Pilgerarchitektur und bildliche Repräsentation in neuer Perspektive
Edited By Bernd Nicolai and Klaus Rheidt
De qualitate aecclesiae: Architectural Description in the Pilgrim’s Guide to Santiago de Compostela
The Pilgrim’s Guide to Santiago de Compostela was probably written between 1135 and 1140.2 The text was falsely attributed to Aimery Picaud in the 19th century, and while we can deduce some defining characteristics of the author (like his status in life and his travels), we still do not know his name.3 His description of sculpture found in the Guide has been recognized as innovative, being the first extant full description of sculpture in the west after the antique period. However, little attention has been paid to the nature and quality of the description of the architecture. While the meaning of some seemingly technical terms has been explored, (especially terms that have so far evaded explanation) there has been minimal overall assessment of the author’s description of the architecture of the building.4 The analysis presented here addresses this lacuna in scholarship and proposes that the author is as innovative in writing about the architecture of Santiago de Compostela as he is in writing about the sculpture.5
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