Prague and Bohemia: Medieval Art, Architecture and Cultural Exchange in Central Europe

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2009-05-21
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This volume explores one of the most creative periods in Central European history. At its core is the medieval city of Prague, which became the seat of the Luxembourg dynasty in the 14th century and was fashioned as the political and cultural capital of the Holy Roman Empire. That dramatic change in the fortunes of Prague and Bohemia from Romanesque roots to Late Gothic heyday and the religious uncertainties of the Hussite era is examined through fifteen essays written by scholars from Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and the USA. An important place is given to the re-evaluation of Czech medieval heritage in the 19th century, much of it shaped by Josef Mockers tireless and often controversial campaign to restore and document Gothic monuments. The volume offers important new insights into key buildings such as Prague Cathedral and Karlstein Castle. By bringing together their expertise in architecture, archaeology, painting, stained glass, manuscript illumination, textiles, sigillography and epigraphy, the authors also present a rich and complex picture of connections and influences stretching across the region from the small town of Koice in the east, to major centres such as Vienna, Cracow and Nuremberg, as far as the royal seats of Paris and London at the western extremities of Europe. Much of that vibrant cultural exchange took place in the climate of economic prosperity that attracted itinerant artists and supported prolific workshops, but some of the most astonishing examples of it came about amidst intense dynastic rivalry and religious strife. This collection is also a lasting record of the British Archaeological Associations conference held in Prague in 2006, the first such meeting east of the Rhine in its long and and distinguished history.

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