Saint-Denis (Saint-Denis [Paris], France) : Stained Glass in Chevet and Ambulatory (Saint-Denis [Paris], France) : Chapel of the Virgin (Infancy of Christ), Tree of Jesse window in south bay, detail

Creator:
Suger, Abbot of Saint-Denis, ca. 1081-1151
Published/Created:
near Paris, Saint-Denis, Île-de-France, France
ca. 1140-1850 (inclusive)
Date Depicted:
5/15/1997
500 AD - 1499 AD
Materials:
stained glass
Notes:
Little remains of the abbey's important and influential medieval glazing. The windows of the Rayonnant choir and nave, probably the most important 13th-century ensemble in the Paris region before the glazing of the Sainte-Chapelle, were destroyed in the Revolution. They are documented only in a sketch, one of a series (Compiègne, Mus. Mun. Vivenel) made in 1794-1795 by Charles Percier, and the reliability of even this has been challenged (Lillich). Despite the effects of the Revolution and a series of 19th-century restorations, more glass, and better documentation, survive from the ambulatory of Suger's 12th-century church, enabling some evaluation of the significance of this glazing within the history of medieval art. Glazing played an unprecedentedly influential role in the design of Suger's church, especially in the ambulatory. Here for the first time stained glass became an important feature, perhaps the most important feature, of an architectural environment. In Suger's record of his administration, some of his most rhapsodic commentary praises the pervasiveness of coloured light in the building. He describes the manner in which the choir shone 'with the wonderful and uninterrupted light of most sacred windows, pervading the interior beauty' (Panofsky, p. 101). Suger admired the windows not principally for their beauty but for the way in which their luminosity could help the viewer to approach God through the contemplation of light.
Variant Titles:
Abbey Church of Saint-Denis
Abbaye de Saint-Denis
Basilique de Saint-Denis
Basilica of St. Denis
Topics:
Architecture -- France -- 13th century -- (YVRC)
Period/Style:
Gothic (Medieval)
Nineteenth century
Culture:
French
Accession Number:
1A2-F-P-SD-5-B6
Genre:
churches (AAT)
stained glass (AAT)
Format:
Image
Content Type:
Sculptures, Models, & Architecture
Rights:
Copyright Scott Gilchrist, Archivision, Inc
The use of this image may be subject to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) or to site license or other rights management terms and conditions. The person using the image is liable for any infringement.
Access Restrictions:
Yale Community Only
Digital:
cycles or series; decorative arts; New Testament; Old Testament and Apocrypha stained glass visual works; stained glass (visual works) window: stained glass
Source Creator:
Gilchrist, Scott
Source Title:
Archivision Module Two
Source Created:
2878 Chamonix, Montreal QC
Archivision, Inc.
5/15/1997
Source Note:
Purchase, Visual Resources Collection, May, 2011; photographer Scott Gilchrist
Yale Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Digital Collection:
Visual Resources Collection
Local Record Number:
4152
OID:
10167809
PID:
digcoll:1863853