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The Visual Theology of the Huguenots

eBook|Feb 2016
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The role of architecture within the French Reformed tradition has been of recent scholarly interest, seen in the work of Helene Guicharnaud, Catharine Randall, Andrew Spicer, and others. Few, however, have explored in depth the relationship between Reformed theology and...


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The role of architecture within the French Reformed tradition has been of recent scholarly interest, seen in the work of Helene Guicharnaud, Catharine Randall, Andrew Spicer, and others. Few, however, have explored in depth the relationship between Reformed theology and architectural forms. This thesis explores the roots of Reformed aesthetics, set against the background of late medieval church architecture. The work of Serlio is demonstrably important in the spreading of the ideas of Vitruvius, indicating the influence of classical Roman building on French Reformed architecture. There follows an examination of five important Huguenot architects: Philibert de l'Orme, Bernard Palissy, Jacques-Androuet du Cerceau, Salomon de Brosse, and Jacques Perret. We then undergo a comparative examination of three churches: St. Pierre in Geneva, a medieval church overhauled by the Reformers; St. Gervais-St. Protais, a Parisian Catholic church whose facade was completed by the French Reformed architect Salomon de Brosse; and the temple at Charenton, a structure also designed and built by de Brosse. These three buildings reveal the contribution of Huguenot architecture, a distinct language that gave expression to Reformed theological ideas and helped bring about the renewal of classicism in France.
-Publisher

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