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P Boyer Summer Final
P Boyer Summer Final
Art History
Undergraduate 3

Additional Art History Flashcards





Justinian as World Conqueror (Barberini Ivory)

Mid-6th Century



Carved in five parts (one is lost), the panel shows at the center an emperor, usually identified as Justinian, riding triumphantly 

on a re aring horse, while a s tartled, half-hidden barbarian recoils 

in fear behind him. Th e dy namic t wisting postures of both horse 

and rider and the motif of the spear-thrusting equestrian emperor 

are familiar motifs in Roman imperial works (see “Th e Emperors 

of New Rome,” page 259), as are t he personifications of bountiful 

Earth ( below t he h orse) a nd pa lm-bearing Vi ctory





Anthemius of Tralles and Isodorus of Miletus

532 CE-537 CE



Aerial view of Hagia Sophia (looking north)

plan and restored cutaway view of Hagia Sophia

Interior of Hagia Sophia

Dome on pendentives and on squinches




Constantinople (Istanbul)

Dome rests on pendatives. It is to be contemplating the heavens (dome with all the windows) Feel like you are in heaven or in another state of being.  The light from the windows dematerializes the building, playing a key role in experience. Gives the viewer a feeling that the dome is floating. Mosaics are laid at various angles which diffuse the light. First use of pendentives, excessive use of gold and mosaics.


San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy

526-547 CE



Aerial view, plan, interior, Justinia, Bishop Maximianus, and attendants, mosaic on the north wall of apse, Theodora and attendants, mosaic on the south wall of apse.

Central plan church, octagonal plan. Plain on outside doesn't hint to sumptuous marble and mosaic covered interior. Ever changing perspectives, light filtered through alabaster paned windows. plays on mosaics and glowing marbles, one of the greatest achievements in byzantine art, theme is holy ratification of justinian's right to rule. Apse vault- christ sits on the orb of the world, justinian mosaic to right, two united visually and symbolically by imperial purple and haloes. A dozen attendants paralleling the 12 apostles of christ. Mosaic underscored dual role of political and eligious systems. Opposing wall, theodora, both processions move into apse to partake in Eucharist. Justinian carries the bread and theodora the golden cup of wine.



Saint Matthew, folio 25 of the Lindisfarne Gospels

698 CE-721 CE

Early Medieval Europe


Tempera on Vellum


A Mediterranean book 

probably inspired this 

Hiberno-Saxon depiction 

of Saint Matthew with his 

symbol, a winged man.

Th e Lindisfarne Matthew sits in his study composing his account 

of the life of Christ. A c urtain sets the scene indoors, as in classical 

art (FIG. 5-58), and Matthew’s seat is at an angle, which also suggests 

a Mediterranean model employing classical perspective. Th e painter 

(or the scribe) labeled Matthew i n a c urious combination of Greek 

O Agios, “saint”


Saint Matthew, folio 15 recto of the Gospel Book of Charlesmagne

800 CE- 810 CE

Early Medieval Europe


Ink and tempera on vellum


ellum Coronation 

Gospels (also known as the Gospel Book of Charlemagne), which has a text written in handsome 

gold letters. Th e major full-page illuminations, which show the four 

Gospel authors at work, reveal that Carolingian manuscript painters brought a radically diff erent stylistic sensibility to t heir work compared with their Hiberno-Saxon counterparts. For example, for the 

page depicting Saint Matthew (FIG. 11-13), t he Coronation Gospels

painter, in contrast to the Northumbrian illuminator who painted the 

portrait of the same evangelist in the Lindisfarne Gospels (FIG. 11-8), 

used c olor a nd mo dulation o f l ight a nd shade , not l ine, to c reate 

shapes, and deft , illusionistic brushwork to define the massive drapery folds w rapped a round M atthew’s b ody. Th e c ross-legged c hair, 

the lectern, a nd t he saint’s toga a re familiar Roman accessories. In 

fact, t his C arolingian e vangelist portrait closely follows t he format 

and s tyle o f Gre co-Roman a uthor p ortraits, a s e xemplified b y t he 

seated Menander



Saint Michael's, Hildesheim, Germany

1001 CE-1031 CE

Early Medieval


Built by Bishop Bernward, 

a great art patron, Saint 

Michael’s is a masterpiece 

of Ottonian basilica design. 

The church’s two apses, 

two transepts, and multiple 

towers give it a distinctive 

profile. Saint Michael’s entrances are on the side. 

Alternating piers and columns divide 

the space in the nave into vertical units. 

These features transformed the tunnel-like 

horizontality of Early Christian basilicas.



Doors with Relief Panels (Genesis: left door, Life of Christ: right door)

1015 CE


Commissioned by Bishop Bernward for Saint Michaels, bronze

more than 15 feet tall. 

Th ey are technological marvels, because the Ottonian metalworkers cast each giant door in a single piece with the figural sculpture.

Bernward’s doors tell the story of original sin and redemption, and draw 

parallels between the Old and New Testaments, as in the expulsion from 

Paradise and the infancy and suffering of Christ.

Bernward placed the bronze doors in the portal to S aint M ichael’s f rom t he c loister, w here t he 

monks would see them each time they entered the 

church. Th e panels of the left door illustrate highlights from Genesis, beginning with the Creation 

of Eve (at t he top) a nd ending w ith t he murder of 

Adam a nd Eve’s son Abel by h is brother, Cain (at 

the bottom). Th e right door recounts the life of Jesus (reading from the bottom up), starting with the 

Annunciation and terminating with the appearance 

to Mary Magdalene of Christ aft er his resurrection 

(see “Th e Life of Jesus in Art,” Chapter 8, pages 240–

241). Together, t he do ors tel l t he s tory of original 

sin a nd u ltimate re demption, sh owing t he e xpulsion from the Garden of Eden and the path back to 

Paradise through the Church.




Giselbertus, Last Judgement, West tympanum of Saint Lazare

1120 CE-1135 CE

Romanesque Europe


Autun, France, marble

Christ presides over 

the separation of 

the blessed from the 

damned in Gislebertus’s 

dramatic vision of 

the Last Judgment,

designed to terrify those 

guilty of sin and beckon 

them into the church. Above Autun Cathedral’s portal, at the far left, 

a trumpet-blowing angel announces the second 

coming. Another obliging angel boosts one of 

the blessed over the fortified walls of Heaven.

Below, the souls of the dead line up to await their fate. Two 

men whose travel bags identify them as pilgrims to Jerusalem 

and Santiago de Compostela can expect to be judged favorably.

In Gislebertus’s unforgettable rendition 

of the weighing of souls on judgment 

day, angels and the Devil’s agents 

contest at the scales, each trying to 

tip the balance for or against a soul.



Interior of Saint-Serin

1070-1120 CE

Romanesque Europe


Toulouse, France


At Toulouse, the builders increased the length of the nave, doubled the 

side aisles, and added a t ransept, ambulatory, a nd radiating chapels to p rovide additional space for pilgrims and the clergy. 

Radiating chapels opening onto an ambulatory a lready were a f eature of Vig nory’s 

abbey church (FIG. 12-4), but at Toulouse the chapels are greater in 

number and open onto the transept as well as the ambulatory.

Th e S aint-Sernin p lan i s e xtremely re gular a nd g eometrically 

precise. Th e crossing square, flanked by massive piers a nd marked 

off b y he avy a rches, s erved a s t he mo dule f or t he en tire c hurch. 

Each nave bay, for example, measures exactly one-half of the crossing s quare, a nd e ach a isle ba y me asures e xactly o ne-quarter. Th e 

builders employed similar simple ratios throughout the church. 

Th e first suggestion of this kind of planning scheme in medieval 

Europe was the Saint Gall monastery plan

Toulouse w as a n 

important stop on the pilgrimage road through 

southwestern France to Santiago de Compostela (see “Pilgrimage Roads,” pa ge 335). L arge 

congregations gat hered at t he sh rines a long 

the major pilgrimage routes, and the unknown 

architect d esigned S aint-Sernin t o a ccommodate them. Th e grand scale of the building 

is apparent

 from devastating conflagrations w as no do ubt one of t he attractions of c onstructing m asonry v aults i n a n a ge w hen c andles 

and l amps p rovided i nterior i llumination, ot her f actors p robably 

played a g reater role i n the decision to make the enormous investment of time and funds required. Th e rapid spread of stone vaulting 

throughout Romanesque Europe—beginning in the 11th century at 

Cardona (FIG. 12-4A), Tournus (FIG. 12-4B), Toulouse (FIG. 12-7), 

Santiago de Compostela (FIG. 12-7B), Speyer (FIG. 12-20), and Milan (FIG. 12-22)—was most likely the result of a desire to provide a 

suitably majestic setting for the display of relics as well as enhanced 

acoustics for the Christian liturgy and the music accompanying it.



Pentecost and Mission of the Apostles, tympanum of the center portal of the narthex of La Madeleine

1120-1132 CE

Romanesque Europe


Madeleine, Vezelay, France


In the tympanum of the 

church most closely 

associated with the 

Crusades, light rays 

emanating from Christ’s 

hands instill the Holy 

Spirit in the apostles, 

whose mission is to 

convert the world’s 


church’s na rthex. I t dep icts t he Pentecost a nd t he Mission of th e 

Apostles. As related in Acts 1:4–9, Christ foretold the 12 apostles 

would receive t he power of t he Holy Spirit a nd become w itnesses 

of t he t ruth o f t he G ospels t hroughout t he w orld. Th e l ight r ays 

emanating from Christ’s hands represent the instilling of the Holy 

Spirit i n t he ap ostles ( Acts 2: 1–42) at t he P entecost (the s eventh 

Sunday a ft er Easter). Th e ap ostles, holding t he G ospel b ooks, re -

ceive their spiritual assignment to preach the Gospel to all nations. 

Th e C hrist figure i s a s plendid c alligraphic d esign. Th e drapery 

lines shoot out in rays, break into quick zigzag rhythms, and spin 

into whorls, wonderfully conveying t he spiritual light and energ y 

flowing f rom Christ over a nd i nto t he equally a nimated apostles. 

Th e o verall c omposition, a s w ell a s t he de tailed t reatment o f t he 

figures, contrasts with the much more sedate representation of the 

second coming



Virgin and Child (Morgan Madonna)

2nd Half of the 12th Century

Romanesque Europe


Auvergne, France, Painted Wood


Th e Morgan M adonna (FIG. 12-19), 

so named because it once belonged to t he American financier and 

collector J. P ierpont Morgan, is one example. Th e type, k nown as 

the “t hrone o f w isdom” (sedes sapie ntiae i n L atin), i s a w estern 

European freestanding version of the Byzantine Th e otokos theme 

popular i n icons a nd mosaics (FIGS. 9-18 and 9-19). C hrist holds 

a Bible i n h is left ha nd a nd raises h is r ight a rm i n blessing ( both 

hands are broken off ). He is the embodiment of the divine wisdom 

contained in the holy scriptures. His mother, seated on a w ooden 

chair, is in turn the throne of wisdom because her lap is the Christ 

Child’s t hrone. A s i n By zantine a rt, b oth M other a nd C hild si t

rigidly upright and are strictly frontal, emotionless figures. But the 

intimate scale, the gesture of benediction, the once-bright coloring 

of t he ga rments, a nd t he soft modeling of the Virgin’s face make 

the group seem much less remote than its Byzantine counterparts.




Ambulatory and radiating chapels, Abbey church

1140-1144 CE

Gothic Europe


Saint-Denis, France


Abbot Suger’s remodeling of Saint-Denis marked the beginning of Gothic 

architecture. Rib vaults with pointed arches spring from slender columns. 

Stained-glass windows admit lux nova. A major advantage of the Gothic vault is its flexibility, which 

permits t he v aulting o f c ompartments o f v arying shap es, a s at 

Saint-Denis (FIG. 13-3). Pointed arches also channel the weight of 

the vaults more directly downward than do semicircular arches. 

Th e vaults therefore require less buttressing to hold them in place, 

in turn permitting the stonemasons to open up the walls and place 

large windows beneath the arches. Because pointed arches also lead 

the eye upward, they make the vaults appear taller than they are. In 

FIG. 13-4, the crown (F) of both the Romanesque (b) and Gothic (c) 

vaults is the same height from the pavement, but the Gothic vault 

seems t aller. B oth t he physical a nd v isual properties of r ib vaults 

with pointed arches aided Gothic builders in their quest for soaring 

height in church interiors




West Facade, Chartres Cathedral

1145-1155 CE

Gothic Europe


Chartes, France


The Early Gothic west facade was all that remained of Chartres Cathedral 

after the 1194 fire. The design still has much in common with Romanesque facades. The rose window is an example of plate tracery.

13-6 Royal Portal, west facade, 

Chartres Cathedral, Chartres, 

France, ca. 1145–1155. 

The sculptures of the Royal Portal 

proclaim the majesty and power of 

Christ. The tympana depict, from 

left to right, Christ’s Ascension,

the Second Coming, and Jesus in 

the lap of the Virgin Mary.

“most sacred windows.” Th e abbot called the colored light lux nova 

(“new light”). Both the new type of vaulting and the use of stained 

glass became hallmarks of French Gothic architecture.

Saint-Denis i s a lso t he ke y mo nument o f E arly G othic s culpture. Little of the sculpture Suger commissioned for the west facade 

(FIG. 13-3A) of the abbey church survived the French Revolution of 

the late 18th century (see Chapter 26). Old engravings reveal Suger 

carried on the artistic heritage of Romanesque Burgundy (see Chapter 12) by filling all three portals with sculpture, but Suger’s sculptors 

also introduced figures of Old Testament kings, queens, and prophets attached to columns on the jambs of all three doorways.




Royal Portal, West Facade, CHartes Cathedral


Gothic Europe


Chartes, France


Th e west entrance, the Royal Portal (FIG. 13-6) —so named because 

of the figures of k ings and queens flanking its t hree doorways, as 

at Saint-Denis—constitutes the most complete surviving ensemble 

of Early Gothic sculpture. Th ierry of C hartres, c hancellor of t he 

Cathedral S chool o f C hartres f rom 1141 u ntil h is de ath 10 y ears 

later, m ay ha ve c onceived t he c omplex i conographical p rogram. 

Th e archivolts of the right portal, for example, depict the seven female perso nifications o f t he l iberal a rts w ith t he le arned men o f 

antiquity at t heir feet. Th e figures celebrate the revival of classical 

scholarship in the 12th century and symbolize human knowledge, 

which Th ierry and other leading intellectuals of the era believed led 

to true faith (see “Paris, Schoolmen, and Scholasticism” page 372).

Th e sculptures of the Royal Portal (FIG. 13-6) proclaim the majesty a nd power of Christ. To u nite t he t hree doorways iconographically and visually, the sculptors carved episodes from the lives of the 

Virgin (Notre Dame) and Christ 

on t he c apitals, w hich f orm a 

kind o f f rieze l inking o ne en -

trance to t he ne xt. C hrist’s Ascension in to H eaven a ppears in 

the tympanum of the left portal. 

All a round, i n t he a rchivolts, 

are t he sig ns o f t he z odiac a nd 

scenes r epresenting t he va rious 

labors of the months of the year. 

Th ey a re s ymbols of t he c osmic 

and e arthly w orlds. Th e Second 

Coming is the subject of the central tym panum, a s a t M oissac



Old Testament Kings and Queen,  Jamb Figures, Central doorway of the Royal Portal


Gothic Europe


Chartes Cathedral, Chartres, France


Statues of Old Testament kings and queens 

occupy t he ja mbs flanking e ach do orway o f t he Ro yal P ortal 

(FIGS. 13-6 and 13-7). Th ey a re t he ro yal a ncestors o f C hrist a nd, 

both figuratively a nd l iterally, su pport t he N ew Testament figures 

above the doorways. Th ey wear 12th-century clothes, and medieval 

observers may have regarded them as images of the kings and queens 

of France. (Th is was the motivation for vandalizing the comparable 

figures at S aint-Denis d uring t he F rench Re volution.) Th e figures 

stand rigidly upright with their elbows held close against their hips. 

Th e linear folds of their garments—inherited from the Romanesque 

style, along with the elongated proportions—generally echo the vertical lines of the columns behind them. (In this respect, Gothic jamb 

statues diff er significantly f rom c lassical ca ryatids; FIG. 5-54. Th e 

Gothic figures are attached to columns. Th e classical statues replaced 

the columns.) Yet, within and despite this architectural straitjacket, 

the statues display the first signs of a new naturalism. Although technically high reliefs, the kings and queens stand out from the plane of 

the wall, and, consistent with medieval (and ancient) practice, artists 

originally pa inted t he s tatues i n v ivid c olors, en hancing t heir l ifelike appearance. Th e new naturalism is noticeable particularly in the 

statues’ heads, where kindly human faces replace the masklike features of most Romanesque figures. At Chartres, a personalization of 

appearance began t hat led first to i dealized portraits of t he perfect 

Christian and finally, by 1400, to the portraiture of specific individuals. Th e sculptors of the Royal Portal figures initiated

The biblical kings and queens of the Royal Portal are the royal ancestors 

of Christ. These Early Gothic jamb figures display the first signs of a new 

naturalism in European sculpture.



Rose window and lancets, North transept, Chartres Cathedral


Gothic Europe


Chartres Cathedral, Chartres, France, stained glass, rose window.


France’s royal 

floral emblem—on a blue ground fill the eight narrow windows in the 

rose’s lower spandrels. Th e iconography is also fitting for a queen. Th e 

enthroned Virgin and Child appear in the roundel at the center of the 

rose, which resembles a gem-studded book cover or cloisonné brooch. 

Around her are four doves of the Holy Spirit and eight angels. Twelve 

square panels contain images of Old Testament kings, including David and Solomon (at the 12 and 1 o’clock positions respectively). Th ese 

are t he royal ancestors of Christ. Isaiah (11:1–3) had p rophesied t he 

Messiah would come from the family of the patriarch Jesse, father of 

David. Th e genealogical “tree of Jesse” is a familiar motif in medieval 

art. Below, in the lancets, are Saint Anne and the baby Virgin. Flanking them are four of Christ’s Old Testament ancestors, Melchizedek, 

David, Solomon, and Aaron, echoing the royal genealogy of the rose

Immense stained-glass rose and lancet windows, held in place by an 

intricate armature of bar tracery, fill almost the entire facade wall of the 

High Gothic north transept of Chartres Cathedral.




Interior of the Upper Chapel, Sainte-Chapelle

1243-1248 CE


Paris, France


Th e s tained-glass w indows 

inserted into the portal tympana of Reims Cathedral exemplify the 

wall-dissolving H igh G othic a rchitectural s tyle. Th e a rchitect o f 

Sainte-Chapelle (FIG. 13-25) in Paris extended this style to an entire 

building. Louis IX built Sainte-Chapelle, joined to the royal palace, 

as a re pository for the crown of thorns and other relics of Christ’s passion he had p urchased i n 1 239 f rom h is c ousin B aldwin I I 

(r. 1228–1261), the Latin emperor of Constantinople. Th e chapel is a 

masterpiece of the so-called Rayonnant (radiant) style of the High 

Gothic age, which dominated the second half of the 13th century. 

It was t he preferred style of t he Parisian court of Saint Louis (see 

“Louis I X,” pa ge 385). S ainte-Chapelle’s a rchitect c arried t he d issolution of walls a nd t he reduction of t he bulk of t he supports to 

the point that some 6,450 square feet of stained glass make up more 

than three-quarters of the structure. Th e supporting elements are 

hardly more than large mullions, or v ertical s tone ba rs. Th e emphasis is on the extreme slenderness of the architectural forms and 

on linearity in general. Although the chapel required restoration in 

the 19th century (aft er suff ering damage during the French Revolution), i t re tains mos t o f i ts o riginal 1 3th-century s tained g lass. 

Sainte-Chapelle’s eno rmous w indows filter t he l ight a nd fill the 

interior with an unearthly rose-violet atmosphere. Approximately 

49 feet h igh a nd 15 feet w ide, t hey were t he l argest s tained-glass 

windows designed up to their time.



Virgin of Jeanne d'Evreux, from the abbey church of Saint-Denis, France,

1339 CE

Gothic Europe


Th e royal family also patronized goldsmiths, silversmiths, and other artists specializing in 

the production of luxury works in metal and enamel for churches, 

palaces, a nd private h omes. E specially p opular were s tatuettes o f 

sacred figures, which the wealthy purchased either for private devotion or as gift s to churches. Th e Virgin Mary was a favored subject, 

reflecting her new prominence in the iconography of Gothic portal 


Perhaps the finest of these costly statuettes is the large silvergilt figurine k nown as t he Virgin of J eanne d ’Evreux (FIG. 13-37). 

Th e F rench que en do nated t he i mage o f t he Vi rgin a nd C hild to 

the royal a bbey c hurch of S aint-Denis i n 1339. M ary s tands on a 

rectangular base decorated with enamel scenes of Christ’s passion. 

(Some a rt h istorians t hink t he ena mels a re J ean P ucelle’s w ork.) 

But no hint of grief appears in the beautiful young Mary’s face. Th e 

Christ Child, also without a care in the world, playfully reaches for 

his mother. Th e elegant proportions of the two figures, Mary’s emphatic swaying posture, the heavy drapery folds, and the intimate 

human characterization of mother and son are also features of the 

roughly contemporaneous Virgin of Paris (FIG. 13-26). Th e sculptor 

of l arge s tone s tatues a nd t he ro yal si lversmith w orking at sm all 

scale approached t he re presentation of t he Vi rgin a nd C hild i n a 

similar fashion. In both instances, Mary appears not only as the 

Mother of Christ but also as the queen of Heaven. Th e Saint-Denis 

Mary originally had a crown on her head, and the scepter she holds 

is in the form of the fleur-de-lis (compare FIG. 13-17). Th e statuette 

also served as a reliquary. Th e Virgin’s scepter contained hairs believed to come from Mary’s head.




Castle of Love, lid of a jewelry box, Paris, France


Gothic Europe


Gothic a rtists p roduced l uxurious objects for secular as well as religious contexts. Sometimes they 

decorated these costly pieces with stories of courtly love inspired by 

the romantic literature of the day, such as the account of Lancelot 

and Queen Guinevere, wife of King Arthur of Camelot. Th e French 

poet Chrétien de Troyes recorded their love aff air in the late 12th 


An i nteresting ob ject o f t his t ype i s a w oman’s je welry b ox 

adorned with ivory relief panels. Th e theme of the panel illustrated 

here (FIG. 13-38) is related to t he a llegorical poem Romance of th e

Rose by Guillaume de Lorris, written around 1225 to 1235 and completed b y J ean de M eung b etween 1 275 a nd 1 280. A t t he le ft , the 

sculptor carved the allegory of the siege of the Castle of Love. Gothic 

knights at tempt to c apture love’s fortress by shooting flowers from 

their bows and hurling baskets of roses over the walls from catapults. 

Among t he c astle’s defenders i s Cupid, who a ims h is a rrow at o ne 

of t he k nights while a c omrade scales t he walls on a l adder. In t he 

lid’s central sections, two knights joust on horseback. Several maidens survey t he contest f rom a ba lcony a nd cheer t he k nights on as 

trumpets bl are. A yo uth i n t he c rowd holds a h unting f alcon. Th e

sport w as a f avorite pa stime of t he lei sure c lass i n t he l ate M iddle 

Ages. At the right, the victorious knight receives his prize (a bouquet 

of roses) from a chastely dressed maiden on horseback. Th e scenes on 

the sides of the box include the legend of the unicorn—a white horse 

with a single ivory horn, a medieval allegory of female virtue. Only a 

virgin could attract the rare animal, and any woman who could do so 

thereby demonstrated her mo ral purity. A lthough religious t hemes 

monopolized artistic production for churches in the Gothic age, secular themes figured prominently in private contexts. Unfortunately, 

very few examples of the latter survive.



Aerial view of Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, England

1220-1258 CE

Gothic Europe


English Gothic churches cannot be mistaken for French ones. Th e English Gothic style reflects 

an ae sthetic s ensibility qu ite d iff erent f rom French G othic i n emphasizing l inear pat tern a nd h orizontality i nstead o f s tructural 

logic a nd v erticality. S alisbury C athedral ( FIGS. 13-39 to 13-41), 

begun in 1220—the same year work started on Amiens Cathedral 

(FIGS. 13-19 to 13-21)—embodies t hese esse ntial c haracteristics. 

Th e building campaign lasted about 40 years. Th e t wo c athedrals 

thus a re a lmost exactly contemporaneous, a nd t he d iff erences between t hem a re i nstructive. A lthough S alisbury’s f acade i ncorporates some of the superficial motifs of French Gothic architecture—

for example, lancet windows and blind arcades with pointed arches 

as well as statuary—it presents a striking contrast to French High 

Gothic d esigns ( FIGS. 13-21 an d 13-23). Th e E nglish f acade i s a 

squat s creen i n f ront of t he nave, w ider t han t he building b ehind 

it. Th e architect did not seek to match the soaring height of French 

facades or try to make the facade correspond to the three-part division of the interior (nave and two aisles). Diff erent, too, is the emphasis on the great crossing tower (added around 1320–1330), which

dominates the silhouette. Salisbury’s height is modest compared with 

that of Amiens and Reims. Because height is not a decisive factor in 

the English building, the architect used the flying buttress sparingly.

Equally d istinctive i s S alisbury C athedral’s lo ng re ctilinear 

plan (FIG. 13-40), with its double transept and flat eastern end. Th e 

latter feature was characteristic of Cistercian (FIG. 12-10A) and English churches s ince R omanesque t imes. Th e i nterior (FIG. 13-41), 

although Gothic in its three-story elevation, pointed arches, fourpart rib vaults, compound piers, and t he tracery of t he triforium, 

conspicuously departs from the French Gothic style. Th e pier colonnettes stop at the springing of the nave arches and do not connect 

with the vault ribs (compare FIGS. 13-19, 13-20, and 13-23A). Instead, the vault ribs rise from corbels in the triforium, producing a 

strong horizontal emphasis. Underscoring this horizontality is the 

rich color contrast between the light stone of the walls and vaults 

and the dark marble (from the Isle of Purbeck in southeastern England) used for the triforium moldings and corbels, compound pier 

responds, a nd ot her de tails. I n short, French G othic a rchitecture 

may have inspired the design of Salisbury Cathedral, but its builders transformed the French style in accordance with English taste.



Death of the Virgin, tympanum of left doorway, south transept, Strasbourg Cathedral

1230 CE

Gothic Europe

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