Notre Dame de Paris. The most famous Gothic Cathedral

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1 GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE

2 Notre Dame de Paris The most famous Gothic Cathedral

3 An Early Gothic Cathedral Notre Dame, Paris Means Our Lady referring to Mary, the mother of Christ Bridges the period between Suger s rebuilding of Saint Denis and the High Gothic period. Built because Paris had grown so large = new cathedral was needed for the royal court = Pope Alexander II (supposedly) laid the cornerstone of the new church. Question: Can you pick out the Norman tripartite façade structure?

4 The Nave of Notre Dame, Paris Massive walls and buttresses Six-part (sexpartite) vaulting Adopted from Norman Romanesque architecture Has 4 stories An arcade A gallery 2 levels of small windows Lancet windows Round oculi (bull s eye) windows 1 st true flying buttresses used for 2 reasons: To increase window size To secure the vaulting

5 Nave was modernized in 1225 Reworking of the upper 2 levels Changed to a large clerestory section (we see this today) Flying buttresses (as seen today) are the result of a later remodeling of the cathedral. The 290 spire over the crossing = added by the 19 th century architect Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le- Duc

6 19 th century Spire oculi Bell towers Rose Window Notre Dame de Paris View from the South Flying buttress

7 Notre Dame des Chartres: a.k.a. Chartres Cathedral THE High Gothic Cathedral!

8 Early to High Gothic: Chartres Cathedral Structural techniques applied to Saint Denis New concepts of space applied to Notre Dame, Paris Chartres is the transitional Cathedral From early Gothic to High Gothic Considered the near-perfect embodiment of the Gothic Spirit Use of stone Use of glass

9 Construction of Chartres North Spire Constructed in stages Original stage: mid-12 th to the mid-13 th centuries Transitions and other stages run well into the 16 th century North Spire Question: If you are looking at the west portal, which spire is the North Spire? Chartres reflects transition From experimental 12 th century style To a mature 13 th century style

10 400 years at Chartres Site of a pre-christian goddess cult Dedicated to the Virgin Mary Becomes one of the oldest and most important Christian shrines in France. Main treasure: a piece of cloth believed to have been worn by Mary at the birth of Christ. The Tunic of the Virgin Gifted by a Byzantine empress to Charlemagne. Given to Chartres by Charles the Bald (grandson of Charlemagne) This relic made Chartres a major pilgrimage church Stained glass and Sculptural program Tried to represent ALL of Christian history in one location. Royal (West) portal is dedicated to Christ North transept portal and stained glass above depict the world before Christ South transept reveals later events in Christian history Lives of saints Last Judgment

11 Chartres decoration also encompasses number symbolism The number 3 = the spiritual world of the Trinity The number 4 = the material world The four winds The four seasons The four rivers of Paradise Combined, these numbers (3+4) form the perfect and all-inclusive number 7. Most expressed in the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit References to 3, 4, and 7 recur throughout cathedral imagery. West façade = the 7 liberal arts surround the image of Mary and Jesus!

12 The Royal Portal Most striking features of the West façade Prominent rose window 2 towers with their spires 3 doorways (called the Royal Portal ) Inspired by the portal of Saint Denis

13 Center of the West façade Central tympanum = Christ enthroned with the 4 evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John The apostles are organized into 4 groups of 3 Fill the lintel area The 24 elders of the Apocalypse line the archivolts Right portal (left side of Christ tympanum) Dedicated to Mary and the early life of Christ Begins with the annunciation Ends with the presentation at the Temple Left portal (right side of Christ tympanum) Christ ascends heavenward in a cloud Supported by angels

14 All 3 portals Storied capitals depict the earthly activities of Christ Flanking the doorways Monumental jamb figures (which become standard elements in Gothic church portals) Depict Old Testament kings and queens (the precursors of Christ according to Christian theology) NOTE!: The Jamb figures have both a political and biblical allusion Political Allusions: The jamb figures remind the people of the close ties between the Church and the French Royals. During the French Revolution, sculptures of kings and queens were removed from churches and destroyed. Chartres figures are among the few that remain. Biblical Allusions: Jamb figures are a reference to the Old Testament. (The Old Testament supports the New Testament in Christian theology.) Jamb figures of the Old Testament were placed under the New Testament tympanums.

15 Christ ascending tympanum Enthroned Christ tympanum The apostles Jamb figures (OT kings and queens) 24 elders of the Apocalypse Mary and Jesus tympanum

16 Jamb figure transitions Developed from shaft-like reliefs to fully 3-D figures that appear to interact Chartres = figures were posed naturally and comfortably Statues appear Erect Frontal Columnar Heads of statues are rendered with idealized features Calm and ordered entryway is presented.

17 (L)Old Testament Kings and Queens (R)Saints Martin, Jerome, and Gregory Saint Martin: Bishop Saint Jerome: writing materials Saint Gregory: dove

18 Rebuilding Chartres 1194 = fire destroyed most of Chartres Royal Portal, windows, and crypt survived Papacy convinced the church officials to rebuild = New cathedral was constructed. Money, resources, raw materials, and skilled workers were required. Remember: David Macaulay's Cathedral Scaffolds Master craftsmen Guilds Money All were needed to construct the new cathedral. We know that the townspeople and the local nobles revolted several times during the construction process: The Church imposed heavy taxes to construct the cathedra. During one revolt, the bishop and clergy were exiled for 4 years.

19 Chartres Rebuilt in 1194 South Portal

20 High Gothic Architecture at Chartres The architects take the skeletal structure of Saint Denis and alter it! Chartres was 45 wide and 120 tall The enlarged sanctuary with ambulatory and chapels occupy one-third of the cathedral! Crossing of Chartres is an equilateral triangle Altar situated behind a choir screen Builders made the nave arcade and the clerestory nearly equal in height Little interior architectural decoration is used Four part (Quadripartite) vaulting replaces simple vaulting from previous cathedrals.

21 Changes from Romanesque to Gothic Four-part vaulting replaced the more complex vaulting systems of the Romanesque tradition: Durham Caen In Romanesque architecture, the piers alternated between heavy and light: Speyer Cathedral! Gothic piers alternate between round and octagonal compound piers (more subtle changes) Gallery (narrow arcaded triforium) = forms a horizontal band running the length of the nave Clerestory is formed by windows Paired lancet windows topped with an oculi window Technique is known as plate tracery (glass fills nearly half the wall surface)

22 The Glory of Stained Glass Chartres is unique among French Gothic buildings: Most of its stained glass windows have survived Chartres was famous for its glass making shop! By 1260 = this shop had installed 22,000 square feet of stained glass in 176 windows. Probably one of the most famous windows still at Chartres is the Tree of Jesse window. Completed around Jesse lies at the base of the tree (whose trunk grows out of his body). Father of King David Ancestor of Mary The family tree is meant to connect Jesus with the house of David 7 doves (encircling Christ) symbolize the gifts of the Holy Spirit 14 prophets stand in the semicircles flanking the tree

23 Tree of Jesse Window

24 12 th century windows are remarkable simple geometric patterns Squares Rectangles Intensity of color and color symbolism Blue = heaven and fidelity Red = the Passion White = purity Green = fertility and springtime Yellow (substituted for gold) = the presence of God, the sun, truth Plain yellow (not meant for gold) = deceit or cowardice Changed the color or quality of light to inspire devotion Subject matter was used to educate the viewer

25 Most of the windows in the new cathedral at Chartres were glazed c The North transept windows Possibly a royal commission A gift from Queen Blanche of Castile (mother of Louis IX) Spandrel windows: Heraldic castles symbolize the country of Castile Joined by the golden lilies (fleur-de-lis) of France Lancet windows: Saint Anne is holding the infant Mary in the center lancet To the immediate left and right are Melchizedek and Aaron The far left and right lancets reveal Kings David and Solomon Rose Window: Mary is enthroned holding the Christ child Windows surrounding the pair four doves (the gospels), Eight angels, The prophets, The Old Testament ancestors of Christ

26

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