Artibus et Historiae no. 35 (XVIII)

1997, ISSN 0391-9064

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JAMES S. ACKERMAN - Villard de Honnecourt's Drawings of Reims Cathedral: A Study in Architectural Representation

Among the nearly seventy drawings on parchment preserved from the model book of Villard de Honnecourt are a number done in the chantier of Reims Cathedral, around 1230. They are of great interest, not only as a record of the building of the Cathedral, but for what they show of the graphic representation of architecture in the late Middle Ages. They include the first drawing combining the inteĀ­rior and exterior elevation, the first cross-section, and an idiosyncratic representation of the central absidal chapel. While Villard does not seem to have been an architect or master mason, his volume documents a highly developed graphic capacity. The paper is a critical study of the group.

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