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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Heavenly Bodies

Good news everyone! Paul Koudounaris, author of The Empire Of Death (aka The Bone Chapel Book I haven't actually finished because I get so distracted with the pictures that I forget to read the text; and which I may or may have not recommended to everyone from my mother to bloggers I've never met), has just released a new book, the awesomely - and ironically - titled... Heavenly Bodies.

Following on the success of his book The Empire of Death , which has attracted a global cult following, Paul Koudounaris brings the catacomb saints out of the darkness with this astonishing volume, which includes arresting images of more than seventy spectacular jeweled skeletons and the fascinating stories of dozens more, accompanied by rare archive material. This is the first time that some of these incredible relics both intriguing historical artifacts and masterpieces of artistic craftsmanship in their own right have appeared in a publication, with Koudounaris gaining unprecedented access to photograph in some of the most secretive religious establishments in Europe. This will be essential reading for goths, art historians and everyone in between.

Allow me a moment of mindless fun as I giggle at that last line. Goths! Art historians! Buy this book! Everybody else! Buy this book too! Buy one, get disbelieving stares from all your friends free! A swell addition to any coffee table! A sure conversation-starter!

But hey, in complete seriousness now, if you're the slightest bit interested in bone chapels and ossuaries and martyrs and the general prettiness you see in these images, I say give this man and his books a shot. So far I can only speak for The Empire Of Death, but honestly? In all its larger-than-A4 gold-embossed hardcover beauty? Best 23€ I've ever spent.


EDIT: There is a small, but great interview with Paul Koudounaris right here. Yay for people who acknowledge that there is, in fact, quite a bit of misogyny in art history!

[images: Amazon]

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