chapter  27
16 Pages

Flamboyant Architecture

WithWhitney S. Stoddard

Contemporary with Early and High Renaissance architecture in Italy, the Flamboyant style of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries is the last stage in the evolution of French Gothic architecture. The origin of Flamboyant architecture is still being debated. Possible influences from late English Gothic on the formation of Flamboyant Gothic do exist; yet it can be argued with equal validity that Flamboyant Gothic developed out of Rayonnant, independent of the evolving English Gothic. The facade and porch of Saint-Maclou reveal the new concepts of surface and mass of the Flamboyant period. The lateral and vertical movements stated in shifting planes and interpenetrating parts impart a Baroque dynamism to Saint-Maclou which is quite different from the conservative Flamboyant façade of Vendome or the south transept of the Cathedral of Beauvais. As a totality of Flamboyant architecture, sculpture, and stained glass, Brou manifests succinctly both the spirit of the late middle Ages and the kind of patronage which fostered that spirit.