The glazing programs of Beauvais cathedral were set up in four campaigns between 1240 and 1340.They form an amalgamated of original glass surviving the catastrophic collapse from the vaults in 1284 and medieval and modern restorations and replacements. The whole ensemble is attentively researched, meticulously observed, and abundantly highlighted in Michael Cothren’s book. Intensive iconographic and formal analyses identify local and regional centers of artistic production and distinguish artistic transmission back and forth from the middle, Paris.
The central interpretive frame within this study is definitely the cathedral like a Eucharistic theater,embracing a unified community of celebrants, patrons, and viewers or worshippers, two terms interchanged through the book. Four chapters stick to the sequence of glazing campaigns: the Virgin Chapel (1240s) the initial home windows from the upper choir (ca. 1255–65) their postcollapse repair and refurbishment (1290s) restorations and new home windows (1340s). Subsections in every chapter examine architectural and historic settings, conservation, iconography, style, narrative, although the author’s approach is overwhelmingly formal.
The axial lancets from the Virgin Chapel illustrate the Infancy of Christ and Jesse Tree beneath a crucifixion within the small rose, typically presented because the altar offering, a chalice receiving Christ’s bloodstream. The home windows align using the celebration around the primary altar in which the Eucharist could have been elevated in direction of the crucified Christ. This alignment between liturgical celebration and stained-glass framing and articulating the sanctuary is extended across the central, vertical axis towards the clerestory home windows (chapter 2), in which the axial [Finish Page 337] lancets focus on full figures from the Virgin and Christ Crucified, again because the altar offering, supported through the apostles in radiating home windows. Each one is monumental in scale and hang within grisaille bands. In the axial chapel from the choir towards the towering clerestory, the central Christian narrative from the incarnation and also the central service from the Church implemented by Christ and the apostles therefore are extremely legible. Cothren argues for any self-conscious effort by glass designers and painters to produce continuity in design and subject, to unify visually and programmatically surviving, restored, and recently-produced glass, to boost dramatically the cathedral’s huge liturgical stage.
Two rebellions in Beauvais coincided with the foremost and second campaigns. Cothren shows that the home windows left from the Virgin lancets within the axial chapel portraying an unknown bishop-saint and king might have been installed by Bishop Robert de Cressonsacq (1238–48) to mark the resolution from the first rebellion (1232) motivated by Louis IX’s imposition of the mayor. Opposite,Theophilus’ history completes an ensemble disparate in content and elegance, partly remedied through the Virgin’s reappearance because the intercessor who retrieves Theophilus’ pact in the demon. The narrative is presented like a cautionary tale for individuals who exercise secular power. It’s tempting, therefore, to determine Theophilus like a negative pendant towards the reconciled bishop-saint and king.
The succession of occasions within the rebellion of 1266–68, the amount of violence, and also the extent that the bishop was party to that particular violence are noted simply to mark a disruption in building. The rebellion testifies to considerable tension between your bishop and people from the commune,which implies an alternate studying for that expansive depiction within the clerestory of sacred authority. Monumental apostles towering within the celebration of Mass also loomed over congregants, confirming the episcopal power arrogated by doctrine for their successor, so very rejected within the same years.
The interpretive structure with this study assumes that that which was enacted in ceremony and colored on glass was entirely benign and arrived at an undifferentiated, receptive audience in precisely the way intended. Excepting contributors recognized by heraldic emblems, viewers, and worshipers remain an undifferentiated mass. The aesthetic unity and perfection of Beauvais’s glazing programs contended within this study has since it’s tacit corollary a seamless community from the faithful. [Finish Page 338]