Chartres
(Eure-et-Loir, France)
Cathedral of Notre-Dame
Surveyed: 1969, 1972-74, 1980-83, 1992-98, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017
This is an experimental section where John James is attempting to identify the carvers though the use of common templates and/or a recognisable manners of carving. Such a large-scale analysis of all the capitals in these buildings has not been attempted before. As an ongoing enterprise that is still in its infancy, we seek your input. John believes this has the potential to increase our understanding of how they worked and to provide a more solid basis for dating than we have had.
Foundations for north tower, connections to the crypt and entry from narthex, in stairs to about tread 20.
North tower, room capitals and rib vaults, to tread 45± in the stairs.
Completes vault in north tower and arches over the external arcade, stairs to tread 67±; some figures may have been carved for future portal
Phase 1 of the sculpture in which the lower south lintel was carved for a wider door.
North tower I bases, set out openings and no provision for ribs, stairs to 97±; possible earlier portal scheme begun
Phase 2 of the sculpture in which the upper southern lintel was carved for a narrower door
North tower I openings and their capitals, start of domical vault
Phase 4 of the sculpture: the second lintel on the north with the adjustments for misalignments in the jambs, the north tympanum was meant to have been wider and shorter, jambs A, 15 colonnettes in group 1, four or more column statues and three lintels; sculpture in which the bottom lintel on the north and the lower archivolts on the south were planned for tympani that were to have been narrower and taller; this is the first indication that there were to be three portals, most portal bases were carved, and only those against the north tower installed, but the height of portal not finalised.
North tower complete vaults, level I begun; foundations to larger south tower with crypt entry; phase 5 of sculpture: most of the tympani and central archivolts, and the uppermost archivolts in the north, last of the column-figures with the middle historiated capitals; portal erection north plinths and embrasure, dimensions changed, jambs group B, 21 colonnettes group 2, central tympanum
South 8 courses with openings to south and into narthex
South embrasures erected with tower, dimensions changed again and height increase 20cm, south lintel and archivolts, jambs C, colonnettes group 3.
Entry into crypt in first bay of choir
Narthex west wall with interior capitals for vaulted space; entry into south tower and outside doorway on south side
Phase 7 of sculpture with drip moulds, portal embrasures completed, lateral tympani reduced in height, lower archivolts reduced and installed, 5 colonnettes group 4, and erection completed.
North II complete openings with capitals, possibly with cornice; no further masonry on the north tower and wooden roof or spire built at some stage and later destroyed by fire.
South tower room vaults begun, complete erection of portal and wall over.
External arcade with pointed arches and capitals, sills to western triplet windows, completion of vault.
South I cornice and bases to openings, and arches and capitals over triplet windows.
South I arches over openings with capitals, interior start of vault.
South blind external arcade, completion of vault and start of level II with cornice and bases.
Resumption of work after the crusade, completion of level II with arches and capitals over openings.
Redesigned tower for octagonal plan with same carving team on all upper levels to projecting heads; spire probably completed in the 1160s.
Campaigns A-F - foundations all round with west many courses ahead of the crypt; portal shafts carved mainly in 1198.
Bronze-E - decorated bases to outer piers of north porch; bas-relief tracery on buttresses between portals; Design porch layout and carved the first Solomonic colummns; all these photos were taken on film in the 1969-70s site visits
Ruby-F - sills to nave
Scarlet-G - in all six portals install solomonic shafts carved in earlier years, probably designed the labyrinth under a temporary roof across the nave
Bronze-H - sanctuary windows and temporary roof over nave; 48 nave aisles capitals and arcade arches; large serrated leaves laid over cone or carefully arranged symmetrical posies, and tendrils and stubby pruned branches.
Bronze-H - 30 porch capitals, first sculpture installed
Ruby-I - 39 capitals in nave aisles ranging from simple crockets to large pointed leaves and vine leaves; ambulatory external passage
Ruby-I - 17 porch capitals; south porch piers; east passage outside ambulatory chapels;
Cobalt-J - aisles 61 capitals and nave arcade arches; mostly complex designs, overlapping vines and fronds and exposes less of the cone;
Cobalt-J - 17 porch capitals and panels to south porch piers
Rose-K - 13 aisle capitals with large areas of foliage, often omitting the crockets; nave vaults begun.
Rose-K - 7 porch capitals, south porch lintels and vaults set up; north porch piers in place
Bronze-L - 75 choir aisle capitals and arcade arches; nave aise vaults completed; many of the same carvers as in phase 27, but larger coverage of foliage, and less serrations;
Ruby-M - choir aisles 46 capitals choir aisle vaults begun; often carved with large leaves; triforium begun in nave; major delay in Job portal
Cobalt-N - south porch completed and aedicules begun; western north porch lintel; 25 ambulatory capitals in same complex manner as in campaign J; inner aisle vaults
Cobalt-N - north porch capitals and lintels to east portal on the north; work continued slowly on the porch possibly due to iconographic disputes that held up the works; this display includes all the later carving through to capaign P;
Bronze-O - work resumes in the north west Job portal; choir vaults completed and triforium begun.
Scarlet-P - triforium continues with shafts in the nave
Ruby-R - nave walkway and clerestory
Campaigns S-U; nave clerestory, flyers with capitals to spokes in three campaigns; installs west rose that had been designed by Scarlet in campaign V;
Campaigns V-Y; clerestory roses and vaults in four campaigns
Campaigns Z-c; nave windows and roof cornice in four campaigns
Choir clerestory walls in campaigns d-f and timber roof in three campaigns, vaults left incomplete
Four campaigns in transepts g-j
Eight camaigns in transepts k-r
Transept gables in five small campaigns s-w
Ca. 1252 ex paintwork on bosses completed the choir vaults inserted under older roof


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