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The Bishop's Chapel of Hereford Cathedral and the Question of Architectural Copies in the Middle Ages

Hans J. Böker
Gesta
Vol. 37, No. 1 (1998), pp. 44-54
DOI: 10.2307/767211
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/767211
Page Count: 11
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The Bishop's Chapel of Hereford Cathedral and the Question of Architectural Copies in the Middle Ages
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Abstract

The Bishop's Chapel at Hereford is considered an important key to the understanding of architectural iconology in the middle ages since it is reported to have been built in imitation of the Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne at Aachen. At the same time it is linked typologically to a larger number of double-storied chapels on the continent, especially within the Holy Roman Empire, for none of which a similar intent of copying Aachen is recorded. The result of this contradiction was the emergence of an art historical idea that copying in the middle ages was not something to be taken literally. This paper argues that the identification of the Hereford chapel with the chapel that was meant to be a copy of Aachen rests rather on a confusion, and that this particular chapel and its continental counterparts follow a distinct tradition with decidedly Byzantine connotations.

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