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Chapter 1 Saint-Denis in History

1. On the architectural prototypes in the Ile-de-France for the chevet at Saint-Denis, see Jean Bony, French Gothic Architecture of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1983), 22-43, 49-60; idem, "What Possible Sources for the Chevet of Saint-Denis?" in Gerson, ed., Abbot Suger, 131-42; and Stephen Gardner, "L'Eglise Saint-Julien de Marolles-en-Brie et ses rapports avec l'architecture parisienne de la génération de Saint-Denis," Bmon 144/1 (1986): 7-31. [BACK]

2. The designation "Romanesque" was restated recently for the portals of Saint-Denis and Chartres in a volume of the Zodiaque series presenting Romanesque sculpture by region: Anne Prache, Ile-de-France romane, La Nuit des temps 60 (1983), 71-82. For the author, the west facade of Saint-Denis carried the germ or seed of the future, but too much of the Romanesque tradition tied it to the past. Because Prache found no clear definition of the style to come, she stated that the portals proper could not be defined as Gothic. See also Millard Fillmore Hearn, Romanesque Sculpture: The Revival of Monumental Stone Sculpture in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (Ithaca, N.Y., 1981), 191-215, where the west portals of Saint-Denis and Chartres and the Sainte-Anne portal of Notre-Dame de Paris are all included in a group described as the second generation of great Romanesque portals. [BACK]

3. Henri Focillon, Art of the West, 1, Romanesque Art, ed. Jean Bony (Greenwich, Conn., 1965), 105. [BACK]

4. Sumner McKnight Crosby, "The Creative Environment," Ventures, Magazine of the Yale Graduate School (Fall 1965): 10-15; and idem, "An International Workshop in the Twelfth Century," Cahiers d'histoire mondiale 10 (1966): 19-30. [BACK]

5. On the regency and for a summary of Suger's career, see Eric Bournazel, "Suger and the Capetians," in Gerson, ed., Abbot Suger, 55-72; Panofsky, ed., Suger, 1-37; and Crosby (1987), 85-101. [BACK]

6. Suger, De administratione, in Panofsky, ed., Suger, 40-41. Panofsky reproduced and translated part 2 of De administratione as well as the complete texts of Suger's two other works concerned with his abbacy and patronage of the building campaigns: Libellus alter de consecratione ecclesiae Sancti Dionysii, in ibid., 82-121; and Ordinatio A.D. MCXL vel MCXLI confirmata, in ibid., 122-37. Suger wrote of his part in [BACK]

7. Suger, De administratione, in Panofsky, ed., Suger, 50-53, 86-89. The Merovingian church had been constructed under the patronage of King Dagobert I and lavishly embellished through his generosity. The legend of Christ's consecration endowed the nave with a special sanctity. Suger and his contemporaries also mistakenly reckoned Dagobert as founder of the abbey. Excavations in this century have shown that Dagobert's patronage actually involved only the enlargement of the church of circa 475, then extant. For the archaeological evidence for the earlier structures, see below, nn. 24, 25, 27, 28. [BACK]

8. Suger, De administratione, in Panofsky, ed., Suger, 86-89. [BACK]

9. Ibid., 88-89. [BACK]

10. Suger, De administratione, in Panofsky, ed., Suger, 46-47. [BACK]

11. Crosby's excavations uncovered the foundations of a twelfth-century nave and transepts begun in Suger's time but never completed: Crosby (1987), 267-77, 339-52. On the architecture of the eastern extension, see, inter alia, William W. Clark, "Suger's Church at Saint-Denis: The State of Research," in Gerson, ed., Abbot Suger, 105-130; Crosby (1987), 215-65; and above, n. 1. [BACK]

12. For the extent and documentation of Suger's travels, see Otto Cartellieri, Abt Suger von Saint-Denis, 1081-1151 (Berlin, 1898). [BACK]

13. "Magistrorum multorum de diversis nationibus": Suger, De administratione, in Panofsky, ed., Suger, 72-75. See also ibid., 42-43, 46-47, 58-59. [BACK]

14. Ibid., 48-49. Suger also wrote about the gilded bronze doors he ordered for the central portal and recorded the verses inscribed thereon; ibid., 47-49. [BACK]

15. On the program of the north portal and the possible subject of the lost mosaic, see Pamela Z. Blum, "The Lateral Portals of the West Facade of Saint-Denis: Archaeological and Iconographical Considerations," in Gerson, ed., Abbot Suger, 218-27. [BACK]

16. Suger, De administratione, in Panofsky, ed., Suger, 64-65. [BACK]

17. Ibid., 48-49. [BACK]

18. Ibid., 62-65. [BACK]

19. In essence, the Pseudo-Areopagite postulated an ordered universe with hierarchical substrata forming an endless chain of being. All had been brought into being by the Trinity, the primal source or superessential Godhead, whom the Pseudo-Areopagite equated with Light. But all strove to return to, to know, and to become one again with that Light: Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite, The Ecclesiastical [BACK]

20. Hilduinus abbas s. Dionysii, Areopagitica sive Sancti Dionysii vita, P.L. 106, cols. 13-24. For the literature and a summary of the development of the triple identity of the patron saint, see Crosby (1987), 4-5, 453-55 nn. 5-17. [BACK]

21. Abelard, having found refuge at Saint-Denis after his castration, questioned the identification of St. Denis with Paul's convert Dionysius the Areopagite. Abelard's exposé of the improbable conflation of identities was based on the writings of Bede. It so angered Abbot Adam that he accused Abelard of treason and forced him from the abbey. Soon after, when Suger became abbot, he dropped the charge but imposed the condition that Abelard never enter another monastery: Panofsky, ed., Suger, 17-18. [BACK]

22. For the literature and a summary of the development of the legend, see Crosby (1987), 5, 455-56 nn. 18-25. [BACK]

23. [Fortunatus], Passio sanctorum martyrum Dionysii, Rustici et Eleutherii [known also as the Gloriosae ], in Monumenta Germaniae historica, ed. Bruno Krusch, Auct. antiq. 4, pt. 2 (Berlin, 1885), 101-105. [BACK]

24. Crosby (1987), 15-17, postulated that those huge Gallo-Roman masonry blocks decorated with peltae, or boucliers d'Amazones (Amazons' shields), had been reused in the foundations of the church built on the site in circa 475. On the basis of information and dating of the sarcophagi provided him by other archaeologists excavating early burials on the site, Crosby also concluded that St. Denis had been buried in a previously existing cemetery. [BACK]

25. An article proposes that the Gallo-Roman masonry blocks should be dated to the late third or early fourth century, and that they were not Gallo-Roman spolia, reused in the church of circa 475, but part of the first structure erected above the saint's grave in his honor about fifty years after his martyrdom: Patrick Perin, "Quelques considérations sur la basilique de Saint-Denis et sa nécropole à l'époque mérovingienne," in J-M. Duvosquel and A. Dierkens, eds., Villes et campagnes au moyen âge: Mélanges Georges Despy (Liège, 1991), 599-624. Perin's hypothesis rests on a dating earlier than previously supposed for some of the sarcophagi, which by their location had to be associated with the mural masonry containing the huge decorated Gallo-Roman blocks. The new dating would modify some of Crosby's conclusions that were based on the old dating: see above, n. 24. [BACK]

26. Vita Genovefae virginis Parisiensis, in Monumenta Germaniae historica, ed. Bruno Krusch and Ernst Dümmler, Script. rer. Mer. 3 (Hanover, 1896), 204-38. [BACK]

27. On the 475 church, see Crosby (1987), 13-26 and plan, pl. 3. [BACK]

28. See ibid., 29-50 and plan, pl. 3. [BACK]

29. Suger, De administratione, in Panofsky, ed., Suger, 70-71. [BACK]

30. Ibid., 42-43. As an act of penance for the sins of his father, Charles Martel (ca. 690-741), Pepin left orders that he be buried face down before the threshold of the basilica: ibid., 44-45. On the Carolingian church, see Crosby (1987), 51-83 and plan, pl. 3 verso. [BACK]

31. Suger, De administratione, in Panofsky, ed., Suger, 42-45. [BACK]

32. In the earliest surviving royal charter, dated 625 and signed by Clothaire II, St. Denis is described as Clothaire's particular patron: "sancti domini Dioni[nsis p]eculiares p[atroni] n[ostri]": Philippe Lauer and Charles Samaran, Les Diplômes originaux des Mérovingiennes. Facsimilés phototypiques avec notices et transcriptions (Paris, 1908), 4 and pl. I. [BACK]

33. On the events that occurred at the tomb and the miracles ascribed to St. Denis, see Crosby (1987), 8. [BACK]

34. On the abbey as the royal pantheon, see ibid., 9-12. [BACK]

35. Although the royal regalia were kept at Saint-Denis, Reims cathedral had been the place of coronation from the time of Clovis I. For the history of the abbey as the repository, see ibid., 10-11. [BACK]

36. For the siege and pillaging of Saint-Denis in 1435, see Michel Félibien, Histoire de l'abbaye royale de Saint-Denis en France (Paris, 1706), 347-48; and for that of 1567, ibid., 398, and also Dom F. Jacques Doublet, Histoire de l'abbaye de S. Denys en France (Paris, 1625), 1313-14, 1347-49. For a reference to the pillaging and occupation of the abbey again in 1591, see Sumner McKnight Crosby, The Abbey of St. Denis 475-1122, 1 (New Haven, Conn., 1942), 6; and for a summary of events affecting the abbey from the fourteenth to the late eighteenth century, idem, L'Abbaye royale de Saint-Denis (Paris, 1953), 66-70. [BACK]

37. Gautier, ms. 11681, published in part in Le Cabinet historique 20/1 (1874): 280-303; 21/1 (1875): 36-53, 118-35; and by H. Herluisson and P. Leroy, "Le Manuscrit de Ferdinand-Albert Gautier, organiste de l'abbaye de Saint-Denis," Ministère de l'instruction publique et des beaux-arts, Reunion des Sociétés des Beaux-Arts et des départments 29 (1905), 236-49. [BACK]

38. Gautier, ms. 11681, 20. Some of the sculpture from Saint-Denis was sold in 1774, when the Marquis de Migieu acquired one of the statue-columns from the cloister (now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) for his château at Sauvigny-les-Beaune. See, inter alia, Pierre Quarré, "L'Abbé Lebeuf et l'interprétation du portail de Saint-Bénigne de Dijon," in Actes du Congrès Lebeuf (Auxerre, 1960): 3; and on the statue as coming from the cloister at Saint-Denis, see Vera K. Ostoia, "A Statue from Saint-Denis," The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s. 13 (June 1955): 298-304. See also Léon Pressouyre, "Did Suger Build the Cloister at Saint-Denis?" in Gerson, ed., Abbot Suger, 236-38. [BACK]

39. François Debret, "Réponse aux observations critiques ... adressée à Monsieur le Ministre des Travaux publics au sujet des travaux de restauration exécutés à l'église [BACK]

40. For the original drawings, see Montfaucon, "Desseins et gravures pour la monarchie françoise," Paris, Bib. Nat., ms. fr. 15634, vol. 1, fols. 33-77, reproduced by Bernard de Montfaucon, Les Monumens de la monarchie françoise, 1 (Paris, 1729), pls. XVI-XVIII. [BACK]

41. For earlier iconographical interpretations of the statue-columns, see J. Vanuxem, "The Theories of Mabillon and Montfaucon on French Sculpture of the Twelfth Century," J.W.C.I. 20 (1957): 45-58; and Gerson, West Facade, 14-49. Gerson postulated that the statue-columns were an integral part of each portal program and the means of unifying and amplifying the iconographical meaning within each one: ibid., 149-58. For application of that theory in an interpretation of the left portal program, see Blum, "Lateral Portals," 209-18, in Gerson, ed., Abbot Suger. [BACK]

42. Guilhermy, ms. 6121, p. 59. He later summarized the notes in an unsigned article: "Saint-Denis: Restauration de l'église royale," Annales archéologiques 1 (1844): 400-411. [BACK]

43. For heads of three kings, see Marvin C. Ross, "Monumental Sculptures from Saint-Denis: An Identification of Fragments from the Portal," The Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 3 (1940): 90-109, including an appendix by Rutherford J. Gettens, "Note on the Microscopic and Chemical Examination of Specimens of Stone from Sculptured Stone Heads," 108-109. For the head of a queen, see Léon Pressouyre, "Une Tête de reine du portail central de Saint-Denis," in Essays in Honor of Sumner McKnight Crosby, ed. Pamela Z. Blum, Gesta 15 (1976): 151-60; also Crosby et al., Saint-Denis, 39-43, cat. no. 3. For the most recent discovery of another head of a king acquired by the Musée de Cluny, see Fabienne Joubert, "Tête de Moïse provenant

du portail de droite de l'Abbatiale de Saint-Denis," Revue du Louvre 38 (1988): 336; and idem, "Recent Acquisitions, Musée de Cluny, Paris: Tête de Moïse provenant du portail de droite de Saint-Denis," Gesta 18 (1989): 107. Yet the identification of the crowned head as that of Moses seems iconographically questionable. In the Benoît drawing of that statue-column from the right portal, the figure generally identified as Moses with the tablet of the Law (Montfaucon, Les Monumens de la monarchie françoise, 1: pl. XVIII, upper tier, second from left; and Gerson, West Facade, 141) wears not a crown but a close-fitting skullcap with an ornamental design similar to that on the crown of the recently discovered head of a bearded king. The hemline of the adjacent statue-column, the only surviving vestige of that lost figure, has an ornamental border with the identical pattern. Possibly the newly discovered head originally belonged to that figure. [BACK]

44. Gautier, ms. 11681, 20. Gautier, ibid., 18, also mentioned that in 1770 a scaffolding was erected in front of "the portal" of the abbey; he was probably referring to the central portal, although elsewhere he called the portal either the main door ( porte principale ) of the church or the middle door. Yet in the first instance, since he did not specifically mention the church, he could have meant the twelfth-century "porte de Suger," which was the southwest entrance to the abbey precincts. [BACK]

45. Guilhermy, ms. 6121, pp. 53-56. For evidence to the contrary, see Chapter 6. [BACK]

46. For engravings by Fossier of the jambs on the lateral portals that show the restored condition of the sculptures as of 1788—the date of publication of the drawings—see Blum, "Lateral Portals," fig. 3. On both the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century restorations, see ibid., 200-209 and diagrams. [BACK]

47. Gautier, ms. 11681, 90-93; and idem, Le Cabinet historique 21/1 (1875): 39-40. [BACK]

48. For a general description of Saint-Denis during the revolutionary period, see Louis Réau, Les Monuments détruits de l'art français, 1 (Paris, 1959), 224-27, 306-307. [BACK]

49. In 1844 [Guilhermy], "Saint-Denis. Restauration," 404, attributed the loss of the heads to the revolutionaries. [BACK]

50. Gautier, ms. 11681, 124. The valves from the lateral portals had been replaced in the 1770-1771 restorations, but those of the central portal were the original bronze doors from Suger's campaign: ibid., 20. [BACK]

51. See above, n. 42. For an excellent summary of events at Saint-Denis during the revolutionary period, see Paul Vitry and Gaston Brière, L'Eglise abbatiale royale de Saint-Denis et ses tombeaux. Notice historique et archéologique (Paris, 1925), 30-34, 103-16; and Crosby, L'Abbaye royale de Saint-Denis, 70-71. [BACK]

52. Gautier, Le Cabinet historique 21/1 (1875): 42. [BACK]

53. François Auguste René Chateaubriand, Génie du Christianisme, ou beautés de la religion chrétienne, 2, pt. 4, 7th ed. (Paris, 1822), chap. ix. [BACK]

54. Commissioner Berche, "Rapport presenté au Ministre de l'Intérieur," dated 11 Messidor an 10 [1802], Folder: "Direction de l'architect Legrand," in "L'Eglise abbatiale de S t Denis, an IX [1801]-1811, " Paris, Archives Nationales, F 13 1293, fol. 27. In

a report concerned with payments due from the "Bâtiments civiles," Berche wrote that one of the minister's predecessors, taking into account the beauties of the architecture and decoration, had decided to conserve the abbey church. The minister had concluded that to render it usable for services it would need an enclosed parish hall. [BACK]

55. For details of the restorations and alteration of this period, see Paris, Archives Nationales, ibid., F 13 1293, 1295, 1296, 1367, summarized in Vitry and Brière, L'Eglise abbatiale, 34-37. At the same time the pavement in the nave was raised, but Viollet-le-Duc returned it to the original level; see Crosby (1987), 125. [BACK]

56. Excavations in 1968 indicated that the original sill of the central portal was 52 cm. below the present pavement level; ibid., 138; and below, Chapter 2, n. 25. [BACK]

57. Jacques Legrand (1805-1807), Jacques Cellérier (1807-1813), and François Debret (1813-1845). Debret was also the architect of the city of Paris, professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and a member of the Institute. See Nouvelles archives de l'art français. Revue de l'art français ancien et modern (Paris, 1889), 331-34. [BACK]

Chapter 2 Nineteenth - Century Restorations

1. "The harm is done, and perfectly": Alphonse Didron, aîné, "L'Achèvement des restaurations de Saint-Denis," Annales archéologiques 5 (1846): 111. [BACK]

2. Lightning struck the spire of the north tower on 9 June 1837. Debret profited by this accident to acquire new funds which enabled him to rebuild the spire and restore the entire facade: Vitry and Brière, L'Eglise abbatiale, 39-40. [BACK]

3. For an adulatory account of the life and career of the sculptor, see A. Delcourt, J. S. Brun. Sculpteur statuaire. Ancien pensionnaire de Rome. Saint-Denis. L'Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile. Le Palais de Justice de Rouen (Paris, 1846). In addition to the west portals, his restorations at Saint-Denis included the marble statues of Catherine de' Médici; Henri II; the kings, queens, and princes of the house of Valois; and the tomb of Dagobert: ibid., 56-57. He was also involved in the restoration of the sculpture on other medieval monuments, especially in Rouen. Thanks are owing to Elizabeth Brown for this reference. [BACK]

4. See below, n. 42. [BACK]

5. "A disfigured facade, deprived forever of historical interest, and, moreover, extremely ugly": Didron, "Achèvement des restaurations," 109. [BACK]

6. See, inter alia: [Guilhermy], "Saint-Denis. Restauration," 400-411; idem, "Restauration de l'église royale de Saint-Denis," Annales archéologiques 5 (1846): 200-215; Didron, "Achèvement des restaurations," ibid., 107-113. Didron and Guilhermy also published numerous articles in the Annales archéologiques on aspects of the restorations other than those primarily concerned with the sculpture of the portal: 3 (1844): 245-46; 4 (1845): 175-85, 319-24; 5 (1846): 62-68, 107-113. [BACK]

7. [Guilhermy], "Saint-Denis. Restauration," 409. [BACK]

8. Didron, "Achèvement des restaurations," 113. [BACK]

9. "Rapport sur la restauration de l'église royale de St. Denis [copy]," June, 1841, in

Seine, Saint-Denis, Dossier de l'Administration 1841-1876, Paris, Archives de la Commission des Monuments historiques, fols. 1-12. [BACK]

10. Debret, "Réponse," fols. 18-22. [BACK]

11. See "Rapport à l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres et à celle des Beaux-Arts sur la caractère des travaux de restauration exécutés à l'église S t Denys, par M r Debret, Architecte, Membre de l'Institut. 8 avril 1842," ibid., fols. 43-62. [BACK]

12. Didron, "Achèvement des restaurations," 109: "By the decision of the minister of public works, Monsieur Debret, member of the Institute, architect of the Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis and of the Royal Academy of Music, had been made a member of the Conseil général des bâtiments." To the outrage of Didron, Debret thus joined the supreme committee on architecture that authorized and oversaw all work on public buildings. [BACK]

13. Didron, ibid., 113, announced the appointment of M. Duban, architect of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, and of the château at Blois. [BACK]

14. The spire had already been dismantled, but Viollet-le-Duc recommended that the tower also be dismantled to stabilize the weakened westwork: Viollet-le-Duc, "Rapport sur l'état des constructions au 15 Décembre mil huit cent quarante six, 2 janvier 1847," Seine, Saint-Denis, Dossier de l'Administration 1841-1876, Paris, Archives de la Commission des Monuments historiques, fols. 111-13. [BACK]

15. The Archives Nationales and the Archives de la Commission des Monuments historiques contain the bulk of accounts and records itemizing works undertaken at Saint-Denis. [BACK]

16. See, inter alia, "La Part de Suger," 91-102, 253-62, 339-49; and Whitney Stoddard, The West Portals of Saint-Denis and Chartres: Sculpture in the Ile-de-France from 1140-1190 (Cambridge, Mass., 1952), 2-3. [BACK]

17. For a general outline of work under the direction of Viollet-le-Duc and his successors, see Crosby, The Abbey of St. Denis, 10-12; and more recently Crosby (1987), 170, 227-29, 231-32. [BACK]

18. E. de Labédollière, Histoire des environs du nouveau Paris (Paris, ca. 1861), 177-78. [BACK]

19. The early 1970s saw a campaign to clean the exterior of the church. Aware of the fragility of the sculptures of the western portals, Louis Grodecki was able to convince the authorities of the Monuments historiques not to clean the portals. [BACK]

20. On the appearance of the three roundels after cleaning, see Blum, "Lateral Portals," 203 and fig. 8. [BACK]

21. Two unpublished studies have been devoted to a critical examination of the sculptural details of the western portals: a resumé of the thesis of Cécile Goldscheider for the Ecole du Louvre appeared as "Les Origines des portails à statues-colonnes," Bulletin des musées de France 6/7 (1946): 22-25; and the doctoral dissertation of Johann Eckart von Borries, "Die Westportale der Abteikirche von Saint-Denis. Versuch einer Rekonstruktion," Ph.D. diss., Universität Hamburg, 1947. Both Mme Goldscheider and Dr. von Borries kindly gave Professor Crosby permission to use their manuscripts in this study.

A third study, by Paula L. Gerson, The West Facade of St.-Denis. An Iconographic Study, Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1970, Ann Arbor, Mich. (UMI, 1970, no. 73-26, 428), was concerned with iconographical interpretations of the portals. But since this study preceded the completion of the archaeological examination of the central portal, Gerson did not have the benefit of the analysis of the restorations. [BACK]

22. A shorter version of the results of the examination was first published in France: Sumner McKnight Crosby and Pamela Z. Blum, "Le Portail central de la façade occidentale de Saint-Denis," trans. D. Thibaudat, Bmon 131/3 (1973): 209-66. Crosby had previously presented a report summarizing the first, but still preliminary, findings of the 1968 examination of the central portal. Read at the symposium "The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century," held May 14-15, 1969, at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, the paper was published as "The West Portals of Saint-Denis and the Saint-Denis Style," Gesta 9/2 (1970): 1-11. [BACK]

23. Erwin Panofsky, "The History of Art as a Humanistic Discipline," in Meaning in the Visual Arts (Garden City, N.Y., 1955), 19. [BACK]

24. The following opinions exemplify conflicts in discussions of style. Whitney Stoddard wrote, "The search for possible origins of the Saint-Denis-Chartres style has led us to Burgundy": Stoddard, West Portals, 53. Willibald Sauerländer has maintained, "At Saint-Denis, there is, as far as I can see, no trace of any Burgundian inspiration": Sauerländer, "Sculpture on Early Gothic Churches: The State of Research and Open Questions," Gesta 9/2 (1970): 34. He later concluded, "A variety of styles formed the sculptures on the west doorways of Saint-Denis. Though it is now impossible to reach a definite conclusion, the predominating models seem to have come from Toulouse and its sphere of influence": W. Sauerländer, Gothic Sculpture in France 1140-1270, trans. J. Sondheimer (New York, 1972), 381. [BACK]

25. Recently two articles have presented and discussed all available evidence with respect to the presence or absence of carved lintels in the three portals and the possible heights of the originals: Paula L. Gerson, "The Lintels of the West Facade of Saint-Denis," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 34 (1975): 189-97; and Kathryn A. Morrison, "The Eighteenth-Century 'Restoration' of the West Portals of Saint-Denis and the Problem of the Lintels," Journal of the British Archaeological Association 139 (1986): 134-42 and plates. Using the measurements of the three sets of bronze doors given by Doublet in seventeenth-century pieds and comparing them with the heights of the doors today, Gerson computed their original heights by adding the figure of 0.60 m.—the measurement proposed by Viollet-le-Duc as the twelfth-century level of the sills below today's pavement level. With those givens,

Gerson concluded that there had been no lintel under the mosaic in the tympanum of the left portal, one of 0.13 to 0.17 m. under the central portal, and one of circa 0.42 to 0.45 m. under the tympanum of the right portal. But as Crosby noted, Viollet-le-Duc failed to state from what level he had taken his measurement, and since that time, Crosby's excavations have established the sill level at -0.52 m. That measurement proved compatible with Doublet's figures in pieds —with the pied equaling 0.325 to 0.328 m.: Crosby (1987), 138, 293-94. The correct measurement of the sill level at 0.52 m. below today's pavement modifies Gerson's conclusions and undermines Morrison's assertion that Doublet's measurements in pieds were not sufficiently accurate to allow close computations such as Gerson's. Gerson drew her conclusion on the basis of Doublet's figures compared with the widths of the portals today. Morrison assumed that the widths had never been altered, but the archaeological evidence suggests otherwise (see Chapter 6). She therefore found significant discrepancies between the widths today and Doublet's measurements. [BACK]

26. Scamozzi's interest in the western portals is recorded in a minute sketch showing the schema of the bronze doors of the central portal as consisting of scenes within medallions. Unfortunately the scenes are indecipherable. See Franco Barbieri, "Vincenzo Scamozzi, studioso ed artista," Critica d'arte an. 8, ser. 3, fasc. 19 (1949): fig. 171, and Paris, Arch. Phot. no. 53.N.122. The bronze doors lie outside the scope of this article, but see Gerson, West Facade, 100-111; idem, "Suger as Iconographer," in Gerson, ed., Abbot Suger, 186-87; and Crosby (1987), 187-92, for interpretations of the visual and textual evidence concerning the iconographical program of the doors. [BACK]

27. Album Debret, Paris, Archives de la Commission des Monuments historiques. Inasmuch as Debret's attachements bear the date 1838 and many details included were never completed, the drawing was probably made in preparation for a presentation to the ministry in support of his request for funds. The details apparently represent what he proposed to do and were not working drawings for the restorers. Similar discrepancies exist between his detail drawings of 1840, which supposedly show work completed (Fig. 5). Guilhermy, ms. 6121, pp. 36, 66, noted that the restoration of the central portal began around 15 September 1839. By October of that year he could write, "On commence le bas relief de la porte gauche modelé par Brun. Le même sculpteur venait de restaurer toutes les voussures de la porte centrale, et commençait à restaurer le bas relief du tympan" (Work is beginning on the bas-relief of the left portal modeled by Brun. The same sculptor has finished restoring all the archivolts of the central portal and is beginning to restore the relief [sculptures] of the tympanum). [BACK]

28. Diagrams superimposed on photographs proved the most accurate and precise way to summarize the results of the examination. Like any schematic record, they present explicit information, not quantitative and qualitative assessments, such as how severely the surfaces were recut or how accurate the design of the insertion. The text will cover those aspects. Coded so that all original twelfth-century carving can be seen at a glance, the unmarked surfaces represent sculpture untouched by the restoration. Generously spaced crosshatching circumscribed by outlines pinpoints every inset. More closely spaced hatching drawn on the opposite diagonal represents repairs made with mastic, mortar, cement, and gesso. The latter hatching thus maps all repaired fractures, as well as repaired masonry joints impinging upon and distorting the sculpture, even those where some of the mortar fill has crumbled and fallen away. Dotted lines represent fractures that postdate the restoration and have never been repaired. Crossed broken lines designate recut surfaces of twelfth-century stone. That last convention marks every recut area, whether the recutting caused real deformation or simply eliminated minor surface abrasions. For those distinctions, again the reader must rely upon the text. [BACK]

29. Since the publication of the monograph "Le Portail central," by Crosby and Blum, a considerable number of important studies have appeared concerned with the iconography of the portals. See Paula L. Gerson, "Suger as Iconographer," 183-98; Pamela Z. Blum, "Lateral Portals," 199-228; and Zinn, "Suger, Theology," 33-40; all in Gerson, ed., Abbot Suger. See also Charles T. Little, "Monumental Sculpture at Saint-Denis under the Patronage of Abbot Suger," in Crosby et al., Saint-Denis, 25-29; Crosby (1987), 179-213; and Conrad Rudolph, Artistic Change at Saint-Denis: Abbot Suger's Program and the Early Twelfth-Century Controversy over Art (Princeton, N.J., 1990), especially his chap. 5. [BACK]

30. Because of the installation of the nineteenth-century pavement 0.52 m. above the twelfth-century level, the lowest bed of masonry visible today appears irregular and completely arbitrary. The original twelfth-century mural masonry continues below the pavement.

Most of the visible blocks of mural masonry are, in fact, original. Stoddard, basing his conclusion on the masonry sloping inward above the level of the decorated plinths and on the depth of the recession, originally posited that every stone and all the carving above the plinths had been cut back 4 cm. in 1839: Stoddard, West Portals, 2-3. He later retracted this conclusion after learning the results of the archaeological examination of the central portal: idem, Sculptors, 113. Yet no explanation for the recession of the stones of the jambs directly above the plinths seems adequate. Perhaps it represents a peculiarity of the portals, a reflection of difficulties encountered when the masonry of the portals was assembled after the sculptures had been carved in the workshop, or even a tectonic thickening of the structure to strengthen it. [BACK]

31. The dimension of 29.5 cm. closely approximates the accepted length of the Roman foot: George Forsyth, Jr., The Church of St. Martin at Angers (Princeton, N.J., 1953), 23 n. 4. See also below, Chapter 6, n. 2. [BACK]

32. The fractures may have occurred during the alterations to the portal in 1770-1771, when the trumeau was removed, but more probably in the nineteenth century, when the rebuilding of the north spire caused movement within the masonry of the whole facade. [BACK]

33. On the exterior surface of the lunette of the upper tympanum, behind an angel's nineteenth-century wing, the end of one of the bolts is visible. On the interior, the heads of the bolts are now obscured by a heavy coat of plaster. A number of holes filled with plaster suggest additional bolts were inserted from the exterior as well. See Chapter 3, "Lunette with Tympanum Angels." [BACK]

34. See n. 28 above, explaining how the various types of restorations are differentiated in the diagrams. [BACK]

35. In the Chapter Acts book, in which the canons of Salisbury cathedral transcribed all the plans and specifications of George Gilbert Scott for the restoration of the cathedral in 1876, we find an entry specifying the addition of linseed oil to the mortar used in replacing masonry in the most exposed locations, such as the tower and spire. Scott believed that linseed oil made the mortar impervious to the damaging effects of weather. At Saint-Denis the oil may well have been used for hardening gypsum used to make plaster of Paris, and certainly the oil would have tinted it a buff color. [BACK]

36. [Guilhermy], "Saint-Denis. Restauration," 407, mentioned that "mastique et la terre cuits" had been used in the restoration of the portals. [BACK]

37. Guilhermy, ms. 6121, pp. 49, 53, 61, identified the material as "pierre factice." The composite stone appears impervious to weather and acid rain. See also Chapter 6, "The Jamb Colonnettes." [BACK]

38. Archival records for Saint-Denis contain a payment to M. Dihl (Diehl), maker of mastic imperméable: "L'Eglise abbatiale de Saint-Denis, 1811-1822," Paris, Archives Nationales, F 13 1295, fol. 76, as well as numerous references to the use of mastic in the early nineteenth-century restorations and alterations. In one instance, the formula, which included linseed oil, seems to have produced a mastic used for coating the walls in the crypt to prevent dampness from penetrating the stone: ibid., F 13 1296, fol. 100. In his discussion of restorations to French buildings, Paul Léon, La Vie des monuments français. Destruction. Restauration (Paris, 1951), 366, wrote: "Later Debret in the work at the basilica of Saint-Denis, [and] Godde in the churches of Paris, authorized the facing of masonry by extraordinary materials, the mastic of Diehl, the cement of Molesmes or of Wasy, which, thanks to the quick and uniform scraping [of the stones], gave a new appearance to the most degraded monuments." [BACK]

39. On the extent of the eighteenth-century work and aspects distinguishing it from the nineteenth-century restoration, see Blum, "Lateral Portals," 200-202. [BACK]

40. Von Borries, "Die Westportale," 116-17. See also Arch. Phot., Paris, no. 83675. For a possible explanation of the function of the fragment, see the ornamental animal-head finials, typical embellishments of bench ends that rise above the level of the seat: Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, Dictionnaire raisonné du mobilier français de l'époque carlovingienne à la renaissance, 1, Meubles (Paris, 1871), "Bancs," 33-34. See Bildarchiv Foto Marburg no. 36991, and Arch. Phot., Paris, nos. 11471, 83627. [BACK]

41. Nevertheless, as noted above, the accounts indicate that Brun alone restored the figures. He had considerable assistance, mainly for restorations to and replacement of [BACK]

Chapter 3 The Great Tympanum of the Central Portal

1. "Le Christ présidant au jugement dernier porte aujourd'hui ... la tête de Jupiter Olympien": [Guilhermy], "Saint-Denis. Restauration," 404. [BACK]

2. The piercing of Christ's side by the spear of Longinus, the believing soldier, is found in the apocryphal Passion Gospel known as the Gospel of Nicodemus, or Acts of Pilate (16:7). See Montague Rhodes James, ed. and trans., The Apocryphal New Testament, Being the Apocryphal Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypses with Other Narratives and Fragments (Oxford, 1963), 113. [BACK]

3. Comparable examples of this type of throne can be found in Ottonian and Carolingian miniatures and ivories. For two Ottonian examples, see Adolph Goldschmidt, Die Elfenbeinskulpturen aus der Zeit der karolingischen und sächsischen Kaiser, 1 (Paris, 1914), pl. LXXIV, fig. 162;II (1918), pl. VI, fig. 16. [BACK]

4. In an excellent iconographical study of the west portals of Saint-Denis, Gerson interpreted the figure of Christ with arms outstretched before the cross and with only the lower portions of his body surrounded by a mandorla as imagery derived from the Augustinian argument concerning the dual nature of Christ as the Son of God and as the Son of man. In reconciling the conflicting evidence in the Gospels of John and Matthew concerning the presence of Christ at the Last Judgment (Matthew 25:31-32; John 12:47), St. Augustine developed the concept that Christ the Son of man would judge the wicked, and, at the same time, the good would see him in his divine form as the Son of God: De Trinitate 1, 13, 31, P.L. 42, cols. 843-44. Gerson concluded that the upper portion of Christ before the cross represented his image as the Son of man come to judge, and the lower portion of the figure in glory depicted his divine nature: Gerson, West Facade, 119-25. [BACK]

5. Notable examples of exactly this type of articulated cross occur in the second crucifix of Abbess Matilda from Essen, dated between 974 and 1101: Emma Medding-Alp, Rheinische Goldschmeidekunst in ottonischer Zeit (Koblenz, 1952), fig. 36; and in London, Brit. Lib. Stowe Ms. 944, fol. 6, dated between 1020 and 1030, showing King Cnut and his wife Ælfgyfu presenting an altar cross: Margaret Rickert, Painting in Britain: The Middle Ages, 2nd ed. (Harmondsworth and Baltimore, 1965), pl. 37A. [BACK]

6. Guilhermy, ms. 6121, p. 63. [BACK]

7. "Come, ye blessed of my Father" and "Depart from me, you cursed." All biblical quotations are taken from the Vulgate (Douay edition), the version of the Bible closest to the one used in the twelfth century. [BACK]

8. Guilhermy, ms. 6121, pp. 62-64; and [idem], "Saint-Denis. Restauration," 404. [BACK]

9. For examples of the Last Judgment that included those verses from Matthew, see, inter alia, the Last Judgment tympanum at Conques: Gustav Künstler, ed., Romanesque Art in Europe (Greenwich, Conn., 1968), pl. 39; the Freckenhorst baptismal font: Erwin Panofsky, Die Deutsche Plastik des elften bis dreizehnten Jahrhunderts, repr. (New York, 1969), pl. 16; a badly worn Carolingian ivory in London, Victoria and Albert Museum: Goldschmidt, Elfenbeinskulpturen, I, pl. LXXIII, fig. 178; and the Gunhild Crucifix in the Copenhagen National Museum: ibid., III, pl. XLIV, fig. 124b. For other examples, see also Gerson, "Suger as Iconographer," 196 n. 22. Although Christ of the tympanum at Saint-Denis is viewed in the literature as Christ of the Last Judgment, the Judgment proper is actually taking place in the center of the first archivolt. See Chapter 4, "The Judging Christ." [BACK]

10. A great deal more has survived in the Resurrection frieze than von Borries's study suggested. He noted that the figures had been heavily restored. Then, calling the figures "nineteenth-century," he stated that too little remained to allow any reconstruction of the original work: von Borries, "Die Westportale," 119. Quite the contrary proved true. [BACK]

11. Suger, De administratione, in Panofsky, ed., Suger, 48-49. Unaware of evidence to the contrary, von Borries, "Die Westportale," 119-20, called the pose of the figure an invention of the eighteenth or nineteenth century. [BACK]

12. Through the centuries, the classical symbolism associated with the goddess Persephone clung to the pomegranate, and in Christian iconography it came to signify resurrection and the hope of immortality: George Ferguson, Signs and Symbols in Christian Art (New York, 1961), 37. In the mid-thirteenth century, the pomegranate is carried by one of the Blessed in the Last Judgment scene on the central portal of the cathedral of Saint-Etienne at Bourges. The attribute held by the bishop or king in the Resurrection frieze at Saint-Denis may be a precocious example of the vegetal and floral symbolism so prevalent in the sculptural ensembles on thirteenth-century cathedral portals. In Christian iconography the pomegranate [BACK]

13. The heads were reproduced in Marcel Aubert and Michèle Beaulieu, Musée National du Louvre. Description raisonée des sculptures, 1, Moyen Age (Paris, 1950), 57, nos. 52, 53, 54, 55. (No. 56, also described as having come from Saint-Denis and grouped with the above, quite obviously belongs to a later period and is a head from one of the marmosets in the Porte des Valois.) See also Crosby, L'Abbaye royale de Saint-Denis, 34-35 nos. 6-9; and Chapter 7 of this study. [BACK]

14. See below, Chapter 7, n. 2. [BACK]

15. The Louvre double heads no. 54 and those of Apostles nos. 21 and 22 measure 0.16 m. along the diagonal break and 0.155 m. on a horizontal line drawn under their beards. In both cases, the angle drawn from the upper right end along the break to meet an imaginary horizontal drawn from the lower or left edge equals 20 degrees. The heights of the heads, measured from the tops to the tips of the beards, correlate closely with the nineteenth-century restorations: [BACK]

16. St. Augustine stated, "Qui enim disputat, verum discernit a falso" (Who in fact disputes, discerns truth from falsehood): Contra Cresconium grammaticum partis Donati, I, 15, 19, P.L. 43, col. 457. In regard to the dialogue, see especially Fritz Saxl, "Frühes Christentum und spätes Heidentum in ihren künsterlischen Ausdruckformen," 1: "Der Dialog als Thema der christlichen Kunst," Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte n.f. 2 (16) (1923): 64-77. The bas-relief discovered at Saint-Denis during the excavations of 1947 provides another example from Suger's workshops of the Apostles in disputatione: Sumner McKnight Crosby, The Apostle Bas-Relief at Saint-Denis (New Haven, Conn., 1972), 53; and on the antique theme of philosopher and student (or poet and muse) that was the prototype for the convention of the apostolic dialogue: ibid., 63-64. [BACK]

17. Von Borries, "Die Westportale," 111-12. The Virgin's gesture derives from classical art, in particular from images on grave stellae depicting the woman's hand drawing the edge of the veil covering her head toward her face, as if about to conceal it. The language of gesture has great significance in medieval representations and can often [BACK]

18. [Guilhermy], "Saint-Denis. Restauration," 404-405. [BACK]

19. For earlier examples of the Deisis where John parallels the mourning Virgin by making the same gesture, see Goldschmidt, Elfenbeinskulpturen, I, pl. XLVII, fig. 100; II, pl. XVII, figs. 55 and 57; III, pl. VII, fig. 23. [BACK]

20. Despite the lack of definitive evidence, Gerson, West Facade, 125-26, agreed that the original arrangement probably represented the western form of the Deisis. She suggested that Suger's inclusion of the figures of the Virgin and John the Evangelist with the Last Judgment resulted from his preoccupation with the Crucifixion and therefore did not represent a borrowing from and variation on the Byzantine Last Judgment, where traditionally the Virgin and John the Baptist were the intercessors. Gerson also cited the presence of the Virgin and John the Evangelist in the Last Judgment of Saint-Maur (Huy), in a tympanum generally dated in the first half of the twelfth century. Because of the imprecise dating, the order of precedence remains unresolved. [BACK]

21. Von Borries, "Die Westportale," 117. [BACK]

22. Von Borries, ibid., 113-14, mistakenly concluded that the nineteenth-century restoration had completely rearranged the first three Apostles, thereby eliminating Apostle no. 22. [BACK]

23. See Cambridge, Eng., Pembroke College Ms. 120, fol. 6. Dated between 1120 and 1140, the miniature depicting the Pentecost shows an arrangement of the Apostles' feet that suggests this amusing conceit: Catalogue, L'Art Roman. Exposition orga- [BACK]

24. The severest recutting occurred on the torso, right arm, left leg, and fluttering scarf of trumpeting angel no. 20; around both knees of Apostle no. 21; on the right knee of Apostle no. 28; on the right shoulder of Apostle no. 31; and on the far left and right of the angel with the flaming sword, particularly on his lower right-sleeve drapery, left shoulder, and upper arm. In the figures listed, inept carving of the stone patches also mars the visual effect of the drapery. The recut, rough area on the upper torso of Apostle no. 26 resulted from the cutting-away of his mutilated, twelfth-century right hand, which apparently rested on his chest. The fracture of the tympanum stone that invades his figure caused considerable damage, now repaired with mortar as well as recutting. [BACK]

25. The accurate and close-up view permitted by the scaffolding makes it necessary to reconsider an idea presented earlier—that the angel might have been carrying a "coussin avec les Trois Clous (a cushion with the three nails)": Crosby, L'Abbaye royale de Saint-Denis, 37. Commenting on the probable iconography of Suger's Great Cross, Philippe Verdier emphasized the precocious appearance at Saint-Denis of the crucified Christ represented with his feet overlapping, an arrangement requiring three rather than four nails. He cited the quotation above to support the possibility that the central tympanum contained another representation involving only three nails. The fact that the nineteenth-century insert had four nails does not guarantee that four were originally represented. Although probable, they lack verification, which leaves Verdier's hypothesis an open question: Verdier, "La Grande Croix de l'Abbé Suger à Saint-Denis," Cahiers de civilisation médiévale Xe-XIIe siècles 13 (1970): 3 n. 9, 4n. 10. [BACK]

26. The relics of the Passion were received at the abbey in the ninth century. According to legend, they were removed from Aix-la-Chapelle by Charles the Bald, who supposedly gave them to Saint-Denis in 862. Suger mentioned the relics in three different places and always referred to the nail in the singular: Suger, De consecratione, II and IV; idem, Ordinatio, in Panofsky, ed., Suger, 87, 101, 133. [BACK]

27. Von Borries, "Die Westportale," 101, identified the attribute as a "Kasten" (chest or coffer) and gave no further explanation. He also described the four angels as the best-preserved figures in the tympanum. [BACK]

28. The lost cross of St. Eloi, a golden and bejeweled gift to Saint-Denis from Dagobert, is known today primarily through inventories of the abbey and the detailed rendering of the cross in the late fifteenth-century painting The Mass of Saint Giles. According to the inventories, at the base of the cross an enameled reliquary protected by glass contained a fragment of the True Cross. The painting shows that the crystal covering the fragment bears the label "de cruce d[omi]ni." Despite the use of that abbreviated form of domini in both the seventh and thirteenth centuries, the Gothic script of the label indicates that at the earliest, the relic was a thirteenth-century addition. Suger mentioned "illam ammirabilem sancti Eligii ... crucem," but [BACK]

29. See above, Chapter 2, n. 33. [BACK]

30. The initials could be those of the sculptor Blois, who assisted Brun with the foliate ornament. Never including his given name, the work sheets always refer to him as Le Sieur Blois (an alternative to "Monsieur"). [BACK]

Chapter 4 The Judgment and Trinity of the Center Archivolts.

1. Von Borries, "Die Westportale," 22-24, believed that the blessing gesture of the right hand followed the twelfth-century design but suggested that the left hand, which he read as an Orantengestus (the orans gesture of prayer used in ancient and Early Christian times), had originally held the Liber Vitae (Apocalypse 20:12). [BACK]

2. Rudolph, ibid., 41, suggested that the two souls represented "those who are not judged, but saved"—a reference to Gregory the Great's Moralia in Job, wherein there were two subdivisions for the elect: those who were judged and saved and those not judged but saved, with similar subdivisions obtaining for the Damned. Rudolph stressed the importance of Gregory's writings to Hugh of Saint-Victor, whom the author saw as the iconographer responsible for the program of the central portal. See above, Chapter 3, n. 4. [BACK]

3. Bildarchiv Foto Marburg no. 36999 clearly shows the drapery reworked with mastic. [BACK]

4. In keeping with his suggestion that the keystone of the first archivolt depicted a variant on the Maiestas Domini, von Borries, "Die Westportale," 132-33, suggested that the angels originally held a crown. [BACK]

5. The absence of embellishments is puzzling, since the Deity depicted in the keystone of the outer archivolt of the left, or north portal has a jeweled nimbus, as does Christ in the tympanum of the south portal. See Blum, "The Lateral Portals," figs. 9, 16. [BACK]

6. On this and earlier representations of the Trinity, see Gerson, West Facade, 129-36; idem, "Suger as Iconographer," 192-94; and Zinn, "Suger, Theology," 37. Both Gerson and Zinn assumed that the feet of the Deity were valid insertions, as did Conrad Rudolph, in a paper delivered in Washington, D.C., at the 1991 meeting of the College Art Association. Following Zinn (see above, n. 2), Rudolph associated the Trinity at Saint-Denis with the description of the lost cosmic schema in Hugh of Saint-Victor's treatise, De arca Noe mystica. Rudolph's paper represented a portion of a study in preparation on the iconography of the three western portals of Saint-Denis. [BACK]

7. Gertrud Schiller, Iconography of Christian Art, 2, trans. J. Seligman (London, 1972), 118. [BACK]

8. "[The restorer] profited, I have been assured, by the slightest indications [of the original work] such as the feet of the dove": Guilhermy, ms. 6121, p. 66. [BACK]

9. "Not a stone escaped the hand of the workers": Didron, "Achèvement des restaurations," 108. Originally the entire face, nose included, was accepted as original, which no longer seems credible in view of the distinct line of corrosion that has developed across the ridge and continues partway down the left side of the nose. Distinguishable in photographs from the weathering of the stone proper, the difference may indicate a line of mortar or cement joining a modern nose. For the earlier conclusion, see Crosby and Blum, "Le Portail central," 236. [BACK]

Chapter 5 The Damned and the Blessed of the First Archivolt

1. "Some indications survived which ... [the restorer] has followed": Guilhermy, ms. 6121, pp. 64, 66. Von Borries, "Die Westportale," 127-29, 153, did not accept the scenes of Hell as restored. He considered all of them a nineteenth-century invention and concluded that the twelfth-century scenes had been completely obliterated. He proposed that originally there had been a tripartite arrangement paralleling the scenes of Paradise on the left, namely: Hell at the bottom, a cauldron with fire in the second, and in the third tier, four figures depicting the punishments of the Damned. He cited as reference the fragments of the scenes of Hell from Notre-Dame-de-Corbeil now in the Louvre. [BACK]

2. Von Borries saw traces of original carving in this figure: ibid., 126-27. [BACK]

3. On the Wise and Foolish Virgins as a theme forging a link with the imagery on Suger's lost bronze doors, the inscription on the lintel, as well as the sculptures on the jambs, inner archivolt, and tympanum, see Gerson, "Suger as Iconographer," 187-88. [BACK]

4. Another classical motif occurs on the right jamb of the left, or north portal. Below the sign of Gemini at the top of the jamb, in a frame decorated with the scroll motif, a stylized flower resembles the type that filled the center of compartments in coffered ceilings in ancient Greece, as for example the ceiling of the interior corridor of the Tholos at Epidauros. [BACK]

Chapter 6 The Jamb Sculptures with the Parable of the Ten Virgins

1. Vitry and Brière, L'Eglise abbatiale, 61, suggested that the jambs of all three portals looked as if their restorations predated the nineteenth century. The archeological examination has, in part, verified their conclusion, but it was also necessary to distinguish between the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century work, for without doubt, both periods left their mark on the jambs. On this question, see also Blum, "Lateral Portals," 200-206. [BACK]

2. As noted, the measurement of 29.5 cm. equals the length of the Roman foot. The [BACK]

3. See above, Chapter 2, n. 42. [BACK]

4. Guilhermy, ms. 6121, p. 62; von Borries, "Die Westportale," 88. [BACK]

5. See Crosby and Blum, "Le Portail central," 242-43. According to Guilhermy, ms. 1621, p. 62, all eight heads of the virgins on the jambs were redone in 1840, as well as a number of hands. He also reported that the restorer followed the indications provided by the original vestiges to determine whether they should be bareheaded or veiled. [BACK]

6. Morrison attributed the cropping to the 1770-1771 restorations. See above, Chapter 2, n. 25. [BACK]

7. Similar alterations and cropping occurred in the west portals of Chartres cathedral. Accommodations required during the assemblage and installation of the sculpture are especially noticeable in the south tympanum. [BACK]

8. The parallels continue in the crossed legs of the Atlantids but cease in the matter of the large head that dwarfs the body. In addition, the ornament flanking his body lies on the background plane rather than forming a frame or niche. For an illustration, see Arturo C. Quintavalle, Romanico Padano, Civiltà d'Occidente (Florence, 1969), 292, fig. 133. [BACK]

9. See Jurgis Baltrušaitis, "Villes sur arcatures," Urbanisme et architecture. Etudes écrites et publiées en l'honneur de Pierre Lavadan (Paris, 1954): 31-40. [BACK]

10. At Saint-Denis, other examples of monsters occur on the middle capital of the left embrasure of the south portal, west facade; on the corbel attached to the southeastern face of the engaged compound pier, north wall of the western bays; and on the southeastern hemicycle pier in the crypt (recut in the nineteenth century). [BACK]

11. On the motif, see Crosby, Apostle Bas-Relief, 35. [BACK]

12. Guilhermy, ms. 6121, p. 61. [BACK]

13. Von Borries, "Die Westportale," 92, condemned the entire figure as a replacement. [BACK]

14. Guilhermy, ms. 6121, p. 62. [BACK]

15. Camille Enlart, Manuel d'archéologie francaise 3, Le Costume (Paris, 1916), 606. [BACK]

16. Guilhermy, ms. 6121, pp. 49-50. Divided in two, with modern bases and capitals added, the original shaft from which the colonnette now on the right jamb of the central portal was molded was transferred to the Musée de Cluny from the Louvre in 1955 (inv. no. L.S. RF 45253). There it joined the column (inv. no. 19576) from which the modern shaft now on the left jamb of the portal was molded. See Marcel [BACK]

17. Guillaume Le Gentil de la Galaisière, "Observations sur plusieurs monumens gothiques ... sur lesquels sont gravés les signes du zodiaque et quelques hiéroglyphes egyptiens relatifs à la religion d'Isis," Histoire de l'Académie royale des Sciences, 1788 ... (Paris, 1791): 397-438, pls. XVII-XVIII. More recently May Vieillard-Troïekouroff, "Les Zodiaques parisiens sculptés d'après Le Gentil de la Galaisière, astronome du XVIIIe siècle," Mémoires de la Société nationale des Antiquaires de France 4, 9e ser., 1968 (Paris, 1969): 161-94, figs. 8-9. Von Borries, "Die Westportale," 36-37, also mentioned the drawings. [BACK]

18. The fragment in question (Musée de Cluny, inv. no. 11659a) formed the lower half of the colonnette pictured in the engravings published by Le Gentil de la Galaisière on the left jamb of the right portal and illustrated in Stoddard, West Portals, pl. VI 2 (right). Both show the face of the fragment originally oriented to the west. Not pictured by Stoddard, the right or south face of that segment is particularly attractive and less restored. The vertical rinceau is inhabited by three nude figures wielding [BACK]

19. The Cluny reserve has three more fragments of the colonnettes used in the altar jubés, one of which appears to have been entirely a nineteenth-century fabrication. Le Gentil's engraving of the left portal shows the original location for two of the fragments on the left jamb of the left portal. The best preserved of the two (inv. no. 11569b) is illustrated in Stoddard, West Portals, pl. VI 2 (left). In the 1970s all colonnette fragments from Saint-Denis were moved from Paris to the Cluny reserve at Château Ecouen, north of Paris. Although now stripped of all nineteenth-century additions, the shafts had been heavily and clumsily restored, newly carved insets added to the ends, their designs continued onto the uncarved back surfaces, and bases and capitals added. [BACK]

20. For an analysis of this type of ornamentation, see Crosby, Apostle Bas-Relief. [BACK]

21. For illustrations of those decorated shafts, see Stoddard, West Portals, pls. XII-XVIII, XXVI, XXIX, XXXVII. The motif of the inhabited vine or scrolls also has affinities with the capitals from Saint-Etienne and La Daurade in Toulouse; ibid., pl. XXXI. The origins of the motif, however, are usually traced to England or Germany: Lawrence Stone, Sculpture in Britain. The Middle Ages (Harmondsworth, 1955), 62; Fritz Saxl, English Sculptures of the Twelfth Century, ed. H. Swarzenski (Boston, 1952), n. 4, fig. 25; and George Zarnecki, Janet Holt, and Tristram Holland, eds., English Romanesque Art 1066-1200 (London, 1984), 215, cat. nos. 184-185; 217, cat. no. 189. [BACK]

22. Von Borries, "Die Westportale," 19-20, like all earlier scholars, assumed that lintels originally existed under all three portals. Also see above, Chapter 2, n. 25. [BACK]

23. The problems involved in a discussion of the statue-columns that originally decorated all three portals are so complicated that brief mention of them would be meaningless. I hold to the opinion that they were finished and in place for the dedication of 9 June 1140. As an integral and perhaps the most original part of the portal sculpture, they will ultimately receive the attention they deserve. See Gerson, West Facade, 140-61; and Crosby (1987), 192-201. [BACK]

24. The carved columns that Debret substituted for the statue-columns were severely criticized in "Rapport sur la restauration de l'église royale de S t Denis," June 1841, fol. 5v, in Dossier de l'Administration 1841-1876, Paris, Archives de la Commission des Monuments historiques. In defending his choice of patterns as appropriate to a twelfth-century facade, Debret wrote that he had visited Chartres in 1837 and made [BACK]

25. Stoddard, West Portals, 4, 57, pls. III-IV. [BACK]

26. Ibid., 6, pl. VI, fig. 2. As noted above, the two colonnettes that Stoddard cited as the only remnants of the hypothetical decoration on the intercolonnettes of the embrasures were fragments of those pictured by Le Gentil de la Galaisière on the left jambs of the north and south portals (see above, n. 17). [BACK]

27. Possibly the surviving vestiges belonged to a frieze of monsters and grotesques such as those intertwining across the embrasures behind the consoles that support the statue-columns of the Porte des Valois in the north transept. [BACK]

28. For enlarged illustrations, see Crosby (1987), 402-403, figs. K.28-29. [BACK]

29. On the development of the continuous capital, see John B. Cameron, "The Early Gothic Continuous Capital and Its Precursors," Gesta 15 (1976): 143-50. [BACK]

30. For other illustrations of the abacus friezes, see Crosby (1987), K.25 a-e. [BACK]

Chapter 7 The Old Testament Patriarchs, or Elders of the Apocalypse, on the Three Outer Archivolts

1. The allegory of the Tree of Jesse received special attention at Saint-Denis; it also provided the subject for an entire window in Suger's new choir. The location of the window in the axial chapel of the chevet underscores the importance of the theme. See Arthur Watson, The Early Iconography of the Tree of Jesse (London, 1934), 81-88, 112-20; Louis Grodecki, Les Vitraux de Saint-Denis, étude sur le vitrail au XII siècle (Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi), 1, France (Paris, 1976), 71-80; and Crosby et al., Royal Abbey, 72, cat. no. 10. [BACK]

2. Aubert and Beaulieu, Description raisonée ..., vol. I, Moyen Age, 57, cat. nos. 52, 53, 55. The three heads in question range in measurement from 0.20 m. to 0.25 m. The differences, attributable partly to the heights of the surviving headdresses, also result from the recutting of the tops of the original heads and their headdresses. They measure 0.13 m. to 0.155 m. across at eye level and, from the outer corner of one eye to the other, 0.10 m. The comparable measurements of the nineteenth-century heads are 0.155 m. to 0.16 m. at eye level, and 0.10 m. from outer corner to outer corner of the eyes. A comparison shows that the facial style of the twelfth-century heads of the patriarchs closely resembles that of the smaller joined heads of the two Apostles (Fig. 14). [BACK]

3. [Guilhermy], "Saint-Denis. Restauration," 404, scorned the headdresses as extremely vulgar and iconographically incorrect. He assumed that the restorer had mistaken the figures for musicians of low birth. [BACK]

4. In order to make the most efficient use of space allotted for diagrams, diagrams of [BACK]

5. Von Borries, "Die Westportale," 145, 153, suggested that the two busts, as well as the disk with the apocalyptic Lamb in the archivolt below, were nineteenth-century inventions. [BACK]

6. Assuredly, in a workshop of the size required to implement Suger's projects, assistants must have played a role. Here and elsewhere in the portal, we may reasonably assume that one or more assistants worked with each master and presumably were trained by him, or at least shared his geographical and artistic background. Their presence would account for variations in quality or artistic interest within a master's style—variations detectable, for instance, in figures such as the censing angels nos. XVI and XVII, and in patriarchs E, F, and S. [BACK]

7. Bede, Opera exegetica pt. 2, 18, De templo Salomonis, P.L. 91, cols. 779-80. See also M.-L. Thérèl, "Comment la patrologie peut éclairer l'archéologie; à propos d'Arbre de Jessé et de statues-colonnes de Saint-Denis," Cahiers de civilisation médiévale 6 (1963): 145-58. [BACK]

8. Schiller, Iconography, 1:23. [BACK]

9. Of the twenty-four elders, only patriarchs A and D actually play their instruments. Presumably all the patriarchs wore crowns, as discussed above. By the twelfth century, any single, seated, harp-playing figure with or without a crown, unless otherwise identified within a specific iconographical program, customarily represented King David. Since the archivolt figures conflate the image of patriarchs and elders, the biblical references in the Book of the Apocalypse are as pertinent here as the Old Testament symbolism associated with bare feet and with King David's musicianship—details identifying patriarch A as David. Therefore the following New Testament references, such as those to the harps of the elders, suggest additional layers of meaning for the figures of the patriarch/elders making music: "And I heard a voice from heaven...[which] was as the voice of harpers harping on [BACK]

10. Suger, De administratione, in Panofsky, ed., Suger, 78-79, fig. 8. On the justa or Eleanor vase, see volume 3 of Blaise de Montesquiou-Fezensac and Danielle Gaborit-Chopin, Le Trésor de Saint-Denis (Paris, 1977), 166, no. 75, pls. 47-48; and Crosby et al., Royal Abbey, 112, fig. 36. Now preserved in the Galerie d'Appollon in the Louvre, the vase has a bowl of crystal regarded as "probably Egyptian work of the fourth or fifth century." The gold mounting with jewels and filigree decoration is generally regarded as medieval. Suger recorded that Eleanor of Aquitaine received the vase as a gift from Mitadolus, her grandfather. As a bride Eleanor then gave it to her first husband, Louis VII, who in turn bestowed it on Suger. [BACK]

11. The instruments represent three basic types. Emanuel Winternitz, the late curator of instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, identified them as follows: "All the instruments with a neck—some plucked and some bowed—are vielles; the instruments of a triangular or nearly triangular shape are harps; those resembling rectangular boxes with strings running across the sound board parallel to the wide side walls are psalteries": Winternitz to Crosby, 15 March 1971. See also Emanuel Winternitz, Musical Instruments and Their Symbolism in Western Art (New York, ca. 1967), 29, pls. 11b, 14a, 15c, 23. [BACK]

12. The sculptor's interest in surface-pattern emerges to an even greater degree in this figure. Yet the deeply undercut hem of the pleats falling from the left hip and the even more undercut, flared hemline of the tunic below enhance the sense of volume and spatial reality which the multiplicity of surface designs tends to suppress in the figure of patriarch A. [BACK]

13. With the instruments numbered 1. Harp; 2. Psaltery; 3. Vielle, and with the diagram following the lettering in the schema facing Plate I, the composition appears thus: [BACK]

14. For example, although patriarchs B and O both have elongated proportions, patri- [BACK]

15. For practices and procedures followed by medieval masons as well as sculptors at work depicted in manuscripts, see Pierre du Colombier, Les Chantiers des cathédrales (Paris, 1959). [BACK]

16. The multifolds in close succession covering Christ's foreshortened right thigh also differ significantly from the typical leg-drapery of the Apostle Master, who preferred to reveal the smooth contours of the thigh by stretching fabric across the upper surface, often including the bent knee. He underscored those forms by manipulating the fabric into a few encircling folds, frequently in combination with hook folds incised into the flesh or with generously spaced Languedocian folds (see, for example, Apostles nos. 21, 24, 29, 33, Plates IIa and IIIa). In addition the Angel Master's hallmark, a teardrop depression terminating a fold, does not occur in Christ's drapery, nor is there evidence of this artist's characteristic preoccupation with the interplay of curving lines that at once reveal the various planes of the figure and emphasize the overlapping forms. [BACK]

Chapter 8 Style and Meaning in the Central Portal

1. On the mirror image as the architectural principle governing the plans of the western bays and choir, see Crosby (1987), 132, 235, 240. [BACK]

2. The influence of the Alexandrian's schema has been noted in the wall paintings and mosaics of the Last Judgment scenes in the churches of Sant' Angelo in Formis, Torcello, Reichenau, and Oberzell. On the Alexandrian schema, see D. V. Ainalov, The Hellenistic Origins of Byzantine Art, trans. E. and S. Sobolevitch, ed. C. Mango (New Brunswick, N.J., 1961), 33-42. [BACK]

3. Possibly the Master of the Apostles was responsible for some of the lost statue-columns of the west facade. Stoddard, West Portals, 120, suggested that the statue-columns on the left portal showed characteristics of the Master of the Apostles. Yet because the statue-columns are now known primarily through the eighteenth-century engravings, comparisons are risky. We know from the drawing of the figure from the cloister, the statue now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, that the eighteenth-century aesthetic of the artist pervaded his drawings. To compare the statue and drawing, see Ostoia, "A Statue from Saint-Denis," figures on pp. 300-301 (as in Chapter 1 above, n. 38). Dangerous though comparisons are, some of the Apostle Master's ideas emerge quite strongly through the eighteenth-century bias. Because the drawings suggest differences in figure styles among the three portals, Sauerländer, Gothic Sculpture, 381, and Stoddard, Sculptors, 115, 120, concluded that the groups of statue-columns in each portal had been carved by a different sculptor. [BACK]

4. Suger, De administratione, in Panofsky, ed., Suger, 56-59. [BACK]

5. Sauerländer, Gothic Sculpture, 381. Like other historians of art before him, Sauerländer approached the problem of regional influences from the perspective of the statue-columns, for which he had to rely on the eighteenth-century drawings published by Montfaucon (Fig. 1). In them he saw the Languedoc as the primary source for the statue-columns on the left and central portals, as well as for the jamb-figures on the latter (Plates Xa, XIa). For comparisons, he cited the statues associated with the chapter house of Saint-Etienne, Toulouse. Wilhelm Vöge, also focusing on sources for the concept of statue-columns and their styles, had been the first to suggest influences at Saint-Denis from the art of Languedoc: Die Anfänge des monumentalen Stiles im Mittelalter (Strasburg, 1894), 80-90. Emile Mâle, Religious Art in France—The Twelfth Century; A Study of the Origins of Medieval Iconography, ed. Harry Bober, trans. M. Mathews (Princeton, N.J., 1987), 178-83, then posited that Suger had summoned "those teams of artists who had wandered all over Languedoc and Aquitaine, who went from Toulouse to Moissac, from Moissac to Beaulieu, and from Beaulieu to Souillac." Mâle's primary interest lay in the migration of iconographical ideas from the Midi to Saint-Denis. Arthur Kingsley Porter, Romanesque Sculpture of the Pilgrimage Roads (Boston, 1922), 1, 222-25, in seeking the earlier images that might have inspired the statue-columns on early Gothic portals, extended the search for precursors to Italy (e.g., Ferrara, Cremona, Verona) and Santiago de Compostella. Because his dating of many monuments is no longer accepted, the priorities he assigned to sculptural ensembles and the subsequent migration of artistic concepts from one place to another no longer hold. Nevertheless, his intimate knowledge of the sculpture along the pilgrimage routes and his identification of the work of the Italian sculptor Niccolò as important in the migration of artistic ideas to the Ile-de-France and Saint-Denis deserve the attention and credit that they have not received to date. [BACK]

6. A detailed analysis of the backgrounds of the artists and other regional influences beyond those cited in the earlier literature that converged in Suger's sculptural atelier are not in the scope of this study. A monograph is in preparation by this author that will treat those aspects of all three western portals and provide the requisite illustrative material supporting the conclusions. See above, Chapter 6, n. 2. [BACK]

7. Didron, "Achèvement des restaurations," 111, 112-13: "There is not a profile, not a sculpture, no facing of stone in the entire surface of the monument that has not been scraped, modified, compromised. At Saint-Denis, no one ... is capable of differentiating ... the ancient from the modern to conserve one and replace the other." [BACK]

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