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Aesthetic Attitudes in Gothic Art: thoughts on Girona Cathedral

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Binski, P 


The aim of this paper is to explore aspects of medieval aesthetic experience and criticism of architecture by means of the documented Catalan and Latin expertise held at Girona Cathedral in 1416-17. Medieval documentation of this type is relatively rare. Having outlined the cases made by the architects summoned to give their opinions on the development of the cathedral, the discussion considers three particular junctures. The first is that of illumination and affect, particularly jucunditas and laetitia; the second is that of nobility and magnificence; and the third is the juncture of the palace and church. I suggest that there is significant common ground between secular and religious buildings in regard to aesthetic experience and verbal articulation. Arguing against comprehensive aesthetic and theological orders of thought and experience, and in favour of the occasional character of medieval experience, I conclude that much of the known language of this sort sits ill with Romantic and post-Romantic concepts of the Sublime.



Girona cathedral, Gothic, expertise, affects, nobility, magnificence, Sublime

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Codex Aquilarensis

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IX CollColloquium ARS MEDIAEVALIS IX Beauty, Persuasion, and Rhetoric in Medieval Art

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