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The Gothic Screen
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Book description

At the heart of Gothic cathedrals, the threshold between nave and sanctuary was marked by the choir screen, a partitioning structure of special complexity, grandeur, and beauty. At once a canopy for altars, a stage for performance, a pedestal for crucifixes and reliquaries, and a ground for spectacular arrays of narrative and iconic sculptures, the choir screen profoundly shaped the spaces of liturgy and social interaction for the diverse communities, both clerical and lay, who shared the church interior. For the first time, this book draws together the most important examples - some fully extant, others known through fragments and graphic sources - from thirteenth- and fourteenth-century France and Germany. Through analyses of both their architectural and sculptural components, Jacqueline E. Jung reveals how these furnishings, far from being barricades or hindrances, were vital vehicles of communication and shapers of a community centered on Christian rituals and stories.

Reviews

"Recommended."
Choice

"This book has been long awaited and it does not disappoint in the breadth and richness of its exposition … [U]ndoubtedly it will become a standard reference for studies of both the built environment and iconography of the Middle Ages."
The Medieval Review

"The Gothic Screen makes stimulating reading for students and scholars, pointing the way for further studies of screens of all kinds throughout medieval Europe. Never again could we wish away the Gothic screen, nor would we want to."
Tom Nickson, The Medieval Journal

"… one can only be grateful for Jung's insights and keen observations. She has put the discussion of choir screens where it really belongs: within the vast realm of lay religiosity."
Dorothy Gillerman, Speculum

"At the turn of this century, Jacqueline Jung published an influential article on choir screens in Gothic great churches. She has been regarded as the leading Anglo-American specialist on these furnishings ever since, a status maintained through publication of subsequent essays. Now, at last, her monograph on the topic has arrived in the form of an authoritative statement of the role of screens as space-co-ordinating, performative, psychology-conditioning objects."
Julian Luxford, The Burlington Magazine

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