a magnificent book. After being totally enthralled with Pillars of the Earth (in book and TV movie), my husband was surprised and thrilled to receive this book. It's educational and beautifully portrays the unbelievable architecture of the past centuries. A truly worthy addition to our historical library.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book. 5 Dec 2013
By Michael Manfull - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book covering the history and geographical differences of Gothic Cathedrals in Europe. Includes many photos in black and white.
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