Burgundian Gothic Architecture

Burgundian Gothic Architecture

Burgundian Gothic Architecture

Burgundian Gothic Architecture

Excerpt

The present book grew from an investigation of the impact of High Gothic architecture -- that of Chartres Cathedral and its immediate followers in the first decades of the thirteenth century -- on the various regions of France. It had been my original intention to reassess this short but important phase of Gothic style from the point of view of the provinces and to determine whether the dissemination of Gothic in France, and by extension in Europe at large, could have been due to the particular qualities of the Chartrain group. The architectural situation in the early thirteenth century turned out to be complex, however, and it seemed more valuable at the present time to dissect this complexity than to attempt the formulation of a general theory.

Burgundy is of course famous as one of the major centres of Romanesque architecture, the early "international" style of the Middle Ages. In the thirteenth century it was also the scene of a highly developed regional Gothic style. Gothic had no deep roots there, however, and the forms of this style vanished almost as rapidly as they had appeared, so that by 1300 Burgundian Gothic was virtually extinct. Chartres made itself felt at the very start of the movement, but in succeeding decades it was the newer designs of the Ile de France, themselves innovations upon the Chartrain formula, that formed a source of inspiration for Burgundian architects. No attempt has been made here to isolate peculiarly local types among the parts of the church, such as the façade or the porch, largely because I do not believe such types existed, at least in their simplest forms. The façade of Notre Dame at Dijon, for instance, is virtually unique, and if the porch there inspired the later ones at Beaune, St Père sous Vézelay and Semur, these differ fundamentally from Dijon in being "extrusive", and they also differ amongst themselves. A Catalogue of monuments, with summary descriptions and bibliographies, is provided at the end of the volume. I have not intended this as a complete archaeological repertory but have included only the . . .

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