The Worlds of Villard de Honnecourt: The Portfolio, Medieval Technology, and Gothic Monuments


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This book charts the past, present, and future of studies on medieval technology, art, and craft practices. Inspired by Villard’s enigmatic portfolio of artistic and engineering drawings, this collection explores the multiple facets of medieval building represented in this manuscript (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS Fr 19093).

The book’s eighteen essays and two introductions showcase traditional and emergent methods for the study of medieval craft, demonstrating how these diverse approaches collectively amplify our understanding about how medieval people built, engineered, and represented their world. Contributions range from the analysis of words and images in Villard’s portfolio, to the close analysis of masonry, technological marvels, and gothic architecture, pointing the way toward new avenues for future scholarship to explore.

Contributors are: Mickey Abel, Carl F. Barnes Jr., Robert Bork, George Brooks, Michael T. Davis, Amy Gillette, Erik Gustafson, Maile S. Hutterer, John James, William Sayers, Ellen Shortell, Alice Isabella Sullivan, Richard Alfred Sundt, Sarah Thompson, Steven A. Walton, Maggie M. Williams, Kathleen Wilson Ruffo, and Nancy Wu.

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George Brooks, Ph.D. (2003), Florida State University, is Professor of Humanities, Medieval Studies, and History of Science and Technology at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. His interests include medieval technology and engineering, he has published several articles on medieval mechanics.

Maile S. Hutterer, Ph.D. (2011), New York University, is Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on French medieval architecture, and her publications include Framing the Church: The Social, Contextual, and Artistic Power of Gothic Buttresses (Penn State University Press, 2020).
Of interest to scholars from those just beginning the serious study of medieval technology, art, and architecture to established researchers maintaining currency in the field. Essential to any academic research library in medieval studies, architectural history, or history of technology.
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