Legends in Limestone

Lazarus, Gislebertus, and the Cathedral of Autun

Linda Seidel

Legends in Limestone

Linda Seidel

200 pages | 78 halftones, 9 line drawings, 2 maps, 2 tables | 6-1/2 x 9-1/4 | © 1999
Cloth $52.00 ISBN: 9780226745152 Published October 1999
Whereas twelfth-century pilgrims flocked to the church of St-Lazare in Autun to visit the relics of its patron saint, present-day pilgrims journey there to admire its superb sculpture, said to have been created by the artist Gislebertus whose name is inscribed above one of the church doors. These two cults, of sculptor and of saint, form points of departure and arrival for Linda Seidel’s study.

Legends in Limestone reveals how "Gislebertus, sculptor" was discovered and subsequently sanctified over the course of the last century. Seidel makes a compelling case for the identification of the name with an ancestor of the local ducal family, invoked for his role in the acquisition of the precious relics. With the aid of evidence drawn from the richly carved decoration of the building, she demonstrates how medieval visitors would have read a different holy narrative in the church fabric, one that constructed before their eyes an account of their patron saint’s life.

Legends in Limestone, an absorbing study of one of France’s most revered medieval monuments, provides fresh insights into modern and medieval interpretive practices.

List of Illustrations
1. Texts and Contexts
2. Burgundy and Bethany
3. Re/Collecting the Past
4. Architecture and Antiquity
5. Sculpted Stories
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