I got a lot of confused questions yesterday while unboxing my deluxe The Book of Kells by Bernard Meehan. I thought that everybody was familiar with the Book of Kells, but I see that's not true, so let me explain what the Book of Kells is and why it's so special.
As I'm sure all of you know by now, the Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris caught on fire yesterday and suffered extensive damage. Yesterday's events made me appreciate what a true miracle it is that any ancient treasures survive at all. But just because they've gotten this far doesn't mean that they will always be around.
Last week, I attended the New York Antiquarian Book Fair and enjoyed taking a close look at the medieval illuminated manuscripts offered for sale there. This opportunity reminded me how manuscripts' greatest qualities are best enjoyed in person.
I just finished reading Thomas Hoving's King of the Confessors, which is about Hoving's adventures in acquiring what's now called The Cloisters Cross. Thanks to him, this English Romanesque carved ivory cross is one of the highlights of the Met Cloisters. The story is wild, and I couldn't put it down.
Heavenly Bodies is an exhibition of high fashion influenced by Catholicism. It features the likes of Chanel, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, and John Galliano. The exhibition takes place primarily in the museum's main galleries, where the fashion appears amongst works of medieval art.
If you've read about any type of western architecture, you've probably heard the term basilica. In the modern world, the word is often used to refer to a church, but the two words aren't synonyms. So, what's a basilica?
The Cloisters is a museum of medieval art, but I think it's more than that. To me, it's also a sort of medieval fantasy land (in a good way). The museum building is neo-medieval structure that incorporates genuine pieces of Romanesque and Gothic architecture within it. Spending time there is a little like being transported to another time and place.
My thoughts on Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts, a really excellent and informative book about twelve, world-class medieval manuscripts.
Romanesque was a major style of medieval architecture that was popular in Western Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries CE. It's the direct predecessor of better-known Gothic architecture. Here's everything you need to know about Romanesque.
Gothic (and Gothic-style) abound in church architecture around the world. But what exactly are its characteristics? Learn the stylistic attributes and historical context of Gothic architecture.