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      A New Material Interpretation of Twelfth-Century Architecture : Reconstructing the Abbey of Saint-Denis

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          Abstract

          Today, we perceive Gothic cathedrals as light-filled forms representing the sacred. The colored light projected from brightly-colored stained glass windows onto the walls and floors of these buildings suggests the presence of divinity. Suger (1081–1151CE), the abbot of the monastery of Saint-Denis, is credited with originating Gothic architecture. However, focus on form and structure has elided attention to the material out of which medieval churches were made. When Suger describes the early church he was replacing, he says that the gold and gems it contained beamed outwardly with a gleaming light that filled the eye. When he restored his church and filled it with the shining souls of his ecclesia, he repeated God’s divine act of creation. His restored church imitated the precious stones that could be shaped and polished to reveal divine light. By crafting stone, Suger fulfilled the divine plan to make heaven on earth.

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          Contributors
          Book
          9789048532162
          9789462982260
          17 June 2024
          17 June 2024
          10.5117/9789462982260
          83bec8e6-0def-4e87-b57a-32a9e5cd6a82
          History

          12th century, c 1100 to c 1199,ARCHITECTURE / History / Medieval,ARCHITECTURE / Buildings / Religious,HISTORY / Medieval,History of architecture,Mysticism,Amsterdam University Press,History, Art History, and Archaeology,Architecture and the Built Environment,Art and Material Culture,Religion and Theology,AUP Wetenschappelijk,History of architecture,Mysticism, magic and ritual

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