The Middle Ages: New Horizons
DOI link for The Middle Ages: New Horizons
The Middle Ages: New Horizons book
Saint Bernard spearheaded the attack on monastic excess. He condemned the trade that had developed in valuable relics, the commercial aspects of pilgrimage, and the extravagant display of wealth in the structure and decoration of monastic architecture. Cistercian abbots rejected luxury and grandeur, adopting simple Latin Cross plans with square east ends and no ambulatories for relics. Far;:ades and portals deliberately avoided elaborate sculptured decoration. The Cistercians adopted the pointed arch, which had been popularized by its use in Cluny III, but used it to articulate simple elevations, often without
a triforium or gallery. The uniformity of these interiors left little scope for competition and reflected the highly organized structure of the order. A conscious effort to express a return to the purity and spirituality of early Christianity, Cistercian architecture eschewed the images of scale and extravagance used in the Gothic cathedrals. This provided an influential model for later followers of the vita apostolica.