Eloquent Bodies : Movement, Expression, and the Human Figure in Gothic Sculpture available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Eloquent Bodies : Movement, Expression, and the Human Figure in Gothic Sculpture

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'[Jung's] book serves as a manifesto for engaging art in a living, three-dimensional way through its expression of figure and space in relation to one's own physical presence before it' - Denver Catholic

An original and erudite book exploring the role of movement, emotion, and the viewing experience in Gothic sculpture

Gothic cathedrals in northern Europe dazzle visitors with arrays of sculpted saints, angels, and noble patrons adorning their portals and interiors. In this highly original and erudite volume, Jacqueline E. Jung explores how medieval sculptors used a form of bodily poetics-involving facial expression, gesture, stance, and torsion-to create meanings beyond conventional iconography and to subtly manipulate spatial dynamics, forging connections between the sculptures and beholders.

Filled with more than 500 images that capture the suppleness and dynamism of cathedral sculpture, often through multiple angles, Eloquent Bodies demonstrates how viewers confronted and, in turn, were addressed by sculptures at major cathedrals in France and Germany. The book illuminates the ways artistic ingenuity, technical skill, and liturgical needs converged to enliven sacred spaces for distinct audiences.   

Focusing on German sites, Jung tracks Gothic sculptures chronologically beginning with the influences from Chartres and Reims first at Bamberg and sites in the western German-speaking world moving east—Strasbourg, Magdeburg, Naumburg, and Meissen (Chapter 1). At Strasbourg, Jung explores the great portal ensemble on the south transept as experienced from different points in the cathedral, considering how movement in the church was directed by use. Moving through the cathedral, she considers the relationship between fixed sculptures and moveable, adaptable, and/or permanent objects like clocks, tombs, and altars.  Next, at Magdeburg, Jung investigates the north transept sculptures of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. At Naumburg, Jung focuses on the west choir highlighting how movement is regulated and forbidden at the nave with the choir screen.

  • Author: Jacqueline E. Jung
  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publication date: June 2020
  • ISBN: 978-0300214017
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 28.8 x 22.6


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