Provins
(Seine-et-Marne, France)
Saint-Ayoul
Surveyed: 1972-74, 1977, 1980-83, 2012, 2015
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.
Crossing and tower, south chapel 1-3 that was reconstructed later.
West portals phase 1 to a setback at course 9.
West portals phase 2 to a setback at course 17 just below lintels.
There were at least four campaigns in setting out the nave piers, and with five different heights to the aisle capitals, while the north arcade has a varied history with bases and capitals at different heights, pilier cantonnee from different periods, and round arches; the north side of pier 6 has 1190 capitals, piers 2 and 5 are replacements, but because the arcade arches are round with the same profiles the changes to intermediate piers happened after the arcade was finished; there used to be aisles to the north, just inside the second row of replacement drums in line with the En1 shaft; there is also a change of levels in the floor, and a row of stones over where the wall may have been; at one time the capitals over aisle piers were 4 or 5 courses lower, and were later raised to their present height.
Pillier cantonnee N4 has square imposts.
South nave piers and against west wall; in WN7 capital height reduced to suit heights in the rest of the north arcade, while the work was taken to capitals with pointed arcade arches; the capitals of pilier cantonnee WN3 have chamfered imposts as on the south.
Nave south aisle triplet shafts added onto earlier piers to same import height, but different profiles. In S6-7 the wall capitals were placed lower, with an inclined stringcourse; arches added to inside of arcade arches to support triforium passage over the aisle vaults.
Triforium and clerestory capitals at the same level, with round arches to triforium completed over 4 or 5 campaigns to the same elevation; there used to be a passage on the north as on south and with it the upper section of west front.


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