King's College Chapel 1515 - 2015

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This newly researched and richly illustrated volume of essays is published to commemorate the five-hundredth anniversary of the completion of King's College Chapel. Eighteen eminent scholars explore the religious, cultural and artistic history of this spectacular building, from its foundation to the present day. They variously engage with politics, iconoclasm, aesthetics, drama, performance and sound; and, with a fresh and contemporary look at these topics, reveal the way in which the life of the Chapel, both religious and less religious, has developed and changed over the last five hundred years. The collection of essays covers many varied aspects of the Chapel: the architectural engineering of the magnificent vaulting, the current state of the glorious stained glass windows, and the Chapel's altar-pieces, among which the famous painting by Rubens, The Adoration of the Magi, has pride of place. Some of the fascinating personalities who have shaped the Chapel's role in the life of the College are the subject of other essays. Finally, the history of the Chapel's musical culture is traced from the first hundred years of the building's existence up to the twenty-first century, documenting the effect on service and ritual performance of the constantly changing religious practices and musicological values of the past, but at the same time focusing on the present-day fame of the King's College Choir and the vibrant musical life of the Chapel. To accompany the text, the volume contains over two hundred and forty illustrations, mostly in colour, offering a corpus of images of King's College Chapel - prints, watercolours, oil paintings, photographs, architectural drawings, plans, maps and even postcards. These reflect the many and varied responses that the Chapel has elicited over time.