14 September 2012

Not merely beautiful in itself, but inspires beauty elsewhere.

Here is a link to a panoramic view of the interior of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris.  The Chappelle  also appears around the 41 minute mark of this video.

The Sainte Chappelle was to be a place to house the relics of the crucifixion, in particular the Crown of Thorns.  It is perhaps the ultimate in Gothic architecture.  The Gothic movement tried, among other things, to make the walls thinner and lighter, leaving more space for larger and larger windows.  Here, the walls are almost missing, leaving tremendous space for the huge windows.  These windows are, according to Wikipedia, the single largest collection of in situ medieval stained glass.

I bring this up because the interior of the Sainte Chappelle was the direct inspiration for the decoration of Notre Dame in Montreal, and you may see that in the panoramic view here.  It also seems to me that I see some echo of the rich decoration in places like Ottawa's Notre Dame...

...and even farther away, in places like Hamilton's Pro Cathedral, St Mary's, which, while far tamer than the others, still has decorations such as this:

So we see that sometimes beauty can inspire, and does still inspire others to create, to emulate, to make it one's own and make new again. 

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