Architecture and the After-Life

Howard Colvin's study of funerary architecture


Howard Colvin


Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1991
Architecture and the After-LifeArchitecture and the After-LifeArchitecture and the After-Life

Printing Details

First edition, first printing. Hardback in dustwrapper. 26.5 × 20.5cm, 418pp.

The Pyramids and the Taj Mahal are witness to the extravagant architectural tributes that, throughout human history, the great and the wealthy have paid to their dead. In this book, an architectural historian provides a history of funerary architecture in western Europe from the earliest megalithic tombs of prehistory to the establishment of public cemeteries in the 19th century. The author traces the ways in which these structures represent changing ideas about the after-life as well as changes in architectural style. He discusses a wide range of funerary architecture: prehistoric tombs such as the "Treasury of Atreus" at Mycenae; great pagan mausolea such as those of Halicarnassus and Hadrian; early Christian ones such as S. Costanza in Rome and the mausoleum of Theodoric at Ravenna; dynastic burial churches such as Saint Denis and Westminster Abbey; medieval chantry chapels; Renaissance and Baroque family chapels; and neo-classical mausolea such as those at Castle Howard in England and at Hamilton in Scotland. Drawing on both archaeological and art-historical sources, Colvin brings together and summarizes the most recent research on funerary architecture. He also makes his own contribution ot the subject, placing the architectural monuments in the context of secular patronage and religious beliefs and offering new analyses of architectural developments.

The book, which includes 7 colour plates, 268 black and white illustrations, 90 specially drawn plans and elevations, and an extensive bibliography, should interest both scholars and the general reader.


Very good condition, with a little rubbing to the spine ends and a small watermark to the base of the wrapper's spine.





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Architecture and the After-LifeArchitecture and the After-LifeArchitecture and the After-Life

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