Gothic Cathedrals of France and Their Treasures

By Marcel Aubert | Go to book overview

Glossary
Abacus: a flat slab on top of the bell of a capital.
Abutment-pier (or buttress-pier): a pier which discharges the thrust of a flying buttress.
Ambulatory: an aisle round a choir.
Arcading: a series or range of juxtaposed arches, purely decorative.
Arch, types of:
Equilateral arch: a pointed arch formed when the springing-points of its curves are on the horizontal line which passes through their centres and an equilateral triangle can be inscribed within it.
Lancet: a more sharply pointed arch.
Ogee: an arch shaped with a reverse curve.
Pointed: an arch consisting of two intersecting curves: normally less acute than the equilateral arch.
Transverse arch: an arch built at right angles to the axis of a nave in order to reinforce the nave vault.
Arris: sharp edge formed where two surfaces coming from different directions (i.e. in different planes) meet.
Astragal: a small projecting semicircular moulding interposed between the shaft of a column and its capital.
Bell: the splayed part of a capital.
Chrisma: a monogram of Christ formed by the letters χ and ρ.
Clerestory: the windowed upper division of wall in nave, choir and transepts of a church, above the triforium and aisle-roofs.
'Colonnette': a little column. [The same term is used in France for what is called in England a vaulting shaft.]
Corbel: a block of stone, often carved and moulded, bonded into, and projecting from a wall or column and supporting a beam, rib or other weight.
Crocket: a carved leaf or clump of foliage curving inwards at its tip; applied as decorative feature on capitals, gables and pinnacles.
Crossing: that part of a cruciform church when the transepts cross the nave.
Equilateral arch: see Arch, types of
Flaming-urn ornament: a Flamboyant-style ornament in the form of an urn shooting forth flames.
Foliated scroll: a sculptured or painted ornament in the form of an undulating branch with shoots sprouting on either side.
Gable: a vertical decorative triangular piece of wall above a door or window.
Groined vault: see Vault
Jamb: the side-piece of a doorway, window or fireplace--splayed in Gothic buildings as a rule.
Lancet: see Arch, types of
Light: one of the perpendicular divisions of a mullioned window.
Lintel: a horizontal slab of stone joining the two jambs of a doorway and usually forming the base of the tympanum.
Merlon: the solid portion of a parapet between two crenellations or embrasures.
Misericord: a projection under the tip-up seat of a stall to afford support to a person apparently standing.
Modillion: a small bracket supporting the entablature of a cornice.
'Mouchette': a flame-like motif in tracery, characteristic of the Flamboyant style in France. [See also 'Soufflet.'.]
Mullions: slender vertical stone bars which divide a Gothic window into 'lights'.

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