chapter  16
6 Pages

Historical Background

WithWhitney S. Stoddard

In contrast to Early Gothic cathedrals, in which the ribs rise from capitals at the bottom of the clerestory, the Chartres ribs rise from a much higher point in the clerestory zone. Forms identifiable as Gothic first appeared in church interiors, but in the relation of interior space and exterior mass, vestiges of a Romanesque mural emphasis remained and were not eliminated until late in the twelfth century, when flying buttresses were employed in the construction of the nave of Paris. With relatively small clerestories and the triforia contained in arches, more ideas from the Early Gothic were continued into the early thirteenth century in this third, conservative High Gothic. The portals of the transepts of Chartres Cathedral, the façades of Amiens and Reims, and the early thirteenth-century stained-glass windows of Chartres reveal a distinct change in style when contrasted with the Early Gothic Royal Portals and twelfth-century windows of Chartres.