Zodiaque, Making Medieval Modern by Janet Marquardt

Professor Janet Marquardt’s long awaited opus, Zodiaque, Making Medieval Modern, 1951–2001 is ready for release!

The description of the book at the Penn State University Press states:

Begun in 1951 by monks at the abbey of La Pierre-qui-Vire in Burgundy, the Zodiaque publications consisted of a triennial journal and multiple series of books, including the most famous: La Nuit des temps. The editors’ goal was to renew sacred art for twentieth-century viewers by making connections between the direct, “primitive” character of pre-Gothic religious art and an emerging modernist aesthetic. Focusing almost exclusively on Romanesque architecture and sculptural decoration, Zodiaque revived the style’s richness and variety, bringing to light monuments lost to popular currency and visually shaping their reception with a new eye to graphic forms. What captured the public imagination and brought the Zodiaque books to international attention was their primary feature: striking black-and-white photogravures. These powerful images went beyond documentary photography to become collectible graphic prints, shaping the plastic form seen by the camera into a fresh two-dimensional artwork. In Zodiaque, Janet Marquardt explores the motivations, philosophies, and workshop practices of Éditions Zodiaque and how they affected the scholarly discourse on medieval art and architecture.

The pre-release reviews have been stunning, epitomized by this selection by Guy Lobrichon of the Université d’Avignon.

“The French avant-garde monks who created the publishing house Zodiaque in Burgundy thought they were shaping the inner world that post–WWII societies were lacking. How was picturing, framing, printing, and publishing on Romanesque art a way to a better world? And why Romanesque rather than Gothic? Thomas Merton, Albert Gleize and the Cubists, Alfred Stieglitz, Henri Focillon, André Malraux, and Jacques Maritain were the scouts and witnesses of a fifty-year venture that made the medieval modern. The brilliant medievalist Janet Marquardt is our guide, the one we need for a journey that begins as a monograph on a sacred aesthetic experience and finally turns into global history.”


Via Lucis is so lucky to have Professor Marquardt as one of our guest writers. She is also the person who put us in touch with the great founder of the Éditions Zodiaque, Angelico Surchamp. Congratulations to you, Janet. We can’t wait to order our copy.

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