The complete monograph of Noyon Cathedral is still to be written. This study is concerned with the cathedral as it was designed in the twelfth century and brought virtually to completion in the years neighboring 1235 or 1240. Material outside this limited chronological scope has been introduced only to make clear either the genesis or modification of the Gothic church. Notre-Dame of Noyon needs no introduction. Since the earliest days of medieval archeology the cathedral has been recognized as one of the key monuments in the early development of Gothic art. This present book is intended to give the bases for renewed study and appreciation which both the cathedral and its period deserve.
In this venture I have benefited from the instruction, advice, and friendship of Professors Henri Focillon and Marcel Aubert. It is impossible for me to put my feelings of gratitude into a suitable phrase. No less helpful have been the encouragement and criticism of Professor John M. S. Allison. My unqualified thanks and appreciation go to the authorities of Yale University, in the Graduate School of which this work was first presented as a doctoral dissertation, for the allocation of funds which made possible the gathering of materials of study and their publication. The Associates in Fine Arts of Yale University have also generously contributed to the funds for publication. I should like to take this opportunity of extending my thanks to those authorities who gave me gracious permissions and facilities for research: the Directors of the Bibliothèque Nationale, of the Archives Nationales, of the Monuments Historiques, and of the Archives départementales of the Oise. I wish to thank especially M. André Collin, Inspecteur Général des Monuments Historiques, for a great deal of information and for permission to publish some of his fine drawings of the cathedral which he knows better than any. I am deeply appreciative of permissions accorded and helpful suggestions made by M. l'Abbé Lagneaux and the clergy of Noyon.
Friends both at home and abroad have contributed to the pleasure and effectiveness of the time spent on this study. I hope that many will read their names between these lines. For their generous advice I should like to thank MM. Élie Lambert, Jean Bony, and Francis Salet; for his criticism, companionship, and generous surrender of many photographs, my colleague, Mr. Sumner Crosby; for their help in preparation of the manuscript, Miss Elizabeth Seymour, Miss Helen Reynolds, Mrs. Ridgely Hunt . . .