The Dean of Amiens Cathedral and the Master Sculptor
23 minutes plus 17 still images of the sculpture
This video imagines a 13th-century dialogue sketching out the sculptural program for the rebuilding of Amiens cathedral.
The dialogue, illustrated with images of the cathedrals at Amiens and Paris, suggests the roles which the dean and the master sculptor might have played in planning the sculptural program of Amien's vast façade.
The dean was in charge, but how much did he contribute to the design? Did the master sculptor temper the dean's theological abstractions by suggesting themes the common people might recognize? These are some of the questions explored in this video.
Written particularly for graduate students in art history, it will also appeal to undergraduates as the humor should help them to remember the standard subjects of portals. Graduate students will want to argue about the underlying idea, that the sculptor had a leading role in selecting details and even in suggesting new ones.
An insert in the DVD case contains a selected bibliography, a photo of the Last Judgment portal labeled to identify the sculpture, and a list of the seventeen photos included in the video. These photos (of the façade, the portals of the Last Judgment, the Coronation of the Virgin, and St. Firmin) are also repeated after the end of the dialogue so they may be paused for discussion.
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