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 centred on Christian rituals and stories.
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Introduction; Part I. The Screen as Sculpture: 1. The choir screen as partition; 2. The choir screen as bridge; 3. The choir screen as frame; Part II. The Sculpture on the Screen: 4. Women, men and the social order; 5. Jews, Christians and the question of the individual; 6. Nobles, peasants and the vernacular mode; Epilogue.
Dr Jung, Jacqueline E.
Jacqueline E. Jung is Assistant Professor of Medieval Art and Architecture in the Department of History of Art at Yale University. She is the author of articles in The Art Bulletin, Gesta and numerous anthologies and catalogs both in the United States and Germany, as well as the translator of several seminal art historical writings, most notably Aloïs Riegl's Historical Grammar of the Visual Arts.