The Royal portal of the Cathedral Shatskogo

The Royal portal of the Cathedral Shatskogo

The beginning of Gothic style in French art is considered the choir and the Western facade of the Church of the monastery of Saint-Denis, his rebuilt by Abbot Suger 1140-1144 in, In the choir of the Church of Saint-Denis was first consistently applied the Gothic structural system and because of it created a cohesive, full of light space.

Church facade of the Church with two towers, three portals and rose, responsive to the articulation of the building within into three naves, became the prototype of all the Gothic facades of the French cathedrals. The sculpture that adorned the portals of this facade, also contained innovations that later formed the basis of Gothic sculptural decoration. The most important of these was the emergence of unfamiliar Romanesque art, however, has become an integral and most important part of every Gothic portal on the slopes of the statues-columns. The innovation was developed in Saint-Denis iconographic program of the sculptural decoration, extensive and slender, covering all three of the portal, which perpetuates cycles of the sculpted tympanum, the lintel, the jambs and archivolt — the comparison of the old and New Testaments. Unfortunately, almost all of this sculpture were lost during the French revolution, and what little remained was destroyed or distorted by clumsy restoration in the late 30-ies of the XIX century are Preserved only drawings the XVIII century on the basis of which one can form some idea of the iconography of the statues, and several fragments of figures and ornaments, so small that they allow us to draw any conclusions about the style of sculpture of Saint-Denis only when comparing them with other, better-preserved monuments of that era.

On the origin of Gothic sculpture in France today can be judged only one product which has arisen almost simultaneously with the facade of Saint-Denis. This is a set of three portals on the Western facade of the Cathedral in Chartres, at the beginning of the XIII century called the Royal portal, obviously, because of the statues of biblical kings and Queens that adorned its slopes.

Royal portal largely compensate for the loss of the decoration of the portals of Saint-Denis. It arose soon after the construction of the facade of Saint-Denis — 1145-1150, Part of his sculptures, judging by stylistic similarities with the surviving fragments of the sculptural decoration of Saint-Denis, was performed by the same craftsmen who worked for Abbot Suger. The close friendship that bound the Bishop of Chartres to Abbot Suger, the art explains the proximity of both sites.

But the Royal portal is of interest not only as a repetition of the portals of the facade of the Church of Saint-Denis. The creators of the Chartres sculpture took the next step on the way of adding Gothic artistic principles. Type three-part ensemble of portals created in Saint-Denis, in the Royal portal of Chartres Cathedral were cast in such a clear formula that she kept the value of the model for all subsequent centuries. Iconographic and plastic ideas, which first appeared in the sculpture of Saint-Denis, Chartres enriched, become more complicated and greater certainty. The new aesthetic ideal man, physically beautiful and spiritually enlightened, is born only in the sculpture of the Royal portal.

However, the architecture of the facade of Chartres Cathedral contains a more traditional Romanesque traits than the architecture of the facade of the Church of Saint-Denis, and the sculptural decoration of the Royal portal contains more story and elements of the Romanesque plastic art than the decoration of the portals of the Church of Saint-Denis, like customers, architects and sculptors of the façade, regardless of the art Saint-Denis processed independently of the Romanesque art tradition. To a certain extent it was. Unlike the Church of Saint-Denis, which was rebuilt in accordance with the plan of Abbot Suger, the construction of the façade and portals of Chartres Cathedral were carried out in the twelfth century much more spontaneously. The Cathedral Chapter did not seek to innovative restructuring of the building; it was content that had existed since the XI century it was Supposed only to restore its Western end, injured in 1134 by fire. The rehabilitation works it was decided to erect at a little distance from the Cathedral bell tower (the Northwest tower). Soon, however, this plan has been developed: in the beginning 1140-ies the bell tower symmetrically laid the Foundation of the tower from the South-West side of the building. Then the side aisles of the Cathedral were continued and connected with the towers, to the Eastern edges of the towers had also extended the main nave. The space between the towers occupied the two-storey Partex, culminating in a three-part portal, which stood in a front with West faces of the towers. It formed the ground floor facade wall. Later built a second floor with three-part repeating the shape and dimensions of the portal window. Front wall turned out to be low: in contrast to the facade of the Church of Saint-Denis, the floor rose was absent here.

G. Grand in 1194 a fire destroyed the building, sparing only the tower and facade. After the catastrophe the Cathedral was started again by a single Gothic plan. However, the surviving parts have been retained, and the Royal portal became the immediate completion of the main nave, and received in the Gothic Cathedral of the same width that it had in XI and XII centuries.

Thus, the facade of Chartres Cathedral was formed in the twelfth century gradually. Sequentially, one after another around the building have any distinct architectural volumes — North tower, then the South is symmetrical, and only then formed an integral system of the Western end of the temple associated with facade plane.

Unlike the clerics of Chartres Sugeriy even before the construction of the facade of the Church of Saint-Denis imagined what he must be consciously trying to Express in it the rotation of the symbolic content. The facade of a mean was the gate of heaven open towards the believer. This idea has a corresponding visual expression in large compared to the size of the building and deep portals and such strange details as the fortress battlements on the upper edge of the facade. Teeth are not consistent with the logic structure of the facade and are not repeated, but it is obvious that they must have likened to the facade of the entrance gate of the city.

Customers Chartres Cathedral are unable to grasp the idea of the whole Suger and borrowed only a part of facade of the scheme, and even then not immediately. But in the natural process of addition of the facade of several parts appeared also characterizes the formation of the Gothic trend to the diverse collection of items in the possession of the Romanesque art, to their synthesis in a new, more complex set.

The same trend is evident in the sculptural decoration of the Royal portal. The process is less conscious, but more organic than the concept of the facade of the Church of Saint-Denis, which bore too clearly the stamp of the subjective will of Suger. In Chartres new art, is imbued with the same sense of the world and aspiring to the same goals, and program-innovative art Saint-Denis, was created intuitively, through assimilation and processing of Romanesque artistic heritage.

The iconographic program of the Royal portal, showing the new “scholasticity” and “universalism” of thinking, was the result of the gathering of many encountered in Romanesque art apart stories. The abundance of decor and its system of organization and connection to the architecture of the portal, surprising arhytektonychnost, was also the result of understanding, unification and interdependence of a multitude of individual findings of Romanesque art: the tympanum with the scene representative, of the capitals with narrative scenes, the archivolt with figures, reliefs on the jambs of the portal. The unity of the figurative style of this ensemble, solemn and enlightened-human, achieved by the efforts of many masters, each of which was a certain stylistic tradition of the Romanesque school, with its own visual rules, like the canons of other schools. In the sculptural decoration of the Royal portal almost sleep the transformation of Roman subjects, compositional principles and images in the Gothic style, and their gradual subjection to new artistic purposes.

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