Some of the great and lasting achievements of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance are the architectural wonders of soaring cathedrals and grand castles and palaces. While many of these edifices survive, many more are lost, and it is within the pages of illuminated manuscripts that we often find the best record of the appearance of these amazing buildings. This volume illustrates the creative ways in which medieval artists represented architecture, offering insight into what these buildings meant for medieval people. Such structures were not just made to be inhabited—they symbolized grandeur, power, and even heaven on earth. Building the Medieval World accompanied an exhibition of the same name that was on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum from March 2 through May 16, 2010.
This is the fourth in the popular Medieval Imagination series of small, affordable books drawing on manuscript illumination in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum and the British Library. Each volume focuses on a particular theme and provides an accessible, delightful introduction to the imagination of the medieval world.
Christine Sciacca is assistant curator in the Department of Manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum.