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Analysis of The Saint-Chappelle Essay

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What would’ve happened if Greco-Roman culture had disappeared in the middle ages? The Muslims wouldn’t have gained all of their great knowledge and the rest of the world, especially Europe, would have been completely different. The Muslims golden age caused Europe to enter into an era of reason, which would change the Catholic Church forever. This golden age was what culturally awoke Western Europe and what established a new style of architecture that would dominate Europe cathedrals far into the future. The Saint-Chappelle, a Gothic Style cathedral commissioned by Louis IX, represents the rise of a changed church as it uses reason and logic found in scholasticism to create beautiful pieces of architecture.
The Saint-Chappelle was influenced by the first Gothic Church, built between 1132 and 1144, which was the St. Dennis Abbey near Paris (Anderson 12). The Saint- Chappelle was commissioned by Louis IX, who was king of France at the time. Louis IX was born in 1214, but wouldn’t take thrown until 1246 when he was twelve. Unusually young for king, his mother Blanche de Castille, assisted him until he was old enough to rule on his own. He was the only king to become a Saint, as he was known by his people as a sincere, kind, and generous man. To help Baldwin II of Jerusalem get out of debt, Louis IX bought holy relics, such as the Crown of Thorns, Holy Cross fragments, and torture instruments (Rebaud 5). At one point, the St. Chappelle help as many as 22 relics of the Passion of the Christ (Clemen 7). In fact, the initial purpose of the St. Chappelle was to house the holy relics (Howgrave 12). However, the “St. Chappelle was a result of Louis IX’s political ambition to be the central monarch of western christendom.” (“Saint”). The m...


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...ed by angels holding torture instrument on the lintel. Other images show angels over graves and Christ blessing crowds of people. In the upper chapel, the windows and scupltures “combine harmoniously to glorify the Passion of Christ and create a feeling of entry into the Heavenly Jerusalem.” (“A gem”). Surround the entrance on the porch are images representing stories of Genesis. Like the lower chapel, the upper chapel has four bays and a seven section choir. In the upper chapel are statues of the apostles on each side of the nave. Statues, including Peter, are considered to be “pillars of the Church” and are symbolically arranged in the nave (Winston 7). Images of angels are all around the vaulted ceilings, columns, and walls. However, the walls are in majority covered with 6,458 feet of stained glass windows that are designed with scenes from the bible (“Saint”).



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