Friday, May 31, 2013

Noyon Cathedral

Those (Tawana, Wes) following us on the Cathedral trail know that the next stop would be Noyon, another transitional Gothic. Noyon is in the Oise, WWI country, still not very far from Paris. Vicki's distant and dubious relation, Robert Louis Stevenson, praised Noyon's cathedral in his An Inland Journey.
West facade; the symmetry ends here...there
are many out-buildings, including a large
refectory adjacent to the north side of the west
porch; Noyon is pretty old for a Gothic,
mid-12th






















There's hardly a grain of sculpture at Noyon;
all removed, presumably by the masses
during the Revolution; except for a few
gargoyles





















Knave view; note alternating piers and columns; the vault
originally was of the earlier six-part style, with the alternating
arrangement; after a fire way back in 1293, it was replaced
with the by-then standard four-part

















Elevation: interesting! relatively large aisles,
galleries, blind triforium, smallish clerestory
windows; we've seen few Gothics with
galleries. one of the first Romanesque
features to go






















Perhaps Noyon's most interesting facet is its
use of rounded transept ends; virtually all
Romanesques and Gothics have rounded
apses--that's how the Romans built their
basilicas, which the Christians mostly copied;
this is the north transept; rounded






















There's some nice-looking glass, but it's not
what you come here for..it's the architecture



















Looking from altar back to the west














Apse and altar view


















Interesting  (to me) sculpture department: Joan of Arc was
converted from witch to saint only in the 20th century; well,
yes, she spent several hundred years merely as a martyr;
the sculpture here presumably depicts a "sacred
conversation" involving her and the then-pope and his
assistants; life-sized too


















Ditto; she was canonized in 1920; the English
might have objected, but they no longer had
privilege of the floor; so to speak; that's a joke,
son


















We are now in the cloister adjoining the church and
refectory, admiring a very old well and then noting that the
arches supporting the vaulting above are listing seriously 
to port; we decided to move on to the cathedral's exterior

















From the south; note the severe right angles
on the towers; Noyon has plenty of  integral
buttresses, but flying buttresses only at the
apse I think





















High on the south-side apse, about the only exterior
sculpture remaining















This is/was the chapter library, adjoining the cathedral; built
of wood, resting on a wall; dated 1506; personally, I like
storing my books in less fire-prone situations; but this one
has indeed stood the test of time

















Carving on a library pier; no termites, either


















The old-fashioned way...paving a drive-way in Noyon














A pretty town; most of it post-WWI...

















Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Senlis Cathedral

The aire in Beauvais was OK and free and just across from a shopping center with a super-duper-marche and cafe and many other shoppes. I was in heaven. Also a cheap lavarie where I did the wash. So we spent an extra day, a productive administrative day, despite lack of wifi. Vicki did research for further journeys. Next morning we drove on, in threatening clouds and cold (it's late May) to Senlis and the first of the day's two transitional Gothic cathedrals. Senlis, north of Paris, was an important center in the earlier Middle Ages. Paris' bishop reported to Senlis' bishop for some time, and the bishops of Senlis crowned the kings of France. Or maybe that was Sens.* Anyway...
Senlis cathedral, yet another Notre Dame, begun in the mid-
12th and finished before the 13th; then, as we'll see,
remodeled extensively (fires, etc.) in later Gothic; from the
south; flying buttresses all around the apse

















The big south tower


















Interior, nave, looking to the east and the burst of brilliance
there...[interlude for theological reflection]...; I like to refer
 to this as the knave view
















South rose window


















Crossing; under nets; interestingly, the older ribbed
vaulting is fine, but the later Gothic add-on ornaments,
hanging down off the ceilings, are crumbling; thus the
nets

















Elevation: big aisles, big galleries, no triforia,
not-so-big clerestory windows; an earlier
stage in transition




















And, as in the previous shot, the really cool thing to note
at Senlis is the use of alternating columns (classical
columns, with Corinthian capitals) with big Medieval piers;
sort of a Romanesque/Gothic/Romanesque/Gothic
arrangement; originally related to the vaulting, requiring
a heavy support/medium support alternation, this pattern
quickly died out, with uniform large piers replacing it



















Ceiling of the large south-side chapel of St. Anonymous;
note the huge later Gothic down-hanging ornamentation
thingie (there's a name for this, I am sure, and I must add
it to the inventory already cluttering my mind); anyhow,
this one is relatively low-down and evidently not
deteriorating like the one's high up that require nets


















There is a fair amount of nice glass, later Medieval-looking,
higher up















E.g., Susanna and the Dirty Old Men














Looking into a crypt, dated 1000AD, burial site for SS
Gervais and Prothais















Starboard portal


















West facade; the north tower was eaten by
termites, according to the Condemnations
of 1277, which was taken as a sign that...
wait...no...






















West typanum and earlier Gothic sculpture;
another life of Mary



















By the mid 13th century, Medieval sculpture was beginning
to show motion and emotion; note particularly the jamb-
statue on the right, a St. John I think, who seems to be
saying "Hurry up! I have to go...!"

















Adjacent to the cathedral is a good bit of earlier Medieval
and even Gallo-Roman ruins; here, bits of a royal chapel















Then, as we were walking back to the
camper, the storm finally hit, rain and then
wintry mix; we ducked under an old wall
and noticed the sign, which reads "Rempart
Gallo-Romain IIIe Siecle"






















I was trying to shoot the hail bouncing off
the roof of the building across the street...
Goth'Ink is a tattoo shop




















Pea-size hail accumulating on our wind-shield











































*Further research has shown that it was indeed Sens that was superior to Paris, bishoprically.... We'll get there next fall.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Beauvais: Saint-Etienne Windows

Because of collapsing vaults and revolutions and wars, etc., there is not much stained glass to see in Beauvais, but there are at least a few very nice Renaissance pieces at St. Stephens, most done by one Engrand Le Prince.
Great color


















Great demons; feeding miscreants into the
Mouth of Hell



















Great light on the floor


















Which Vicki loves














More hell and damnation; we are both very sure we have
seen the guy on the right before, in stone, somewhere...
Orvieto? PS Well, not exactly, but close: see the last item of
http://roadeveron.blogspot.nl/2011/05/orvieto-duomo-reliefs.html

















Curious subject and pose


















Ditto; hacking up a sarcaphogus?














Upper branches of the ever popular Tree of
Jesse



















Another nice demon


















St. Martin, or possibly someone else, giving
a piece of his cloak to a beggar



















Interior of the WHEEL! OF! FORTUNE!!!!!!














And, walking down crypt-ward to the tomb of some
locally-important saint (St. Firmin actually spent the night
in Beauvais; in prison), a nice Eviction

Beauvais: Church of Saint-Etienne

There was another church of interest in Beauvais, the older church of St. Stephen, begun in the early 1100s, and clearly showing the transition from Romanesque to Gothic. It is said to be the place where ribbed vaulting began, "Norman" in this case, but I did not see much difference between here and the Plantagenet vaulting we saw a couple weeks back. The difference in ceiling height between Romanesque and Gothic at St. Stephens is 12 meters! But the Gothic choir is much younger than the Norman nave. Whatever...
St.Etienne in Beavais, west facade; the
typanum is a Mary coronation; the
Revolution was not kind to this church




















Nave shot


















Nave vaulting and elevation; blind triforium,
tiny clerestory windows



















Crossing; note the difference in height, nave versus choir














Looking into choir...


















And its fancy later Gothic ribbing...


















Aisle view


















Interesting interior staircase at the transept


















South transept; the north transept has a rose
window, well, actually a "wheel of fortune"
we'll see from the outside




















Here's the view where you can really see the difference:
under the c rossing, just into the north transept; on the
left, the fancy later Gothic ribbing and the huge lancet
windows; on the right, the much lower Norman vaulting
with its much smaller clerestory windows


















Outside the north transept...WHEEL! OF! FORTUNE!!!!!!!
(it's in the sculpture around the window, depicting the
transience of material possessions...