The three words of this significant book's main title might well stand between quotation marks, for the inclusion of “practice” in the subtitle indicates its real subject. This is a complex story of how architectural design as practice—still far from the modern use of the term profession—parted ways with the provision of materials and the supervision of building projects on-site. Merlijn Hurx's focus on the Low Countries immediately challenges conventional narratives that privilege Italy while also shifting the usual chronology back to the mid-fourteenth century. Like many recent historians of this period, Hurx decentralizes issues of style (although key aspects of challenging alternative styles have their place...

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