Gothic architecture in Normandy, c.1150-c.1250
This thesis covers Gothic architecture in Normandy from c.1150-c.1250. It establishes a chronology for the large number of ecclesiastical buildings erected in Normandy in this period, and traces stylistic developments. Chapter I discusses the emergence of an Early Gothic style with distinctly Norman Characteristics, epitomised at Fecamp, out of a stolid vaulted Romanesque, current in the early years of the 12th century in the Lower Oise and the Vexin, as well as Normandy. Chapter II considers the obverse of the 12th century Norman coin, that is, those buildings, notably Lisieux and Nortemer choir, which reflect French sources to the extent of prejudicing their Norman character. Chapter III discusses the new ideas and approaches, not all of Ile de France origin, that flooded Norman architecture between c.1180 and c.1200, notably at St.Etienne at Caen in Lower Normandy, and Bonport and Petit Andeli in Upper Normandy, bringing a new elegance and spatial fluidity to Norman Gothic, and preparing the way for 13th century developments. Chapter IV discusses these developments in Upper Normandy, focussing on the central problem of Rouen cathedral. Chapters VI and VII do the same for Lower Normandy: the sixth dealing with the incestuous `Bessin' group related to Bayeux cathedral, and the seventh with the far south-west, notably Coutances cathedral choir, and the Merveille at Le Mont-Saint-Michel. The fifth chapter differs in that it is devoted to the architectural development of the Cistercians in Normandy, from c.1150-c.1240. The relationship between Norman Gothic architecture and the architecture of the Capetian Ile de France and Picardy is an everpresent consideration. The influence of Paris emerges as paramount, with quite strikingly little influence from the Aisne Valley, Northern Picardy or Chartres. The conclusion considers the development of Norman Gothic architecture within the historical context of the Loss of Normandy in 1204.