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(638 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Liturgics A retable (from Lat. retabulum, retrotabulum) is a permanent structure behind an altar for the display of paintings or sculpture, resting either on the rear of the mensa or on a substructure behind the altar. The retable (or reredos) can house relics (Reliquary); it can also – in conjunction with a tabernacle (Tabernacle, Christian) – accommodate the Blessed Sacrament (Holy of Holies: II; Altar of the Poor Clares, Cologne Cathedral, c. 1350). A precondition for its developme…


(458 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[German Version] a spherical vault form used to enclose a central room or the central portion of a room over a circular, oval or square ground-plan often with cylindrical or polygonal substructure (tambour) to span the space. In addition to managing larger spans, engineering demands included the transition from a square floor plane to the circular base of the dome, a problem mastered by corner supports – partial arches in the form of trompes (funnel niches) or pendentifs (spherical triangles). The first highlight in monumental dome construction was the …

Church Seating

(843 words)

Author(s): Huffman, Walter | Bock, Ulrich | Böttcher, Hartmut
[German Version] I. Liturgy – II. Art History – III. Law I. Liturgy The form and the focus of the liturgical space reveal the theological self-concept of a community. Important developments in our time have been the reconfiguration of worship spaces without regard for historical stereotypes (Church architecture: II, 4) and the rediscovery of the form of their liturgical center. The definition of the church as a family gathered around word and sacrament encouraged a rather semi-circula…


(318 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[German Version] (from Lat. scrinium, “case, capsule”), in the sense discussed here, can mean either (1) the box-like central section of a carved reredos (Retable: II) or (2) a reliquary in the form of a box, house, or church, originating as a sarcophagus. Such shrines are major works of medieval goldsmithing; they reached their apogee in the area of the Rhine and Meuse in the 12th and 13th centuries. Crafted from precious materials (gold, silver, ivory, decorated with gems) and employing elaborate …


(634 words)

Author(s): White, James F. | Bock, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Liturgy The pulpit is the designated place for preaching in church; it emerged from the transportable pulpits of mendicant monks in the 13th century. Similar functions often apply to a lectern or ambo. The ancient term, ambo, has been recovered recently in Roman Catholic circles. Originally the ambo was a place for the reading of the Scriptures. From a step ( gradus) musical items between the readings might be sung, hence the term ¶ Gradual. Preaching was done by the presider seated in the apse. J. Chrysostom is reputed to have …


(342 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[German Version] (Lat. analogium, lectorium, pulpitum), a support for liturgical books, either as a free-standing piece of church furniture (choir and altar lecterns) or as a permanent attachment affixed to an ambo, jube or pulpit for the Gospel readings on ecclesial feast days. In the case of free-standing choir lecterns, a distinction must be made between the onesided lecterns flanking the altar or the choir entrance, which are used during the Gospel and Epistle readings, and the frequently two- to…


(331 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[German Version] (Lat. lectorium, “lectern”), a monumental stone structure, usually situated crosswise between the choir and central nave, that found its way between the 12th and 16th centuries primarily into western and central ¶ European cathedrals, collegiate and monastery churches, separating the clergy from the laity. The jube consists of a ceiling-high, usually three-yoked, arched substructure that opens to the central nave in arcades and has a backwards-facing separating wall with one to three passages to the choir, later…


(885 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[German Version] A reliquary is a repository, usually artistically wrought, for relics (Lat. reliquiae, “remains”). Reliquaries contain and represent primary relics, i.e. bodily remains of saints (Saints/Veneration of the saints) or beatified persons (bones, teeth, nails, or hair); they may also contain secondary or “contact” relics, i.e. objects that were closely linked to the venerated persons during their lifetime (clothes, writing implements, instruments of torture) or had direct contact with the primary relics. As early as the 4th/5th century, the church father …


(212 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[German Version] A predella (Ital., “platform”) is the base of an altarpiece or retable (Altar: III, 2; Retable: II; Shrine), usually in the form of an elongated chest. The earliest date from the early 14th century. The term predula is first attested in 1301 in Italy. Since the 15th century, a predella has been a standard element in the design of altarpieces. It can comprise one or more paintings, contain relics, and serve as an open frame-¶ work with carved figures of saints or biblical scenes. As part of the overall iconography of the altarpiece, its transverse rectang…


(256 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[English Version] (von lat. scrinium, »Schachtel, Kapsel«), bez. 1. das kastenförmige Mittelstück eines Schnitzretabels (Retabel: II.) und 2. ein auf den Sarkophag zurückgehendes Reliquiar in der Grundform eines Kastens, Hauses oder Sakralbaus. Sch. sind die Hauptwerke der ma. Goldschmiedekunst, ihre Blütezeit erlebten sie im Rhein-Maas-Gebiet des 12./13.Jh. Mit edelsten Materialien (Gold, Silber, Steinbesatz, Elfenbein) und in aufwendiger Technik (Zellen- und Grubenschmelz, Filigran, Guß- und Tre…


(178 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[English Version] (ital. Podest, Altarsockel), zumeist kastenförmiger Untersatz eines Altarretabels (Altar: III., 2., Retabel: II., Schrein), der sich seit dem frühen 14.Jh. nachweisen läßt. Der Begriff »predula« ist erstmals 1301 für Italien verbürgt. Seit dem 15.Jh. ist die P. fester Bestandteil im Aufbau eines Retabels. Sie kann eine oder mehrere Bildtafeln aufweisen, Reliquien bergen und als offenes Gefache mit geschnitzten Heiligenfiguren bzw. bibl. Szenen aufwarten. Einbezogen in die Gesamti…


(554 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[English Version] I. Liturgisch R. (von lat. retabulum, retrotabulum) bez. einen Aufsatz bzw. eine Rückwand des Altars, der entweder auf dem rückwärtigen Teil der Altarmensa oder auf einem Unterbau hinter dem Altar als Bildträger dauernd angebracht ist. Das R. kann Reliquien (Reliquiar) enthalten sowie – verbunden mit einem Tabernakel – das Sanctissimum (Allerheiligstes: II.) aufnehmen (Klaren-Altar, Kölner Dom, um 1350). Voraussetzung für seine Entwicklung war die Stellung des zelebrierenden Litur…


(718 words)

Author(s): Bock, Ulrich
[English Version] Reliquiar, meist künstlerisch gestaltetes Behältnis für Reliquien (lat. reliquiae, »Überreste«). R. bergen und repräsentieren Primärreliquien, d.h. körperliche Überreste von Heiligen oder Seligen (Knochen, Zähne, Nägel oder Haare), des weiteren auch Sekundär- bzw. Kontaktreliquien, d.h. Objekte, die mit den verehrten Personen zu Lebzeiten eng verbunden (Kleider, Schreibutensilien, Marterwerkzeuge) oder an Primärreliquien angerührt worden waren. Bereits der Kirchenvater Hieronymus und der Dichter Aurelius Prudentius Clemens erwähnen…