Click here for fragments from other windows no longer at Saint-Denis.
St Denis was the burial place of French kings for over 800 years. Though the original church was built around 800 AD, its most notable architectural features were added when the east and west ends were rebuilt by Abbot Suger in 1141-44. The revolutionary vaulting and construction techniques used at this time make it the first Gothic Church. St Denis is also important to art historians because there is a detailed first person accounts of this reconstruction by Abbot Suger; these accounts give very valuable information about medieval financial, organizational and construction techniques and about the values and attitudes of medieval patrons. Here is what he had to say about the windows in general:
The Royal Abbey of Saint-Denis in the Time of Abbot Suger (1122-1151) (exhibition catalogue) (New York: The Cloisters), 1981, nos. 10-22.
Radiance and Reflection: Medieval Art from the Raymond Pitcairn Collection (exhibition catalogue), ed. Jane Hayward and Walter Cahn (New York: The Metropolitan Museum, 1982)
Caviness, Madeline. "Suger's Glass at Saint-Denis: The State of Research," in Abbot Suger and Saint-Denis: A Symposium, ed. Paula Lieber Gerson (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986), pp. 257-72.
Cothren, Michael. "The Twelfth-Century Infancy of Christ Window from Saint-Denis: A Re-Evaluation of its Design and Iconography," Art Bulletin LXVIII (1986), 398-420.
Last updated by:JV Date: September 18, 2007