Introduction - The Rose Window and the Gothic Experience

Further Notes

page 12: Strasbourg  page 18: ruins: Crepy & Longpont  page 30: Hortus Del.  page 35: Poitiers, St Radegonde
page 14: Lyon7  page 20: Reims  page 32: Lincoln North rose  page 36-7: Lyon Cathedral south
page 17: Siena  page 25: Lincoln, Bishop's Eye  page 33: Chartres North rose  page 38: Soissons Cathedral W
page 17: Palma  page 27: Orvieto Duomo  page 34: Sens, north rose  
page 18: Tuscania  page 28-29: St Cugat  page 34: Notre Dame South  

page 12 Strasbourg Cathedral west window and facade:

The west front by Master Erwin von Steinbach was built btween 1276-1318, the rose dating from c.1290. It was much destroyed in a storm in 1840, but rebuilt in 1845 but damaged again in 1870 in the Franco Prussian War. The outer diameter of the rose is 48 feet. It has 16 petals and some of the glass is original.

The parchemin of c.1385 was supposed to have been executed by Michel Parler. This and earlier diagrams can be seen at the Strasbourg Museum, L'Oeuvre de N-Dame, by the side of the cathedral.

Nussbaum refers to "the division of surface here with the famous harps made up of thin mullions - sometimes in compact rows, sometimes loosely combined - which limit and contrast the sections of smooth wall between the pier butresses. ... the whole facade surface was elegantly refined by string coursing, thin piers, and the play of fibrous open tracery across it.... There is tracery in the spandrels of this west rose that is disengaged from the surface of the rose itself. These spandrels engage a graceful hoop which encircles the deeper-set rose so that it appears to hover in the air when seen from a distance."

For the other rose windows at Strasbourg cathedral click here:-    
North windows 105 and 107    
South transept windows: Old Testament east-most; New Testament west-most

page 14 Lyons Cathedral, north window

Given by Arnoud de Colonges the window, 6m in diameter, has 12 sectors depicting the "Triumph of the Church" that features at the centre. 12 angels in various positions surround the centre. In the outer medallions Christ enthroned at the summit with The Creation of Adam and Eve next door, then 10 further angels. The donor appears in a trefoil on the left carrying the rose in his hand with the inscription "LI DOIENS ERNOUS ME FECIS FACERE"; 1240-50 and C19. see full description p.299 of Copus Vit, Bourgogne;

page 17 Siena Cathedral E window (left)

By Duccio (and Cimabue?) 1287-88 - German influence in the designs One of the oldest representations of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The other scenes are The Death and Coronation of the Virgin. The Four Evangelists and the four patrons of Siena surround these scenes. It was taken down when the choir was extended in 1365 and fitted into a new opening.

The west rose (right) in the Duomo is the Last Supper, 1549, by Pastorino de pastorini (cartoon by Perin del Vaga?).


page 17 Palma Cathedral Crossing E window

There are five rose
windows in Palma Cathedral: 1. On the wall of eastern apse the rose was originally completed by 1360, the so-called "Capilla Reale" now with glass by Gaudi of 1904. 2. is the rose illustrated here is the principle central light over the chancel arch with a diameter of 11.3m. Originally it had a 6-pointed star in red, blue, green and bunches of grapes, but it fell in 1581 and repairs were made in 1857 and again in 1904 under Gaudi, but was damaged in the Spanish Civil War (reduced to 1236 pieces!) and repaired in 1946. 3. On NE side (L'Almonia) the rose is originally of 1601 4. on the SE side is also of 1601. 5. Western rose with red centre now dates from 1599 under Maestro Joan Jordia; the 1851 earthquake destroyed much of it: it was redone in 1982.

page 18 Tuscania S. Pietro

This superb rose, reminiscent of San Francesco at Assissi, even down to the mosaic infil (Cosmatesque) outlining the wheel's structure. The numbering of the units in each layer is unusual: 12 spokes in the centre, 19 circles in the middle, 26 leaf/spokes in the outer! Not only are there four large figures of the Evangelists in the corners but four extraordinary beasts down the sides. To the side is a figure looking like an atlante holding up the world, but it now thought to be an Etruscan piece that found its way into the façade when it was rebuilt probably after an earthquake in the late C12 /early C13. The building is a strange mixture of styles, a Roman door, Pisan arcading to the sides, with Umbrian and local Tuscan features. The rose may well be by Umbrian artists. 

page 27 Orvieto Duomo

The façade was designed by Lorenzo Martani in 1310-30, and was continued by Pisano, Orcagna and San Micheli. There are also 2 drawings of the facade done in c.1305.

page 28-29 St Cugat

The large rose window over the facade was completed in 1350 - in fact the structure was complete by 1337 "con un roseton cug(y?) as videras fueron encargadas en 1343". It was restored in 1978 when some fragments from the centre were removed to the local museum, where there is also a full colour drawing of the state of the window in 1940. These fragments suggest that there might have been 6 figures within the central lobe

pages 25 and 32 Lincoln Cathedral, Dean's Eye and Bishop's Eye

See the Corpus Vitrearium volume by Nigel Morgan for details on these two windows.

Dean's Eye

Bishop's Eye

page 30 Reims Cathedral Choir

Other contemporary examples of rose windows portrayed in art include the high windows in the choir of Reims cathedral, where the bishops of the diocese surround the archbishop, and beneath each of them is a portrayal of their cathedral, some of which have a rose window:-

page 34 Sens Cathedral, North rose

Sometimes called the "Rose de Paradis" the window was designed by Martin Chambiges and Hughes Cuvelier. 11m in diameter, it is thought to date from 1517-1519 (although some sources date it to 1506-12) and was the gift of Gabriel Gouffier, doyen of the Chapter. The glasswork is by Jean Hympe (Jr.) et Tassin Gassot. In the 'Pentalobe' at centre is the head of Christ whose glory radiates out to the first layer. There are then groups of angel musicians with cherubims and seraphims in the spandrels. Note the mirror images of figures on the left and right halves of the rose - re-using the cartoons. Below the rose Gabriel shows heaven to Daniel and the history of archangel Michael. There was some restoration in 1899 by Gaudin.

see Cailleaux, D: "La Cathedrale En Chantier" particularly p145 and p118.

page 35 Poitiers

Poitiers, St Radegonde

The rose of Last Judgement 1269 given by Alphonse de Poitiers on the N side of the nave suggests an earlier rose of Chateauroux (1235) and the rose lancet at Dol, suggests Meredith Lillich, possibly inspired by the Last judgement in the N rose of Amiens (since disappeared and pre 1451) This is a hybrid, perhaps reflective of Angers in theme: it was painted by a local Poitevan artist. Also
click here

Lilich, 1994

page 38 Soissons cathedral

Soissons Cathedral, west rose. This window, originally dating from the late C13 was badly damaged in the first world war. In style it seems to belong to the variety that featured a large single layer of openings, as can also be seen at Angers. This form seems to have evolved from the Reims north and south variety, discussed on p 111 of "The Rose Window"

after World war I

restored rose of 1937

Angers cathedral, south rose