Inventio Porticus - Imagining Solomon's Porches in Late Medieval England

Helen Lunnon

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This paper presents a study of the iconographic relationship between medieval church porches and the porches of King Solomon. In so doing it develops Richard Krautheimer’s work to elucidate the inventive capacity of medieval designers when a prototype is known only through written sources not structural actuality. The paper begins by introducing instances where established architectural modes were adopted for the design of a church porch, for example the cloistral attributes of the porch at Great Massingham (Norfolk). It is then argued that, based on formal study of entrance buildings including porch-towers, gatehouses, and ultimately the remarkable double-depth north porch at St Mary Redcliffe, biblical descriptions of Solomon’s forebuildings presented designers with malleable models which afforded inventive architectural interpretation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Art Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2017

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