This interdisciplinary volume in the AVISTA series is the first book to focus solely on the north transept of Reims Cathedral, the portion of the gothic building that served as the canons' primary entrance to the cathedral from their adjoining cloister in the thirteenth century. Despite the importance of its sculpture and stained glass, as well as its ritual use by the canons, the north transept remains one of the least understood portions of the cathedral--in part because its sequence of construction is so complex, even improvised. Until recently, important archaeological evidence of the transept's substructures was unavailable. This is, however, no longer the case. The current volume presents this new subterranean evidence alongside careful studies of the stones above ground, analysis of the geometry used in the transept's design, iconographic and stylistic studies of its sculpture and glass, and extant medieval documents, which record events bearing upon its construction. Essays by international specialists of the cathedral's archaeology, architecture, sculpture, and stained glass address issues of the north transept's evolving design and visual programs, thereby significantly clarifying and revising the building's chronology. Essays also consider the meaning of its visual programs in light of architectural adaptation and contemporary socio-historical events--whether royal coronations or the infamous revolts of the local burghers. In addition to presenting a readily accessible state of the research on the north transept, the volume also provides a model for interdisciplinary and international collaboration in the study of medieval buildings.
Table of Contents
Introduction, Feltman / Part I Design and Construction: The north portals of Reims Cathedral: the evidence below ground, Berry / Retracing the original north transept of Reims Cathedral, Wu / Changing geometries in the north transept of Reims Cathedral, Bork / The last judgment portal of Reims Cathedral: an archaeological study of its construction, Kasarska / Part II Visual Programs: Royal and clerical iconography and the chronology of the Reims last judgment portal, Feltman / Sculpture, ritual, and episcopal identity in the saints portal at Reims Cathedral, Hansen / Dissent: Satan, Job, Gregory IX, Abou-El-Haj / The north rose of Reims Cathedral: a preliminary archaeological study, Balcon-Berry /Chronological evidence in the north transept stained glass of Reims Cathedral, Parsons Lillich.
Jennifer M. Feltman is Assistant Professor of Medieval Art and Architecture at The University of Alabama, USA. http://www.jenniferfeltman.com/
"I believe this an essential book for both students and scholars of Gothic art. "
- Gili Shalom, Tel Aviv University