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The Empire of Death

Koudounaris, Paul

Published by Thames & Hudson
ISBN 10: 0500251789 / ISBN 13: 9780500251782
New / Hardcover / Quantity Available: 19
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Empire of Death

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New


2011. First Edition. Hardcover. Takes the reader on an international tour of macabre and devotional architectural masterpieces in nearly 20 countries. This book brings together some of the world's most important charnel sites, ranging from the crypts of the Capuchin monasteries in Italy, to the strange tomb of a 1960s wealthy Peruvian nobleman. Num Pages: 224 pages, 421 illustrations, 290 in colour. BIC Classification: AMN; HBTB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 236 x 314 x 27. Weight in Grams: 1572. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780500251782

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From bone fetishism in the ancient world to painted skulls in Austria and Bavaria: an unusual and compelling work of cultural history.

It is sometimes said that death is the last taboo, but it was not always so. For centuries, religious establishments constructed decorated ossuaries and charnel houses that stand as masterpieces of art created from human bone. These unique structures have been pushed into the footnotes of history; they were part of a dialogue with death that is now silent.

The sites in this specially photographed and brilliantly original study range from the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Palermo, where the living would visit mummified or skeletal remains and lovingly dress them; to the Paris catacombs; to fantastic bone-encrusted creations in Austria, Cambodia, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Peru, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and elsewhere.

Paul Koudounaris photographed more than seventy sites for this book. He analyzes the role of these remarkable memorials within the cultures that created them, as well as the mythology and folklore that developed around them, and skillfully traces a remarkable human endeavor. 290 photographs, 260 in color

About the Author: Paul Koudounaris received his doctorate from the art history department at UCLA. His previous books include The Empire of Death and Heavenly Bodies. He lives in Los Angeles.

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