For centuries, medieval castles – hulking, isolated triumphs of masonry – have held a special place in the Western imagination, evoking at once a sense of history, fantasy, war and romance. They are the perennial backdrops for period dramas and children’s books, travel brochures and fashion spreads.
But in his latest book, “Stone Age: Ancient Castles of Europe,” writer and photographer Frédéric Chaubin set out to disrupt the familiar stereotypes, using prose and photography to link the medieval with the Modernist.
“Instead of just considering them as historical remains, I was much more interested in building a link between this very primitive architecture and the basics and principles of Modernism, which were more or less set up at the beginning of the 20th century through theoretical works by Adolf Loos or Le Corbusier,” he explained in a phone interview, referring to the influential theorists and architects who lobbied against ornamentation and venerated clean shapes.”(The principle) that form follows function is perfectly expressed in this very, very primitive architecture.”
When castles first emerged in the 10th century as an alternative to wooden structures, they were envisaged as fortified dwellings for the ruling class. Protection trumped decoration: Towers were built high to safeguard inhabitants from outside threats, moats were defenses rather than water features and designs were adapted to fit the changing rules of war or the domestic needs of castle residents.
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For almost a year, Beyoncé’s fans have been starved of visuals for her seventh album, Renaissance. It’s an unusual move for a star whose visual aesthetic has always been intertwined with her music.
From the bubblegum-popping, star-making video for Crazy In Love, to the multi-layered exploration of infidelity and black femininity in the visual album, Lemonade, she has always used fashion and iconography to enhance her songs. Learn more