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Heavenly vaults: from Romanesque to Gothic in European architecture


Stephenson, DM, Heavenly vaults: from Romanesque to Gothic in European architecture, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, pp. 192. ISBN 978-1-56898-840-5 (2009) [Authored Research Book]

Copyright Statement

2009 Princeton Architectural Press All rights reserved - All photographs David Stephenson


The Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages are among the world's greatest architectural achievements. Looking up at the soaring vaulted ceiling of a Gothic church, it is impossible not to marvel at the seemingly unending design variations of these transcendent structures. 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 is strikingly beautiful and explores the development of numerous varieties across time and location. In an accompanying essay, the author charts the history of the vault and explains its technological developments. A foreword by photography curator Isobel Crombie puts Stephenson's work in context.

Item Details

Item Type:Authored Research Book
Keywords:architectural photography, photography of interiors, Europe, vaults, architecture, medieval, pictorial works
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Visual arts
Research Field:Photography, video and lens-based practice
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:Stephenson, DM (Associate Professor David Stephenson)
ID Code:61167
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:Art (Hobart)
Deposited On:2010-02-28
Last Modified:2015-02-24
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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