Laon
(Aisne, France)
Notre-Dame
Surveyed: 1969, 1972-74, 1977, 1980-83, 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.
Probable layout for choir and footings, with round hemicycycle.
Choir wall caps with aisle vaults
Choir gallery
Choir gallery window caps and vault
Choir triforium with arched lateral supports under the side roof; probable temporary roof at the level of the sills. .
Choir clerestory sills same time as south footings and 3 bays to west; here there is a pause in the works with decision to demolish the circular ambulatory and extend the choir to the east, entailing demolition of the whole of the hemicycle before the extension could be built: much material and sculpture was reused.
South start of entry, and south chapel dado
North footings and 3 bays to west and chapel dado; the four designs for the piers in nave bays W2-4 could have been in a series of campaigns at this time.
South chapel to capitals and vaults while north encasing walls raised to floor level
Nave 1-3 dado and bases and adjacent wall of south
First three bays of nave with confused pier plans that suggests a number of masters and a complex program in these bases
South doors and 2 bays on west side, with large 8-part rose in west wall
South aisle vault in three campaigns, north door openings.
East and west footings, east bays and W3-10 remain the most advanced
North entry portal capitals.
North aisle vault in three campaigns from changes to profiles
South west gallery vaults; north gallery wall caps; wall of flat eastern end with internal buttresses.
East bays nave gallery and west of south gallery
North and two bays to west gallery caps on south side, and four bays on the north
East and west pier bases
East and west dado with Bronze corbels over passage through eastern buttresses
South clerestory sills now level with earlier choir; north gallery vaults.
East and west aisle wall caps and aisle vault, drum piers in nave aisles bays 4-11, and to Salle Chapitre to south
South rose begun; north triforium.
South clerestory windows with external walkway in the Braine manner; north clerestory sills now level with earlier choir on this side.
Clerestory windows in choir continued in pace with the outer transepts, with simple flyers that were later replaced to match those in the nave.
North rose begun; east and west gallery caps.
West porches, dado in west bays and porch bases with same arrangement and similar dimensions to the transept portals at Chartres, which were by Bronze.
South roof cornice; north clerestory windows; east and west gallery vaults to pier W9
East and nave 1-9 triforium arcade and clerestory capitals.
West portal sculpture, capitals, westmost aisle bays and vaults
North roof cornice and roof; east and west triforium to W8, gables over west porch and gallery over west portal.
East and west clerestory sills, now level with roof over earlier choir.
North high vaults; east and west rose windows begun to same design with interior walkway and corbels by Scarlet.
East and west window caps
South tower 1, north is a few years later
South tower II, north is a few years later
West front external arcade and towers level 1; south tower III, north is a few years later
Insert portal into north tower
Rebuild southern rose and commence rebuilding in the north.


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