Chapter 5

CYCLES OF MEANING - Iconography and Enlightenment


Page 218 Seés

Page 236 The New Jerusalem

Page 203 Symbols of the Evangelists

Page 218-9 Christ

 [ to be concluded ]

Page 204 Wheels of Fortune

Page 223 Auxerre


Page 213 Lyon rose with Adam & Eve 

Page 224-5 Reims


Page 217 Nogent le Roi 

Page 227 The Instructive Rose


Page 203 Other examples of Symbols of the Evangelists

The symbols of the Evangelists as Lion, Ox, Angel and Eagle are to be seen in a number of places in France before the end of the thirteenth century - after that they are rare. They continue to be common in Italy. Set around a rose window or an oculus is a favorite disposition for the Symbols, as can be seen at St Gabriel Tarascon (on page 44 of "The Rose Window")

Inside the rose window

(i.e. in the glass)

Outside a rose window or oculus

Chalons-sur-Marne - cathedral
Chartres W
Chartres S
Le Mans cathedral (C15)
Lyon cathedral S
Arles sur Tech
St. Gabriel Tarascon

Cerreto di Spoleto
Cremona Cathedral (actually below)
Foligno 3453 67
Lugnano in Teverina
Monza - Duomo
Norcia - Duomo
Perugia - San Costanzo
Spoleto - Sta Felice di Narco
Spoleto duomo
Spoleto San Pietro
Tuscania - Sta Maria Maggiore

Page 204 Wheels of Fortune

The wheel of Fortune on the west facade of San Zeno (c.1200):-

Page 213 Lyon south rose with Adam & Eve

This photograph on p. 213 in the book has been reversed:-

correct !

Page 217 Nogent le Roi

This flamboyant window with the Tree of Jesse has a design with some unusual shapes - even for a flamboyant window:-

Page 218 Seés, north window

The cathedral was founded in the 1220s but the transepts and choir were rebuilt 1280-1300 and the north rose dates from this time. About 30% of its mosaic and foliage decoration is original. The highest concentration is at 12 o'clock and from 6-9. The 6 medallions of the Resurrection are copies by Prevost and are reliable evidence of the medieval programme (one of them - the Holy Women at the Tomb - was inventoried in Paris in 1884 says MPL). The window was restored in C19 by M Ruprick

Page 218-9 Christ at the Centre

Christ is portrayed at the centre of many surviving medieval rose windows: either as a child with the Virgin Mary or after the Resurrection in his Eternal presence. Christ being at the centre is at the centre of the Christian belief. Just as he is at the centre of the window he can be at the centre of any person - if that person allows him to be there: this, too, is at the centre of the Christian faith. He is implied in every window by virtue of the symbolism of the rose window - as a WHEEL symbolising time and eternity: as a ROSE symbolising love; as LIGHT metamorphosed into many aspects of form and colour.

Page 223 Auxerre

The other rose windows at Auxerre cathedral also date from the C16

C14 rose in the cloisters, reminiscent of the rose window on the facade of Exeter cathedral

North rose

South rose

West rose

Page 224-5 Reims Cathedral west window

Some details of the angelic choir from the main west window. more information

The Instructive Rose

The Liberal Arts also featured in the south window at Braine in a scheme that Madeleine Caviness' suggests probably included the signs of the Zodiac, the months of the year and the four seasons; as with Laon the seven Arts would have included Medicine. [Caviness, ref]

The New Jerusalem, p. 236

This window at Chalons-s-Champagne is hard to decypher, partly becuse the subjects are so corroded they are difficult to see. Here is a computer enhanced photograph of part of the central section:-

For a more thorough examination of this window click here.