The Creation of Gothic Architecture: An Illustrated Thesaurus - The Ark of God: v. 3: Evolution of Foliate Capitals in the Paris Basin Before 1170 - The Archaic Capitals Prior to 1130 by John James (Hardback, 2005)
This book presents a complete collection of all the capitals carved in the Paris Basin before 1130 - over 4,000 - few of which have never been published before. From this has come a profoundly significant analysis: That these carvers pursued what might be called a Quest for Order, a quest that grew into an obsession over the next two generations. By following each step in this quest in the dateable buildings in the rest of Europe, James has dated nearly every campaign in the Basin to within 5 years - a unique achievement possible only because every one of the 147 remaining works have been included. This holistic approach provides the evidence that pointed arches and rib vaults were both being employed in the Paris Basin from the mid-1080s. Volume 3 in Part B of The Ark of God provides valuable insights into the development of Early Romanesque carving and architecture prior to the seminal work at Chartres and Saint-Denis. It complements Part A and, with the later volumes, aims to establish from all the evidence a comprehensive chrology for the Creation of Gothic Architecture .