Most of the seven million people who visit the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris each year probably do not realize that the legendary gargoyles adorning this medieval masterpiece were not constructed until the nineteenth century. The first comprehensive history of these world-famous monsters, The Gargoyles of Notre-Dame argues that they transformed the iconic thirteenth-century cathedral into a modern monument.
Michael Camille begins his long-awaited study by recounting architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc’s ambitious restoration of the structure from 1843 to 1864, when the gargoyles were designed, sculpted by the little-known Victor Pyanet, and installed. These gargoyles, Camille contends, were not mere avatars of the Middle Ages, but rather fresh creations—symbolizing an imagined past—whose modernity lay precisely in their nostalgia. He goes on to map the critical reception and many-layered afterlives of these chimeras, notably in the works of such artists and writers as Charles Méryon, Victor Hugo, and photographer Henri Le Secq. Tracing their eventual evolution into icons of high kitsch, Camille ultimately locates the gargoyles’ place in the twentieth-century imagination, exploring interpretations by everyone from Winslow Homer to the Walt Disney Company.
Lavishly illustrated with more than three hundred images of its monumental yet whimsical subjects, The Gargoyles of Notre-Dame is a must-read for historians of art and architecture and anyone whose imagination has been sparked by the lovable monsters gazing out over Paris from one of the world’s most renowned vantage points.
Decorated with the richest, most beautiful mosaics in the world, the Venetian church of San Marco is quite literally a treasure house of medieval art. The domes and walls of the church, encrusted with stone, glass, and gold, have been recognized, over the centuries, as a glorious historical and artistic record. Peopled with hundreds and figures—Adam and Eve, Noah and his progeny, Isaiah, Christ, Mark, of course, and other holy men and women of Venice—these mosaics create a cosmic panorama. The Mosaic Decoration of San Marco, Venice brings these unrivaled mosaics into breathtaking focus, combining a descriptive history of their creation and repair over the ages with close-up photographs revealing their iconographic detail.
Sixteenth-century art features a remarkable fascination with ornament, both as decorative device and compositional strategy, across artistic media and genres.Interestingly, the inventive, elegant manifestations of ornament in the art of the period often include layers of disquieting paradoxes, creating tensions - monstrosities even - that manifest themselves in a variety of ways. In some cases dichotomies (between order and chaos, artificiality and nature, rational logic and imaginative creativity, etc.) may emerge. Elsewhere, a sense of agitation undermines structures of statuesque control or erupts into wild, unruly displays of constant genesis. The monstrosity of ornament is brought into play through strategies of hybridity and metamorphosis, or by the handling of scale, proportion, and space in ambiguous and discomforting ways that break with the laws of physical reality. An interest in strange exaggeration and curious artifice allows for such colossal ornamental attitude to thrive within sixteenth-century art.
Silver Screens traces the rich history of Milwaukee's movie theaters, from 1890s nickelodeons to the grand palaces of the Roaring Twenties to the shopping mall outlets of today. And the story doesn't end there: in the past two decades, the revival of interest in preservation and restoration of theaters has confirmed that there's still life in these beloved old structures. With the publication of Silver Screens, authors Larry Widen and Judi Anderson help ensure that our old theaters, those being restored and those long since vanished, will remain forever embedded in our collective memory.
In this revised edition of their book Milwaukee Movie Palaces, the authors present new findings on film innovations, drive-in theaters, projection booths, movie promotions, noted theater personalities, recent restoration efforts, and much more. Illuminated with more than a hundred photographs, including many never before published, Silver Screens is a stunning tribute to the legacy of the movie theater.