History of Art Lecture 13 August 4, 2010
THE YEAR 1200
Dogobert, one of the French kings of the 7
century, buried at Saint-Denis.
The place then
becomes the burial place for kings.
French are able to centralize power because of their strong
Dogobert first one to be buried at Saint-Denis and then following lineage buried there.
Heavily damaged during the French Revolution, because Saint-Denis is kind of like the royal
kingdom of France, association of Royalty and religion, sacred kinship.
CHURCH OF SAINT-DENIS
Church is also a burial place for royalty. Identitfied by the kings of France.
CHOIR: the choir is the birth of Gothic. Choir kind of circular
Abbet suger worked to become
abbet, he decided to rebuild the Abbet of Saint-Denis, to glorify himself and the ancient kings.
Decides to rebuild the west work and the choir but not the nave.
Nave stays the same, but he
adds westwork and choir.
He writes an account of rebuilding the church and sounds very self-
glorifying and self-congratulatory.
He eventually kind of works off the nave.
don’t have a Transcept they lose a trancept, because they are not all Abbies but more cathedrals,
they are more like a seat for the bishop.
Since church is an abby, there is less space for the
Church dedicated to Saint Denis.
His head got cut off.
Shrine of St. Denis comes from the story
of him arriving to St. Denis with his head on his hands.
Façade: there were a line of a sculture of kings, but during the French revolution a lot of heads of
those sculptures were chipped off.
Nose were mostly gone because the heads fell face forward.
Someone was burying the heads of the statues, because a French farmer found it in the ground.
Throne of King Dagobert, Saint Denis held the sacred treasure of the Kings of France, was a
century because beasts on the side legs and hatches inter crossing.
Façade: big strong lines and large buttresses, they reveal how the church looks on the inside, just
similar to the Façade in Caen.
Three part structure, towers, and buttress, and the horizontal
frames do not line up with each other, this is what helps develop rose windows.
looks more linear and vertical.
Portals placed on the façade. (look for portals).
Ambulatory: space behind alter.
Space/division of the Romanesque church, you have regular
square base, you have lines that divides the vaults into squares.
Clear geometric indication of
But at Saint-Denis, the separation of space is radial, the separation of vaults are gothic
arches, you can’t tell between spaces because there is no separation of space, it is all one
continuation of space.
It is important because it also allows for windows.
(remember byzantine line of light as being divine), sudodioneasus book was brought to Paris and
restarted the idea of Divine Light.
Idea of light becomes important, and have magical qualities,
it can go through windows and cannot break.
By allowing a lot of light, you allow a lot of divine