Manuscript Painting in Paris During the Reign of St.Louis by Robert Branner
(Study in the History of Art)

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Book xxiv, 270 p., [75] leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 31 cm. Robert Branner (1927-1973) was an art historian specializing in Gothic architecture and manuscript illumination. His father, Martin Michael Branner (1888-1970), was a former vaudeville star who created the popular newspaper comic strip, "Winnie Winkle" (1920-1962). The younger Branner grew up in New York City, majoring in Classics at Yale. He was drafted into the army in 1945 and served in the European theater. It was there that he gained an appreciation for Gothic architecture. Returning in 1946, he graduated from Yale in 1948 and immediately continued for his Ph.D. During that time he worked at the École des Chartes and the Institut d'Art et Archaeologie where, after completion of his coursework, he headed the excavation work of Bourges cathedral between 1950-1952. His dissertation on Bourges was directed by Sumner McKnight Crosby. Jean Bony, another Yale mentor, termed Branner's dissertation "the first full-scale analysis of one of the greatest medieval buildings". In 1965, his seminal St. Louis and the Court Style in Gothic Architecture appeared, still considered his masterpiece. His critical study on the illumination of Paris during the reign of St. Louis had just been completed when he died unexpectedly the following heart surgery at age 46. Branner's methodology utilized three main interlocking techniques traditionally employed by architectural historians, namely design analysis, architectural investigation, and the identification of styles. He owned much to his Yale mentors, all scholars trained by the late Henri Focillon, Bony, Crosby and Louis Grodecki the latter whom he had met excavating St. Denis under Crosby. But Branner extended the discussion of Gothic architecture to include patronage and cultural and economic history as well. His work reopened questions of origin, chronology and attribution in Gothic architecture and exerted a huge influence on medieval scholarship.

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Published December 1, 1977 by University of California Press. 270 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction