chapter  8
8 Pages

Historical Background

WithWhitney S. Stoddard

In the Ile-de-France, the small royal domain around Paris, a new kind of architecture, sculpture, and painting emerged. Established, and yet evolving, Romanesque features were synthesized with innovations to form a new Gothic style. The diagonally placed piers with attached colonnettes, co-ordinated with the crossed rib vaults above, added a dynamic movement to the interior spaces of this new Early Gothic style. The innovations and modifications of Romanesque result in the probing creativity of Early Gothic architecture which can be seen in the many experiments in plan, elevation, spatial treatment, and massing in all the cathedrals that will be discussed. Philip Augustus ruled France from 1180 to 1223. His reign, the most important in the history of Medieval France, extends into the High Gothic period. The dynamic change between Romanesque and Early Gothic times cannot be clarified without a short sketch of one of the most unusual individuals in the whole span of the Middle Ages.