Chapter 2

THE AGE OF THE ROSE, Innovation in the Thirteenth Century
 Page 88: Paris, Notre-Dame North rose Page 102 Paris north rose  Page 110 Reims, St Nicaise
 Page 91: Paris, Notre-Dame, West rose Page 103 Paris south rose  Page 113 Reims north & south
 Page 92-3 St Germain en Laye and St Germer de Fly Pages 105 & 106 Carcassonne  Page 114 Reims west, lower rose
Page 94-95: St Denis transept Page 106 Tours, south rose  Page 120 San Ruffino
 Page 96: Ebrach Abbey Page 106 St Cugat  Page 120 Other Italian Wheels & roses
Page 96: Barcelona Page 106 Clermont Ferrand  Page 121 Other Spanish roses
Page 98-99 Tours North rose Page 107 St Pauls Cathedral  Other Italian roses

Page 88: Paris, Notre-Dame North rose

The full key to this north rose window is given in "Rose Windows" and in the Corpus Vitrearium volume for Paris, but the section shown in this photograph shows the following:-

This section of the north window shows some of the prophets (in the inner-most layer) and some of the kings.

For a complete key to this window
click here

Page 91: Paris, Notre-Dame West rose

(click on the rose for detail)

These photos of the west window shows some of the Vices and Virtues in the outer two layers

Here also is a C19 drawing of the whole

Key (see below)

The west rose at Paris is dedicated to Our Lady, although it is not certain that this was originally so. It has undergone numerous restorations, particularly in the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, when some of the panels were completely renewed. Those marked * are sixteenth century restorations, those marked** are nineteenth century, and those marked (n) are modern. The upper half of the outer circle contains the virtues, and the corresponding vices are in the next inner layer; in the lower half of the outer circle are the months, corresponding to the zodiac signs in the inner layer. The innermost layer contains twelve prophets. At the centre is the Virgin.

(Source CVMA volume on Notre Dame, Paris)

See details

1 Prophet (n)
2 Prophet (n)
3 Prophet (n)
4 Prophet
5 Prophet**
6 Prophet*
7 Prophet (n)
8 Prophet*
9 Prophet (n)
10 Prophet*
11 Prophet (n)
12 Prophet (n)
13 Anger**
14 Despair**
15 Ingratitude**
16 Discord**
17 Rebellion**
18 Cowardice
19 Capricorn*
20 Sagittarius**
21 Scorpio**
22 Libra**
23 Virgo
24 Leo**
25 Cancer
26 Gemini**
27 Taurus*
28 Aries**
29 Pisces**
30 Aquarius
31 Pride*
32 Folly (n)
33 Lust**
34 Avarice
35 Inconstancy (n)
36 Idolatry**
37 Patience**
38 Hope (n)
39 Gentleness
40 Peace**
41 Obedience**
42 Strength
43 December (n)
44 November**
45 October
46 September (n)
47 August*
48 July (n)
49 June*
50 May (n)
51 April (n)
52 March**
53 February (n)
54 January**
55 Humility**
56 Prudence**
57 Chastity**
58 Charity
59 Perseverance
60 Faith (n)

Page 92 St Germain en laye and Page 93 St Germer de Fly

These two Rayonnant windows are part of a group that starts with the west rose at Paris and culminates with St Germer de Fly. The original St Chapelle rose probably belonged to the group as did the now lost window in Chapel of the Virgin at St Germain des Pres. The Benedictine Abbey of St Germer de Fly was built between 1259-66 by Abbé Pierre de Wessencourt on the model of St Chapelle (1240s) and is more or less contemporary with the Notre Dame Paris north rose. [See Bul. Mon. 1998 p411 for an article on this matter]

Page 94-95: St.Denis,

Transept rose windows

(For west front and rose click here)

S transept

N transept

S transept

The north and south roses were begun by Pierre de Montrereau in 1231 and were probably complete by 1240. They clearly draw on the west rose at Paris of c.1220, but in turn inspire the transept roses at Notre Dame in the 1250s and 1260s. St Denis was subjected to 'the insanity of the mobs' after the Revolution and in 1792-6 it became a Temple of Reason and the roof soon lost its lead! In 1793-4 the building became a depot for grain and flour thereafter. However Napoleon decided to repair the building in 1805 and throughout the nineteenth century there was much restoration, over-restoration and changes of mind. Viollet le Duc worked there between 1847-79 when the original tracery of the north and south rose windows was replicated and new glass put in them. Some of the old tracery has been recovered and was recently on show at St Denis. [See Dossiers d'Archeologie no 297, October 2004, published by Editions Faton S.A. for a full report on this recovered material]

S transept rose (perspective corrected!)

Page 96: Ebrach Abbey; Barcelona, Sta Maria del Pi; Poitiers Cathedral, grisaille

Ebrach Abbey

This remarkable building has four rose windows each with a different style but probably all dating from the thirteenth century. The Rayonnant rose behind the organ on the west facade with its unusual 20 divisions is the most striking and clearly influenced by the Ile de France. Another rose with 20 lobes in a kind of plate traery can be seen on the north façade. There are yet other windows on the south and east facades, both with different designs. (photographs would be much appreciated to replace these copies!) There is also a small six petalled rose in the Chapel of St Michael

east rose

north rose

Chapel of St Michael

Page 96: Barcelona, Sta Maria del Pi

Barcelona, Sta Maria del Pi

The building was started in 1322 and work continued until around 1415. This rose window, clearly inspired by Notre Dame and the Rayonnant probably dates from later in the century, possibly by Maestro Bartomeu some time after 1380. A similar window of similar age can be seen a few miles away at St Cugat.

St Cugat

Page 98-99 Tours North rose & page 104

The photograph in the book on pages 98-99 is a detail from the 7.8 metre diameter north rose in Tours cathedral, which dates from the end of the thirteenth and the early fourteenth century (p. 104). It is thought to be by Simon du Marra who also did the south rose (see below). The particualrly thin tracery clearly created a problem soon after construction, as the large central support was inserted in around 1370. The Virgin originally at the centre was displaced to the 3rd circle. The first circle has saints and martyrs carrying instruments of their demise; the second circle 26 prophets with fials; the 3rd circle has ancestors of Christ and inhabitants of the Celestial City, as well as th Apostles.

For the
sourth rose - see below.

For the
west rose click here
Pages 105 & 106 Carcassonne south and north

The south rose dates originally c.1320. As with the north rose there is much restoration, so much that the original iconography is hard to discern. Some of the diaper work is original, but the restoration of the figures (e.g.Ss Peter and Paul in the rosettes below) is based on the theories of Viollet le Duc and the glazier A. Gerente. Mouchettes characteristic of the flamboyant can be seen creeping into areas where the rose is reconciled with arch above and the spandrels at the corners.

The north rose dates from c.1300; There is an interesting play of colours in this rayonnant rose, with the diaper pattern that dominates the composition. The central part was restored by V-le-Duc respecting the theme that he thought to be Mary, Queen of Heaven and the Angels: others have suggested Mary, Queen of Apostles and Virgins, facing the south rose probably formerly with Mary Queen of Martyrs, Doctors, Patriarchs, Prophets, Confessors and Saints. See bibliography

Page 106 Tours, south rose. St Cugat

End C13, early C14. Lozenged-shaped with the Paschal Lamb at the centre. Angels, saints and bishops alternate with decrative panels; the arms of St Louis and Blanche Castille at extremities of the petals. Originally by Simon du Marra very restored.

The large rose window over the facade was completed in 1350, in fact the structure was complete by 1337 "con un roseton cug(y?) as videras fueron encargadas en 1343". It was restored in 1978 when some fragments from the centre of the window were removed to the local museum, where there is also a full colour drawing of the state of the window in 1940. The fragments suggest that there were originally six figures within the central lobe. For an exterior view of the window see above

Page 106 Clermont Ferrand

The cathedral was started in 1248 and worked on by Jean Deschamps in the latter part of the century. The transept dates from 1311 onwards and the south rose probably by Pierre des Champs (who died 1323) is clearly inspired by the Paris south rose by Jean de Celles. Both roses suffered in hail storm in 1835 and this rose was 'cleaned' in 1903 by La Maison Gandin de Paris, and it is doubtful that there is very much original glass remaining.


the lesser known north window

Page 107 St Pauls Cathedral, London

There is also an interior view of this splendid window by Wenceslas Hollar, and a drawing of the "St Powels shoos"!

Page 110 Reims, St Nicaise, engraving and Viollet le Duc

This building played an important role in the deveoplment of the gothic great church. Started in 1231 under Hugh Libergier the rose window was for the first time fully integrated into the lancets below. This process was begun at Chartres in the 1230's, but here at St Nicaise the process was more thorough and delicate. The original rose dated from 1241 but the rose shown in a number of engravings, of which the one by De Son of 1625 is the most famous, shows the flamboyant rose of c.1550, the original having been destroyed in a storm in 1540/41. Viollet le Duc seems to have drawn what he thought the original to be like, the Rayonnant design shown on p. in the book.

Above is a detail from an anymous C17 painting called the "Destruction Imaginaire de l'Abbaye de St. Nicaise". Ironically the abbey was destroyed after the Revolution some hundred or so years later! There is not quite enough of the rose to discern its precise stricture, another few inches would have confirmed the flamboyant character! On the right is an engraving from the end of the C17 entitled Monasticon Gallicanum that crudely suggests a flamboyant character to the rose.

Page 112-113 Reims cathedral north and south

Right: This shows the bomb damage to the south rose after the First World War. The glass was renewed in 1937. See book for caption.

Key to page 113 in the book; The north rose with the scenes from the Creation (much restored in the C17 and again in 1872, though of a high quality; only two heads are said to be original!). It originally dates from after 1231 (there were riots that interrupted work from 1233-38!) and before 1241: according to the CVMA 1238-39 and 1250 a.t. Grodecki . Genesis with animals and fish are the outer layer, with animals at 2,3,4,8,9,10 o'clock, fish at 5,6,7 and angels at 11,12,1. The main subjects: at 12 o'clock God creates Adam; 1, Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden (1872); 2, Adam delves and Eve spins (1872); 3, Eve feeding her child Seth; 4, Cain cultivates the ground; 5, Offering of Abel; 6,Cain kills Abel (1872 replacement); 7, Abel brings lamb to sacrifice; 8, Adam & Eve banished from Eden; 9, God speaks to Adam; 10, The Serpent entices Eve; 11, Adam & Eve being with the Knowledge of the tree of Good and Evil. At Centre Virgin 'allaitant' Child.

Page 114 Reims Cathedral west lower rose

This rose was originally built some time after 1255. Its style is not unlike the transept roses except that the structure is lighter and the design more advanced and reminscent of the north rose at Chalons-en-Champagne ( p.111). The glass has long since disappeared and in 1937 Jacques Simon filled it with The Litany of the Virgin depicting the Virgin as The Mystic Rose, the Tower of David and evoking the symbols of the dove, the well, the palm tree, sun and moon. (See illustration 67 in the original Rose Windows)

Page 120 Assisi, San Ruffino

This magnificent wheel/rose was built some time after 1140 when the building was begun. The numbers of spokes in the wheel is 12 in innermost layer, then 20 then 33, an unusual collection of numbers! Note the man holding up the rose, an Atlantean, a figure from the Classical era, representing Atlas who held up the world. Here he has two assistants!

The rose is surrounded by the traditional four symbols of the Evangelists. There are 2 smaller 12 spoke rose/wheels to the side: this is one of them:-