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French Gothic Ivories
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Book description

This volume is the first to consider the golden century of Gothic ivory sculpture (1230-1330) in its material, theological, and artistic contexts. Providing a range of new sources and interpretations, Sarah Guérin charts the progressive development and deepening of material resonances expressed in these small-scale carvings. Guérin traces the journey of ivory tusks, from the intercontinental trade routes that delivered ivory tusks to northern Europe, to the workbenches of specialist artisans in medieval Paris, and, ultimately, the altars and private chapels in which these objects were venerated. She also studies the rich social lives and uses of a diverse range of art works fashioned from ivory, including standalone statuettes, diptychs, tabernacles, and altarpieces. Offering new insights into the resonances that ivory sculpture held for their makers and viewers, Guérin's study contributes to our understanding of the history of materials, craft, and later medieval devotional practices.

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