2011 Field Work


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Gothic Art and Architecture

in France

On my return from photographing Arab Norman art and architecture of Sicily in fall 2009 I stopped for a layover in Paris. This provided me an opportunity to re-visit Chartres, Notre Dame de Paris, and Saint Denis in Paris and also to visit for the first time Amiens and Beauvais. My interest was to refresh my memories of the buildings I knew and see the others I have wanted to see for so many years. Of course, I also wanted to photograph these buildings on digital media. I was interested to revisit the work of the Gothic builders in France having just seen and photographed the contemporaneous work of the Norman builders in Sicily from the years between 1130 and about 1180. It makes for an interesting comparison to see the churches and cathedrals the Norman rulers built in Sicily and those  built in Northern France during the same period. Of course, the construction of the great Gothic cathedrals of France continued, in some cases, on into later centuries as resources became available to continue the work, or to repair damage from fire or other calamities. Too, in Sicily the later Hohenstaufen, Angevin, and Hapsburg rulers put their own marks on the great buildings of the Norman kings. But the period between 1130 and 1180 saw important new buildings going up in both France and Norman Sicily, but the differences between what they built in those two places I found most interesting. The architecture of the buildings in Sicily was much more conservative than the fantastic structural experiments in vaulting in the north. But what the Byzantine and Muslim artisans brought to the buildings of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily in surface ornamentation in marble and glass mosaic was equally spectacular, in a completely different way. Both the northern and southern architectures used the walls for pedagogy, as vast panels to display elaborate and complex iconographic cycles. In the north, where overcast skies made light scarce much of the year, opening up the walls to let light in presented technical problems overcome by the use of flying buttresses and ever more refined vaulting. In the south, thick stone walls created a refuge from the blazing Mediterranean sun on an Island just off the coast of Africa. But in both cases spectacular results were achieved from  the innovative use of glass , luminous and sparkling, to tell the same bible stories.

 I visited France Between trips to Algeria and Libya  in September and October 2010, mostly to photograph rural vernacular village and farm architecture in the Dordogne, but I also found time to photograph the cathedrals of Sens, Rouen, Cahors, and Albi on digital media.

In years past I have traveled all over France, camera in hand, and photographed many Gothic buildings on 35 mm slide film. Inspired by my recent visit, I have decided to organize and scan some of my slide images of Gothic architecture to go along with the new digital images.  All of these are available  along with complete metadata for educational use.


Buildings now included in the collection:

 Saint Denis in Paris, Chartres Cathedral, Notre Dame de Paris, Amiens Cathedral, Beauvais Cathedral, Saint Etienne in Bauvais, Rheims Cathedral, Rouen Cathedral, Cahors Cathedral, Albi Cathedral, and scanned from slides some additional images of Auxerre Cathedral,  Orleans Cathedral ,  Tours Cathedral, Poitiers Cathedral.

2011 Field work now also included:

Cathedrals of Laon, Soissons, Le Mans, Bourges, Chalons, Troyes




I reserve all rights to the following images.  They are provided free of charge for educational purposes here in reduced size and quality, and may be freely accessed for viewing within the context of this website for educational purposes. However, these images are protected by copyright law and may not be copied for any purpose by any means without prior permission. These images are available, for educational purposes, in high resolution digital format  for academic use to interested scholars and institutions upon inquiry at 


I have provided a small group representative images here. A complete set of images from these sites, from original digital photography using  Nikon D-700 and D-300 cameras, together with metadata in spreadsheet format,  is also available, for a fee, to accredited institutions for on campus educational use.

Complete catalogues are available upon request.

Click on any thumbnail to enlarge the image. Use the Back button on your browser to return to thumbnail. Full size high resolution images are available by perpetual license to accredited institutions and scholars.

2009 Field Work

St. Denis, former Abbey Church, now Basilica Cathedral, 1137 - 1144, nave rebuilt after 1231

200 images


Chartres, Cathedral of Our Lady, 1195 - 1220

600 images


In addition to general views and comprehensive coverage of the exterior and interior sculptural programs, there are detailed images of the stained glass  including the following windows:

Charlemagne, La Glorification de la Vierge, La parabole de Samaratain, La passion, La Vie du Christ, La Zodiaque et les trqaveaux de mois, La Vie de la Vierge, Les Miracles de Notre Dame, L'Histoire de Joseph, Notre Dame la Belle, Rose Windows, Saint Cheron, Saint Etienne, Saint Pantaleon, Saint Antoine, Aaint Apollinaire, Saint Eustache, Saint Jacques le Majeur, Saint Jean Evangeliste, Saint Julien l'Hospitalier, Saint Lubin, Saint Martin, Saint Nicolas, Saint Remy, Saint Silvestre, Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Les Apotres, Saint Andre, Saint Thomas, Sainte Margurite et Sainte Catherine, Sainte Marie Madeleine


Notre Dame de Paris, 1163 - 1345

300 images




Amiens, Cathedral of Our Lady, 1220 - 1266

500 images



Beauvais, Cathedral of St. Pierre de Beauvais, 1225 - 1272

150 images


Rheims, Cathedral of Our Lady, 1211 - 14th C

500 images


2010 Field Work

Rouen, Cathedral of our Lady, 12th C and later

112 images




Sens, Cathedral of St. Stephen, 1140 - 1200 and later

800 images




Albi, Cathedral of St. Cecilia, 1287 - 1487

200 images




Cahors, Cathedral of St. Stephen, 1119 - 1135, rebuilt 1316 - 1324

100 images




Scans from Slides







Beaune, Collegiale Notre Dame