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The role of individual sculptors in creating the ambulatory capitals in the largest basilica in Christendom at Cluny remains a mystery. The unresolved issue of individual creativity leaves open three important questions about this powerful abbey which controlled hundreds of monasteries throughout Europe in the eleventh century: What was the specific artistic context - the origin, training and career path of the major sculptors who worked at the mother church at the start of construction? What was the relationship, in time and influence, between the focal ambulatory capitals and similar sculptures at numerous local sites? And what role did artists play in determining the form and meaning of Cluny sculptures and related monuments? This book traces the career of a sculptor who worked on the earliest capitals in the abbey church at Cluny. It documents his artistic preferences at previous Burgundian projects, gathering a variety of evidence intended to be on the one hand precise, complex and subtle, and on the other convincingly repetitious. The findings are supported with high-resolution photographs taken at telling angles from high ladders and scaffolding. This version of the creative process at the mother church, in which the Cluniac brothers picked a local talent to carry out one of the most important sculptural commissions in Europe, differs markedly from the standard one based largely on presumed but undocumented artistic priorities of the monks. Prevailing theory assumes the monks had an international perspective when it came to art as they tried to establish at Cluny a new Rome as the centerpiece of their monastic empire.
Table of Contents
Altar and Later Comparisons
Christ Welcoming Souls, Last Judgment Tympanum
Corinthian Capitals with Figures
Capital of a Figure Playing a Monocord
Capital of an Angel with a Staff and Horn
Tympanum and Lintel
Harpy (?) Capital
Cluny Ambulatory Capitals, Avenas Master
Classicism at Cluny
Corinthian Capital with Figures
Cluny Ambulatory Capitals
Liberal Arts (?)
Theological Virtues (?)
Arlette Maquet, Cahiers de civilisation médiévale Xe-XIIe siècles - Varia 2020/2-3 (n° 250-251) p. 163-164, 01/04/2020
Clement Edson Armi, Cluny and the Origins of Burgundian Romanesque Sculpture: the Architecture, Sculpture and Narrative of the Avenas Master
Kirk Ambrose, Speculum Volume 95, Number 1 January 2020, 31/01/2020
C. Edson Armi, Cluny and the Origins of Burgundian Romanesque Sculpture in Burgundy: The Architecture, Sculpture and Narrative of the “Avenas” Master. (Bibliotheca Archaeologica 57.) Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider, 2019. Pp. 124; many color and 5 black-and-white figures. $108. ISBN: 978-88-1748-3.
Damien Martinez, REVUE DE L'ART, n°207/2020-1, p. 77-81., 03/01/2020
Bibliographie critique. C. Edson Armi : Cluny and the origins of burgundian romanesque sculp- ture. The architecture, sculpture and narrative of the Avenas Master. Rome, « L’Erma » di Bretschneider, 2019, 122 p., 118 ill. couleur.
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