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Title: Stained Glass Tours in France
Author: Sherrill, Charles Hitchcock, 1867-1936
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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STAINED GLASS TOURS IN FRANCE

by

CHARLES HITCHCOCK SHERRILL



New York: John Lane Company, MCMVIII
London: John Lane, The Bodley Head

Copyright, 1908, by
John Lane Company



[Illustration: INTERIOR OF SAINTE CHAPELLE, PARIS.
  _Built by St. Louis (Louis IX) 1248. Window surfaces pleasantly
  broken up into "medallion" designs. Walls constructed almost
  entirely of sheets of richly toned glass (see Page 26)._]



 TO THAT REMORSELESS CRITIC
 _MY WIFE_
 THIS BOOK IS
 GRATEFULLY DEDICATED



CONTENTS


                                                       PAGE
 INTRODUCTION                                           13
 THIRTEENTH CENTURY AND EARLIER                         25
 THIRTEENTH CENTURY TOURS                               37
 FOURTEENTH AND FIFTEENTH CENTURIES                    117
 FOURTEENTH AND FIFTEENTH CENTURY TOURS                134
 SIXTEENTH CENTURY                                     197
 SIXTEENTH CENTURY TOURS                               212
 ITINERARIES                                           295
 INDEX                                                 297



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


 SAINTE CHAPELLE, PARIS                     _Frontispiece_

                                                       PAGE
 MEDALLION PANEL, LOUVRE                                28
 MAP, THIRTEENTH CENTURY TOURS                          40
 MEDALLION LANCET, TOURS                                54
 CHARTRES TRANSEPTS                                     72
 THIRTEENTH CENTURY ROSE, LAON                         104
 FIFTEENTH CENTURY "CANOPY," ST. LÔ                    120
 MAP, FOURTEENTH AND FIFTEENTH CENTURIES TOURS         136
 FIFTEENTH CENTURY "CANOPY," RIOM                      158
 RENAISSANCE "PICTURE," MONTFORT L'AMAURY              200
 MAP, SIXTEENTH CENTURY TOURS                          214
 RENAISSANCE ROSE, SENS                                220
 CREATION WINDOW, TROYES                               228
 CONSTABLE OF MONTMORENCY AND HIS SONS                 270
 TREE OF JESSE, BEAUVAIS                               282
 DEDICATION OF THE STE. CHAPELLE                       292



FOREWORD


The purpose of this book is a very simple one. It is to provide an
answer to the question, "Where does one find good stained glass in
France, and how can it most conveniently be seen?" All the books upon
this subject are more or less technical and are intended rather for the
student than the sightseer. During the six years that the writer has
been studying glass, he has so often been asked the above question, as
to finally conclude that an answer in the form of a simple touring
handbook might be of service. To that end he has put together notes
taken on sundry vacation trips. The reader should be indulgent, for the
writer is not an authority on glass--just a lawyer on a holiday. In
addition to the purpose already described, it is hoped that this little
book may also serve to lure forth into the charming French country some
who have hitherto neither heard nor cared much about glass, so that they
may see the wonderful beauty that the stained-glass window can alone
reveal.

                         CHARLES HITCHCOCK SHERRILL.
 20, East 65th Street, New York,
       Christmas, 1907.



INTRODUCTION


The reason for the existence of a window is obvious. When the dwelling
ceased to be a cave and became a house, the need for a light aperture at
once arose. Neither the house nor the window concern us until long after
the house had been made thoroughly habitable, and its windows after much
evolution are finally filled with a sheet of translucent substance,
which, while excluding the weather, would admit the light. Our interest
does not begin until the wish to decorate the house naturally brought
about a desire to decorate the window. We will pass over the story of
the discovery of glass and its gradual improvement; nor will we pause to
consider the very earliest examples now extant, nor examine the steps
through which it must have passed to reach so advanced a stage as we
find in the twelfth century. This is a book to tell where to see
windows, and therefore it must not take up stained glass until a period
is reached when examples are sufficiently numerous and beautiful to
repay a visit to them. At what date then, shall we make our beginning?
There is practically nothing until we come to the charming remains of
the twelfth century; but because these latter are very few and those few
in churches which also contain glass of the next century, we shall
commence with the heading of "Thirteenth Century and Earlier." That
explains why we have selected this particular epoch as the starting
point of our investigations. Our windows will themselves disclose to us
that the Golden Age of French stained glass falls of itself into three
subdivisions--the first comprising the twelfth and thirteenth centuries,
the second the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and the third the
sixteenth century. Of the second subdivision we shall find but few
examples, of the first more, and of the third most.

No matter how far back we push our researches, we are sure to be
surprised at the advanced state of the art represented by any window
which attempts a picture. In fact, we shall happen upon no satisfactory
traces of the evolution which must have led up to even the crudest and
oldest story-window. We are forced, therefore, to conclude that this
evolution must have occurred in another art, and the result there
evolved transferred into this one. This conclusion is much strengthened
when we read that St. Sophia, built by Justinian during the sixth
century in Constantinople, contained not only glass mosaics on the
walls, but also in its windows. Here we have the key to the puzzle. The
many artists who were then occupied in designing mosaics, worked out
their pictures in little pieces of glass on the wall until they had
developed along that line as far as possible. Then they doubtless
bethought themselves that these glass mosaics would be even more
effective if they could devise a means of illuminating their picture by
letting the light shine through the colour. To accomplish this they
contrived to hold the morsels of glass securely in place, first by
wooden or stucco frames, and later by long ribbons of lead having
channels on each side to retain the edges of the glass. This form of
mosaic so held up to the light became a stained-glass window. Thus we
easily understand that when the idea arrived of taking the mosaic
picture off the wall and putting it into the embrasure of the window,
the art of making that picture out of bits of glass had already been
fully developed.

We shall avoid the technicalities of glass making, as they do not suit
our holiday mood. Nor is there good reason why we should discuss any use
of glass save that which is required in the construction of our windows.
Let us, however, in passing, refer to the very curious fact that a
severe blow was dealt to all other sorts of glassware when the artists
turned their attention to the making of windows. Glassware had
constantly improved in design and colour up to the time (early in the
twelfth century) when the great interest in windows sprang up. This new
taste seemed to at once throw all other developments of this material
into a comatose condition which lasted on through the five centuries
composing the Golden Age of the window. This observation receives a
peculiar confirmation when we notice that, at the end of the sixteenth
century, stained glass suddenly lost its vogue at the same time that
glassware sprang into renewed favour through the artistic skill and
inventive genius of the Venetians. Indeed, the decadence of stained
glass seemed to be the signal for the revival of hollow glassware. To
revert for a moment to the time when window making caused a halt in the
improvement of hollowware, it is interesting to note that glass making
then left its former haunts and betook itself to the forests, where
it lurked until the stained-glass window having shot its bolt,
hollowware again engaged the attention of the artists and was once more
manufactured nearer to the homes of its purchasers. During this period
of partial seclusion the glass produced was of a peculiar quality called
in English "forest glass" and in French "verre de fougère" (referring to
the wild fern or bracken which was burnt to provide the necessary
alkali). The two names combine to explain to us that wood and not coal
was used by the glass-blower and also that his alkali had to be gotten
in an unusual way. The toughness of this "forest glass" was admirably
suited to the requirements of the window-maker.

As this book will be confined to an examination of French stained glass,
it is appropriate to cite Theophilus, who when in the twelfth century
he wrote his celebrated Latin treatise on this general subject, stated
that the art was a French one. This makes it all the more important
that we trace its beginnings in France, as well as inquire whence came
the influence which so strongly marked them. This inquiry will reveal
that it was to Byzantium that the early glaziers were indebted for
their quaint style of drawing. In early glass we will observe the
constrained, ungainly poses of the bodies, arms and legs, as well as
the staring-eyed, ill-proportioned heads, not only in the medallion
type of windows, but also in the larger figures glaring down from the
clerestories. Very interesting conclusions may be reached if we place
side by side three figures, one taken from thirteenth century glass,
another from a Limoges enamel made any time from the tenth to the
thirteenth century, and the third from the famous mosaics of St. Mark's
in Venice. We have selected an enamel from Limoges because that was the
only locality in which a continued as well as a renowned cult of
enamelling existed in France during the centuries named, while the
reason for choosing St. Mark's is that it is one of the finest extant
examples of Byzantine art. Notice the same constraint in the drawing
of all these three figures, the same awkward pulling of garment folds
to delineate the form, and the same quaint morsel of conventional
architecture about the top (which last, by the way, indicated that the
personage below was a high dignitary of either church or state). The
resemblance is too striking to be merely a coincidence, especially as
each of these figures used in the comparison is typical of hundreds of
others. This very resemblance hints at its own explanation. The dates of
the figures show the order in which these peculiarities of style must
have been transmitted. The Byzantine mosaics of St. Mark's are much the
oldest; then came the Limoges enamels, and lastly the stained glass
windows. Thus we learn not only where our windows originated in France,
but also whence came the designs that the Limoges enamellers taught the
glazier. Abbe Texier, in his "Essai Historique et Descriptif sur les
Argentiers et les Emailleurs de Limoges" (1841), says that French
stained glass began in the neighbourhood of Limoges, whose highly
vaunted school of enamellers were strongly influenced by the Byzantine
types of the Venetian school and that therefore it was but natural that
the glass artist should also have yielded to the Byzantine influence. As
showing how this influence reached Limoges, he states that in 979 a
Venetian colony settled there for the purpose of trading in spices and
other commodities of the East, conveyed from Egypt by way of Marseilles.
Winston says that the Venetian Doge Orseolo I came to sojourn in France
in 978 and that the erection of the Church of St. Front, Périgueux
(near Limoges), is ascribed to him. James Ferguson, in his Illustrated
Handbook of Architecture, tells us that the Venetians (as the great
carriers and merchants of the Levant) were in constant communication
with Byzantium. These facts provide a ready explanation of why these
same pronounced Byzantine types can be remarked first in the mosaics of
St. Mark's, next in the enamels of Limoges and lastly on the stained
glass windows of the thirteenth century. The older the glass, the more
closely does the drawing follow these models; the attitudes are more
constrained and awkward, and the folds of the garment are more tightly
drawn around the figures, nor does the artist allow himself any freedom
from the traditions of that school. Later on the drawing becomes more
graceful and the lines are freer. Anyone who desires to go thoroughly
into the technical side of this art will find a most exhaustive and
scholarly book in Lewis F. Day's "Windows of Stained Glass" (1897). The
best book in French is Oliver Merson's excellent "Vitraux" (1895).

Let us now postpone any further consideration of the general subject
until after we, with our own eyes, have seen enough windows to have
collected material for discussion. This brings us to the selection of
towns, and the consideration of routes.

We have referred to how naturally stained glass divides itself into
three epochs, viz.:

 1. Thirteenth century and earlier.
 2. Fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
 3. Sixteenth century.

Visits to the glass of these epochs will be, for convenience, subdivided
into the following tours:

EPOCH I

 (_a_) Bourges, Poitiers, Tours, Angers, Le Mans, Chartres.
 (_b_) Auxerre, Sens, Troyes, Chalons, Rheims.
 (_c_) Soissons, Laon, St. Quentin, Amiens.

EPOCH II

 (_a_) Evreux, Rouen.
 (_b_) Bourges, Moulins, Riom, Clermont-Ferrand, Eymoutiers, Limoges,
  Poitiers, Angers, Le Mans (Alençon), Sées, Verneuil, Chartres.

Also separate visit to Quimper.

EPOCH III

 (_a_) Vincennes, Sens, Troyes, Chalons.
 (_b_) Montfort l'Amaury, Conches, Pont-Audemer, Caudebec, Rouen
  (Grand-Andely, Elbeuf, Pont de l'Arche).
 (_c_) Ecouen, Montmorency, Chantilly (St. Quentin), Beauvais.

Also separate visits to Bourg, Auch and Champigny-sur-Veude.

At the back of the book will be found a table showing distances by road,
and also the usual index.

It must be admitted that even in so delightful a country as France,
one's wanderings gain an added zest if guided by a more definite purpose
than is the slave of the red-backed Baedeker, intent upon exhausting the
sights of every place visited. This admitted, we have then to consider
not only the stranger on his first visit to France, but also the
experienced traveller who already knows the beauties of its roads and
the lazy charm of its historic towns. If our reader is of the latter
sort he will especially hail some new quest as a reason for revisiting
old scenes in search of charms heretofore unseen or unappreciated. It
was especially him that the writer had in mind when putting together the
rambling notes covering six years of glass study. He knows what varied
forms of beauty await those who are sufficiently energetic to escape
from the ultra-modern charms of Paris, that fascinator of foreigners. He
knows the quaint villages, the perfect roads, the ancient castles, the
magnificent cathedrals that are waiting to be explored. To him we will
tell the story of a wonderful beauty where light lies imprisoned in
colour--a beauty which can be seen nowhere so well as in France. What if
you have already visited every nook and corner of this picturesque land?
Come out again with us and add another to the many reasons for your love
of France. Take up the modern equivalent of the pilgrim's staff and
shell and fare forth, being well assured that your eyes will be opened
to the appreciation of something which, to be loved, has only to be
wisely seen--the window of stained glass.



THIRTEENTH CENTURY AND EARLIER


Before spending any time in studying the subject of stained glass
windows, let us go and see some good ones. One of the safest ways to
learn how to appreciate any art is to look at fine examples of it.
Of stained glass this is particularly true, because no method of
reproduction, even colour photography, can give any idea of the unique
result there obtained by combining light with colour. No flat tints can
ever produce the effect of warmth and translucence that is yielded by
colour illuminated through and through by the rays of the sun. We will
assume that we are in Paris. Fortunately for our purpose there are
easily accessible two splendid specimens of early glass, one the glazing
of the Ste. Chapelle and the other the rose windows high up in the
western façade and in the transept ends of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
The former is the most perfect instance of a thirteenth century chapel
preserving intact its original glazing, while the rose in the northern
transept of Notre Dame is probably the finest one of its period in the
world. Thus we make an excellent beginning and our interest is at once
stimulated to see more. Observe the difference in the placing of these
windows, as well as in the points from which we view them, as it will
prove peculiarly useful in disclosing how they should be set in order to
best reveal their beauties. Every tourist that visits Paris goes, as a
matter of course, to the Ste. Chapelle, that net of Gothic in which lies
enmeshed such treasures of colour and light. This sparkling marvel lies
modestly nestled among the law courts, whose plainer modern buildings
serve but to accentuate its wonderful beauty. We shall not be long in
learning who was its founder, for the golden fleur de lis of France and
castles of Castile strewed over its walls of glass mutely remind us that
it was built by the good Louis IX and that with him was associated his
mother, Queen Blanche of Castile. No king of France so loved and
befriended our gentle art as St. Louis. In many another French window
this same combination of heraldic emblems will demonstrate how
diligently these two royalties (or others in their honour) strove to
introduce and spread the luminous beauty of this craft. This fragile
chef d'oeuvre was constructed by order of its royal patron to provide
a sanctuary worthy to contain the sacred relics acquired by him in the
Holy Land. No effort or expense was spared to fit it for its high
purpose. By reason of its royal founder as well as of its object, we can
be sure that in the Ste. Chapelle we have an example of the best taste
of the thirteenth century. St. Louis laid the first stone in 1245, and
so expeditiously was the work carried on that it was finished and
consecrated April 25, 1248, and we read that all its wealth of glass was
installed before the consecration.

Although we shall refrain from technical words as much as possible, we
can see at a glance why these were called "medallion" windows. Each
subject treated is enclosed in a narrow round framing of colour, thus
breaking up the entire surface into medallions. It prevented confusion
of subjects and at the same time gave a balance to their treatment.

It is a good omen for the future of our combined sightseeing and study
that we can begin with something so complete and charming as the perfect
Ste. Chapelle. And yet, although it is glowingly, mystically lovely with
a beauty attributable chiefly to its glass, other thirteenth century
churches will teach us to notice that here it is the interior that is
benefited and not the windows. So small is the edifice that we cannot
stand far enough away from the glass to let it develop the glittering
glow that refraction of the rays of light lends to the glazing of the
thirteenth century, but which no other period can show us. In order to
fully realise what we have lost by being too near the windows, take the
short stroll that brings you to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Enter its
great gloom, go forward until you are opposite the rose window in the
north transept, and look up. If you have in you any poetry, any
sensuous sympathy with colour and light, you will receive an artistic
thrill so strong as to at once elevate you to membership in our
Brotherhood of Glass Lovers. Our pilgrim staring up at the great rose
window will note the splendid purplish glow that comes from it. Now he
will realise that he missed this gorgeous jewelled gleam at the Ste.
Chapelle, and for the reason that he was too close to the glass. After
he has grown accustomed to this new feature, he will begin to notice
some of the causes for it. The effect is undoubtedly glowing purple, and
yet it is not produced by purple glass. It results from the merging of
the reds and blues, rendered possible, nay, assisted by the smallness
of the pieces of the glass, and this observation also explains why this
same effect was not obtained in later periods when the glass fragments
become so large that the colours remain distinct and do not run into
each other. Because we are too near the Ste. Chapelle glass we remember
it as red and blue, but the memory of the Notre Dame windows, which can
be viewed from a proper distance, is a splendid purple.

 [Illustration: 13TH CENTURY MEDALLION, MUSÉE DU LOUVRE.
     _Window surface broken up into medallions, each enclosing a
     little scene. The black outlines of the picture are provided by
     the leaden strips which hold together the pieces of glass. Paint
     is used only to mark the features, folds in the garments, etc.
     Here the lead lines assist the picture--later they mar it._]

It is to be hoped that you have had the good fortune to first visit
these two buildings on a rainy or grey day. That is the sort of weather
for a glass pilgrim to be abroad and stirring, for his windows will be
lighted to the same extent all around the church. If it is a sunny day,
the windows towards the sun will seem thin in colour, whilst those on
the shady side will be thick and flatly toned. He may assure himself
that he is mistaken, and that the difference in effect is caused by the
strong glare of the sun on the one side, and on the other side the lack
of it--we repeat that he may assure himself of this, but he will get the
wrong effect, notwithstanding. Make a mental note of this point and when
you go glass hunting, join the farmers in praying for rain!

We must seek elsewhere than in Paris to find what this mosaic of tiny
morsels of different hued glass can accomplish in the small chapels
surrounding the choir of a great cathedral. We shall learn what a
glorifying curtain of subdued colour it will provide and how when viewed
from the nave of the church these chapels become gleaming caverns,
forming a semi-circular background for the well-lighted choir in their
midst. Even whilst we are drinking in the great beauty of this
splendidly impressive half-circle of chapels, we must realise that
delightful as is this method of subduing and beautifying the light, it
would be most unwise to use this same style of glass in the clerestory
above. Not only would the choir be too dark, but, besides, we would lose
the contrast of light against gloom that renders it so impressive in its
dignity. This observation introduces another type of glazing for which
we shall seek in vain after this century. If we demand more light from
our clerestory and at the same time insist on coloured glass, then we
must use fewer strips of light-obscuring lead, which means fewer and
larger pieces of glass. Thus we will obtain more illumination than is
yielded by the heavily-leaded windows below. Now we begin to understand
that the light of the medallion window is sombre because so much of its
surface is occupied by the great quantity of lead required to bind
together its small pieces of glass. These numerous lead lines serve a
very artistic purpose, for, by breaking the refraction of the rays of
light passing through the small bits of glass and diffusing them, they
have much to do with blending the colours and producing the delightful
jewelled effect that we at once noticed in Notre Dame. We have purposely
used the phrase "much to do," because it is only one of several causes.
The quality of the glass itself had a great share in that result. It is
quite different from that found later on, for it was, as yet, quite
imperfect, and no two pieces had the same thickness or were surfaced
alike. This very unevenness assisted in breaking up the light rays.
Another cause for its brilliancy was that its translucence was not
obscured by paint. A piece of glass was yellow or blue because its
colour was introduced while it was being made in the pot and therefore
was diffused throughout the mass. For this reason it was called "pot
metal glass." We shall find that later on they discovered how to tint
the surface of glass by the invention first of staining and later by
enamelling, both of which had a marked effect and will be spoken of at
the proper time. One of the results of colouring glass in the pot was
that generally the tone would not be equal throughout; for instance, a
piece of blue glass would not be evenly blue in all its parts. This
difference in the shading of each piece, as well as the unevenness of
its surface, produced a brilliancy which the more perfect methods that
came later could never hope to achieve. The freedom from surface paint
made possible a limpidity of colour which by contrast makes later
painted or enamelled windows seem almost dull. During the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries the only paint used was a brown pigment, which
served to delineate features and sometimes to accentuate the folds of
garments, etc. We must also remember that as the artist worked with
small pieces of glass and therefore used a great many lead lines, all
the outlines needed by his picture could be put in with leads, and hence
it was only natural that he became very expert in drawing with them. The
result of his skill in this particular is surprisingly attractive and we
shall sorely miss it later, when less and less attention was paid to the
drawing and decorative value of the leads because of the increased
desire for large pieces of glass with pictures painted upon them. In
fact, so far from early traditions did they of the sixteenth century
stray, that we shall see strips of lead running right across an arm or a
face! Their value from an artistic standpoint seemed at that time nearly
forgotten, and instead of being used to beautify the drawing, they were
only tolerated as a part of the machinery necessary to support the glass
in its framework. Before leaving the subject of paint upon glass, it is
well to remark that although we may admire the brilliancy of these early
windows and may rejoice that the artist had not yet learned to obscure
his colour, nevertheless, if we were examining windows in Italy, that
land of everlasting sunshine, we might find a little painting upon the
surface a genuine relief to the eye. There is such a thing as too much
sunshine. Geography must be considered in criticising glass.

We promised to avoid as much as possible the study of the technical, but
it must be admitted that we have drifted into it, and that our attempt
to learn why clerestory windows differ from the lower ones, has brought
with it an exposition of the technique of the thirteenth century. To
briefly recapitulate, it consists of--

 (_a_) Small pieces of glass.
 (_b_) Obviously requiring a great many lead lines to bind them
  together.
 (_c_) Glass that is uneven in surface and in the distribution
  of its colour.
 (_d_) Glass coloured throughout the mass (pot metal glass).
 (_e_) Glass that is practically unobscured by paint.

But let us get up to our clerestory windows. It has been instructive
arriving there, but now let us see what had to be done to admit more
light through these upper embrasures. In the first place it was clear
that there had to be less leading, which meant larger pieces of glass.
For this purpose there was devised a conventional style of decoration
giving a most pleasing result. This consisted of a series of large
figures of saints, kings, or other great personages. Unfortunately we
cannot see this sort of clerestory window in Paris, but a visit to
Bourges or Rheims or Chartres will soon convince you how splendidly they
serve their purpose. At Notre Dame, in the choir clerestory, one sees
only a poor imitation of the destroyed old windows; owing to the paint
upon the glass, the yellows are dull and the reds are thick and muddy.

When you have seen one of these rows of huge figures, the reason for the
device becomes clear. The folds of garments of such size permitted the
use of large sheets of glass, and as little lead and no paint were
needed, the light was not obscured. The drawing of the folds, etc., was
executed by the leads which, in any event, were required for structural
reasons. So large are some of these figures that often we shall find
that their eyes were not drawn with pigment, but were separately leaded
in. This would not have been agreeable in the lower range of windows,
but high up in the air, far above the observer's head, it produced the
effect desired. Nor was this the only trick indulged in by the artist.
Sometimes he permitted himself very odd uses of colour. You will notice
that during this century he generally employed brown glass instead of
white for flesh tints. Of course he did not have what we call white
glass--that was a perfection not yet reached, but he might have used
pink. No, he preferred brown; and when you have seen the glorious rows
of clerestory figures looking down upon you at Rheims or Chartres, you
will know that he was right. His colours were so rich and strong that
white glass in the faces would have been too sharp a contrast and would
have spoilt the harmony of tones. Nor was this the only strange choice
of tints. You will be startled to read that blue is used for the hair of
the Christ in a Crucifixion scene, and yet so cleverly was it worked in
that many an observer of the splendid east window of Poitiers Cathedral
has gone away without noticing that the hair is blue or that the cross
is bright red! The effect of the picture was achieved, proof that the
artist knew and developed the possibilities existing in his materials.
That certainly always has been and always will be one of the great tests
of artistic ability.

While in Notre Dame notice another method of glazing prevalent in that
century and which also had for its raison d'être the need for light in
the upper windows. This is what is called "grisaille," a panel of
greenish-grey glass, sometimes surrounded by a border of the same tone,
sometimes by one of gayer tints, but always, during this period, a
broad border. Back in the twelfth century, where we first find these
windows, the borders are wider still. Their small pieces of glass are
held together by leads arranged in conventional designs, often in what
is called strap work, _i.e._, the seeming interlacing of straps in a
sort of basket pattern, very simple and agreeable. The light comes
through in a cool, silvery tone which blends well with the stone
structure about it. In Notre Dame we see examples of these windows, some
with grisaille borders, and also a few with coloured ones, but on our
travels we shall find much better types at Bourges, at
Chalons-sur-Marne, and elsewhere.

As a result of our sightseeing we will learn that the best of the early
glaziers realised that to compensate for the dim light yielded by the
medallion windows below, it was necessary to have better illumination
from above. Of course this combination in perfection was not often
accomplished, but we generally find that if the artist did not himself
take care to admit sufficient light, somebody that came later corrected
the error. Often we find that the monks, to obtain more light in the
choir, removed the coloured panels and substituted plain glass. In
several instances, notably at Amiens, they attempted to sanctify their
vandalism by destroying only so much stained glass in a window as to
leave a large white cross upon it. When we come to the next century we
shall see what this vandalism in favour of better-lighted church
interiors is going to produce.

For the sake of clearness let us review the steps by which we have
reached our conclusions. First we saw that the thirteenth century window
has far more charm in its colour than in its drawing, which, although
generally true of all glass, is never so emphatically true as during
this period. While examining the colour composition, we have learnt how
a window is constructed, and that in turn has taught us why it is best
to view it from a little distance. The next step was to conclude that
therefore this style of glass was not well adapted to domestic
architecture or for small buildings. Further, we have remarked the odd
style of drawing then in vogue which, traced back, proves but one of the
many imprints which Byzantine art left upon those times.

More time might at this point be profitably devoted to study, but this
little volume is not intended for a text-book. Its chief object is to
persuade you to go about France and see for yourself its wonderful
windows. It is to be hoped that even this small amount of research will
prove useful in increasing your enjoyment of the glass. Let us now
consider how many and which towns we will visit, and also how we can
most satisfactorily group them together so as to provide convenient
trips.



THIRTEENTH CENTURY PILGRIMAGES


The glass we have seen in Paris gives but a hint of the richness of this
period exemplified elsewhere in France. How much or how little we shall
see depends upon the reader. If he has time or inclination for but one
example, he should visit Chartres. In giving this advice we solemnly
warn him that if he has even a faint idea of seeing more than one, then
he should defer Chartres until the last. It so far surpasses the others
that they must be seen before it or they will suffer by comparison. If
the reader can only visit a few towns, then he will doubtless wish to
consider what else they contain besides glass, as these other features
may influence him in making his selection. For example, if he is
interested in tapestry it is clear that he will prefer Rheims and Angers
to other churches equally important in their glass, but lacking such
additional attractions. Then, too, nearness to Paris may decide him in
favour of one cathedral instead of another requiring a longer journey.
With each of our towns we will mention any such extra inducement as
tapestry, paintings, etc. At the back will be found a table of
distances, not only from Paris, but also from each town to the next. If
the reader has plenty of time, we suggest three pilgrimages. If his time
is in any way limited, he can either take one or more of them, or else
make such adjustment of them as best suits his convenience. It must,
of course, be understood that there is some thirteenth century glass
which will not be visited by us, but any one who has followed these
itineraries will have seen all of the best. When we reflect how fragile
is a glass window, it is really marvellous that we shall find so much of
this easily destroyed beauty after the stress of centuries. Only a few
churches can show anything like a complete series of windows, and fewer
still a series all glazed during the same period. Chartres, that
treasure-house of glass, is the nearest approach to a perfectly complete
example. Le Mans, perhaps, is next. Bourges is splendid in its
thirteenth century glory, but there the hypercritical may find that the
fifteenth century glazing of the nave chapels interferes with the
earlier effect. The clerestory of Rheims Cathedral boasts row on row of
gorgeous kings and bishops, but there we look in vain for the medallion
windows to give us the usual glowing chapels below. These differences
are not mentioned to criticise, but to point out that we shall find a
variety and not a monotony of beauty. Now for the three itineraries:

    (_a_) Our first tour is the longest, starts at the point most
    distant from Paris, and then works back to that city. We begin
    at Bourges, 4-¼ hours by railway, 227 kilometres by road. From
    Bourges we go to Poitiers, then to Tours, to Angers, to Le Mans,
    and end at Chartres. Chartres is only 1-¼ hours from Paris, 88
    kilometres by road.

    (_b_) Before starting on the second tour we must consult
    time-tables in order to make connections for Auxerre, which is
    35 minutes beyond La Roche, a station on the main line to Lyons
    and the south. If we could take a through train from Paris, the
    journey would be under three hours. By automobile it is 168
    kilometres, leaving Paris by the road to Fontainebleau. From
    Auxerre we come back to Sens, then to Troyes, to
    Chalons-sur-Marne, and lastly to Rheims, two hours from Paris
    (145 kilometres). If the time or inclination of the pilgrim
    makes it expedient that this trip be shortened, then, if he is a
    railway traveller, let him begin by Troyes and come around by
    Chalons and Rheims. If, on the other hand, he is travelling by
    automobile, he might as well see Sens just before Troyes,
    because by road Sens is not much off the line from Paris to
    Troyes and is well worth that small detour. The railway journey,
    however, between Sens and Troyes is a tedious one of more than
    two hours, because it is a branch line where there are no
    expresses.

    (_c_) The last tour is most convenient to Paris, and although
    clearly secondary in importance as a glass pilgrimage, the
    scenery is so very attractive that it will particularly appeal
    to the automobilist and bicyclist. We begin by visiting
    Soissons, an hour and a quarter by train (95 kilometres by
    road), then Laon, next St. Quentin and last Amiens, an hour and
    a quarter by train (131 kilometres) from Paris. If he is "en
    automobile," the pilgrim may return to Paris by way of Beauvais,
    for it is not much out of his way. If, however, he is travelling
    by railway, then he should omit Beauvais, for he will find only
    exasperatingly slow trains from Amiens to Beauvais. The
    thirteenth century glass there is unimportant, and, besides, we
    shall later visit it for that of the sixteenth century.

If the reader intends to take all of these three tours he should begin
with (_c_), then take (_b_), and lastly (_a_). If he can take but two,
then begin with (_b_) and end with (_a_). If there is time but for one,
(_a_) is the best. The automobilist may unfold his maps and prepare a
combination trip if he likes, for that is one of the licensed joys of
automobiling. The old-fashioned traveller by railway will, however, find
the order here set out the most convenient one.

There is a splendid series of medallion windows around the choir chapels
of the Cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand, but it is too far out of our way
to be properly included in any of the above tours. Rouen, too, has fine
medallion work of this period in its cathedral, but the later glass
there is so much more interesting that we will not include it in these
groups. Both these towns will be visited later in their appropriate
order, and we shall then have an opportunity to enjoy their delightful
thirteenth century windows.

[Illustration: 13TH CENTURY TOURS.

 (_a_) _Bourges_, _Poitiers_, _Tours_,_ Angers_, _Le Mans_, _Chartres_.
 (_b_) _Auxerre_, _Sens_, _Troyes_, _Chalons_, _Rheims_.
 (_c_) _Soissons_, _Laon_, _St. Quentin_, _Amiens_.
 (_For table of distances, see Page 295._)]


BOURGES

The writer will never forget his first impression of Bourges Cathedral,
as, mounted on a bicycle, he approached it over the rolling country that
lies to the east towards Nevers. For a long time it seemed a great rock
rising from the plain, which steadily grew larger and larger until, all
at once, it took on the outlines of a huge cathedral. Fantastic as it
may seem in the telling, this vast bulk looming up against the sky
exactly symbolised for him the word "Bourges." To fully appreciate this
great church one should approach it this way and let it grow before
one's eyes. This is true of but few cathedrals, among which there is an
easily recalled instance in England. No one ever realises all the soft
grey beauty of Ely unless, thanks to his slow progress down the river
Ouse, he has seen it gradually arise from the green setting of fen
lands. Perhaps one reason why Bourges, when viewed from a distance, does
not immediately disclose itself to be a cathedral is because one sees no
perpendicular lines. On one side the great tower so tapers as to seem to
slant inward, while on the other side the flying buttresses present an
even greater divergence from the perpendicular. All this increases the
rock-like appearance and defers the realisation that it is architecture
and not nature until one is so near as to perceive some of the details.
In one respect Bourges is like the town of Amiens, in that nearly all
its architectural beauty is centred in the cathedral and seems to have
been content to bourgeon and blossom there. Bourges has, however, one
advantage in possessing a wonderful "house that Jack built," the
fifteenth century palace of Jacques Coeur, a rich merchant and banker
whose wealth was the cause of his final overthrow and banishment on a
trumped-up charge of debasing the coinage. Even the fact that he had
lent money freely to Charles VII did not save him. Later on (page 151)
we shall consider the cathedral's fifteenth century glass, and we shall
then examine the splendid window given by Jacques Coeur, perhaps the
finest that period can show. Chief among the charms of the cathedral's
exterior are the splendid five-portalled west front, and the lace-like
garment of flying buttresses that gracefully hangs about its sides and
east end. The great apse is built upon the remains of the old Roman
walls, which so elevates it above the neighbouring houses as to provide
a clear view of the flying buttresses. Unfortunately, the west front
does not fare so well. There is hardly a cathedral in Europe so shut in
on the west by adjoining buildings. They huddle so closely about it that
one has no opportunity to stand off and properly observe the elaborate
carvings and other architectural features that unite to make the beauty
of this famous façade. From the way in which each succeeding story
decreases in size, it is easy to see why the big northern tower appeared
to slant inward when viewed from a distance. Like one of the cathedral
towers at Rouen, it is named the Tour du Beurre because it was built
with money received from the sale of indulgences to eat butter during
Lent.

Most Americans have, during the day-dreams of their childhood, conjured
up a mental picture of the vast interior of an ancient cathedral, and of
the mysteriously impressive gloom that would some day there meet their
eyes. It is doubtful if any other church more completely realises this
fancy of our childhood. As one enters the great building he receives an
impression never to be forgotten. A feeling of vastness lays hold upon
one even more strongly than at Beauvais and Amiens, both of which are
actually loftier. Here the seeming height is increased by the five rows
of windows, one above the other. This addition to the usual allotment of
three tiers (lower arches, triforium and clerestory) gives an unusual
number of light apertures. While there are no transepts, their absence
leaves unbroken the lines of the side walls and thus increases the
apparent size of the interior. And what a wealth of thirteenth century
glass! It gleams and glows and glistens on every side, near at hand and
far off in the soft richness of the choir chapels. We find it everywhere
except in the nave chapels, which were glazed in the fifteenth century.
Perhaps if it were not for the increased light which these later panels
admit, we might find the church too much darkened by its sombre earlier
glass. It is clear, however, that care was taken even from the first to
sufficiently illumine the nave, because it possesses a fine series of
thirteenth century grisaille windows, enriched and enlivened by broad
borders of colour. The noble chapels that encircle the choir show us the
effect of mosaic medallions at their best. Above in the clerestory,
"like watchmen on a leaguered wall," are stationed a glorious row of
large figures which are not to be surpassed anywhere. The richness of
their costumes, of the backgrounds, even of the borders, is most
sumptuous. We have already noted the absence of the transepts. On our
travels we shall notice that the north and south ends of transepts
generally contain great rose windows. To compensate the glass artist for
their absence here, the architect gave him an opportunity to glaze an
elaborate series of forty-five small ones. They extend all around the
interior, no two alike, and must be seen for one to appreciate how
greatly they add to the interest and charm of the cathedral. It is
contended by some that Bourges provides the finest field for the study
of thirteenth century glass, but in this opinion we cannot agree,
although gladly admitting everything else claimed for it by its
staunchest adherents. Our reason for preferring Chartres is that it has
more windows, and that they are practically all of the same period, so
that the eye does not there find the distraction caused here by the
fifteenth century glazing of the nave chapels. We prefer to rank the
first four in the following order of excellence: Chartres, Bourges,
Rheims, and Le Mans. It will be interesting to learn whether or not the
reader agrees with us. At any rate he should see them, and now that we
have enticed him so far away from Paris, he will find it as easy to
return by the route that includes them as by any other.


POITIERS

Among the many beauties of France must certainly be accounted its
"cities built upon a hill." There are a goodly number of them and their
lofty position has tended to preserve them from change more than cities
so placed that their expansion into suburbs was easier. Without doubt
there is something fascinating, something irresistibly dominating about
a town that looks down upon us. Fortunate it is for us lovers of the
picturesque, whom, alas, the uses of modern convenience have made
"dwellers in the plain," that during mediæval times the vital need of
safety forced its citizens to seek the refuge of heights! No one can
question the right of quaint old Poitiers to be as haughty as hill towns
have always been--nay, haughtier. Think of the days when through the
House of Plantagenet she gave rulers to England--when these same kings
governed not only England but also the whole western half of France! We
do not always remember what a long strip of territory was ruled by the
Angevin dynasty, stretching all the way from the Pyrenees across the
Channel and up to Scotland. One of the greatest encounters that marked
the long and bitter struggle between the English and French was the
Battle of Poitiers, when in 1356 the English under the Black Prince
defeated and took prisoner John the Good of France and slew 11,000
Frenchmen. It was, indeed, a bloody baptism when our hill town stood
sponsor to such a conflict of warring nations.

There are few cities in France which more richly repay a visit than this
rather out-of-the-way place, and fewer still which have so many varied
inducements to offer. The architectural remains are not only interesting
but differ materially in character and epoch. The situation of the city
is most striking. It is perched on the top of a flat-iron shaped hill
upon the point of which the picturesque Jardin de Blossac smiles down
upon the winding river Clain. It is not in this book that you should
look for a description of the wonderful triple interpenetrated chimney
of the Palais de Justice, nor the fourth century church of St. Jean, nor
the ivory-like carvings on the façade of Notre Dame de la Garde. Hie
thee to a guide-book for these, and the like of them, and let us to our
quest! In all glass of this period, nay, of any period or any century,
we shall never find a more splendid window than the Crucifixion at the
east end of the cathedral. In our introduction we said that glass should
not be studied from written description, but that it must be seen. Of
this window this observation is even more true than of any other. Its
breadth and size indicate that it dates from early in the century. The
harmony and the beauty of its colours are beyond words to describe.
Indeed, so ingeniously are they combined to produce their effect, that
the detail is apt to escape the observer. Even after spending some time
before it he may be surprised to learn that the cross is ruby-red and
that the hair of the Saviour is blue. If he had read this in a book it
would have been impossible to convince him that the result could be one
of such great beauty. Unfortunately for the many excellent medallion
windows in this cathedral, there are also a great number of uncoloured
ones. It does not take us long to decide that a medallion window should
never be lighted from within, because that enables one to see the
cumbersome machinery used to produce its effect. One should never become
aware of the numerous small pieces of unevenly surfaced glass and the
vast complexity of leads which in combination produce such glorious
results, but only when the light comes from without. Not only do these
white panes reveal these ugly details, but by their glare they
effectually extinguish the warm glow which we are accustomed to expect
from the richly-coloured mosaics of the medallions. Near the west end
there is a good deal of fine strapwork grisaille evidently put there to
light that end of the church in contrast to the dimmer light which must
have prevailed at the east end when all the medallions were still in
place. Even if there were not many fine thirteenth century panels in
this cathedral, and even if the town itself were not full of many
interesting sights, still we would have been amply repaid for our visit
by the Crucifixion window, the chef d'oeuvre of its time.

Near the cathedral is the church of St. Radegonde. This long narrow
edifice has no transepts, nor, indeed, the usual division into choir and
nave, and yet it boasts of a rose window, and a fine one, too, over its
northern portal. The colour is really delightful and contains much of
the brilliant blue for which Poitiers is famous. Its chief interest is
that instead of having its figures broken up so as to monotonously
radiate from the centre (which is generally true of rose windows) they
are, so to speak, right side up, and all participate in forming the
picture of the "Last Judgment." There is some thirteenth century glass
on the southern side of this church, but not so well preserved or so
good. The windows on the northern side between the north portal and the
east end are of the next century and will be considered later (page
172). We may say, however, in passing, that they are unique in that they
have bright figures distributed upon a grisaille background which is
surrounded by a border of rich colour.


TOURS

Of all the great battles which have marked the world's history there are
few, if any, which so distinctly stand out from the centuries as the
Battle of Tours. It was this bloody victory which in 732 rolled back the
world-conquering Saracens and determined that Europe should be Christian
and not Moslem. On that epoch-making day, the bloody axe of Charles
Martel graved deep his name on the annals of France. But Tours has many
another claim to historic renown. Touraine, the province of which
it is the capital, is strewed with magnificent châteaux, whose very
elaboration and beauty testify to how greatly French royalty and
nobility loved its temperate climate. On our way from Poitiers to
Tours, we shall pass through several charming little valleys and find
attractive, though quiet, scenery, during most of the journey. The
immediate surroundings of Tours are not pleasing. It impresses one as a
dull, grey city seated demurely beside the sands that so ungracefully
border most of the lower part of the river Loire. There is little to
recall the echoes of the great battle and less still to remind one of
the delightful mediæval residences which are such an attractive feature
throughout the rest of Touraine.

Although the cathedral was under construction all the way from the
twelfth century to the sixteenth, its various styles are so combined as
to make it an interesting building. It does not, however, seem to merit
the enthusiastic praise lavished upon it by Henry IV and many another of
its admirers. The chief objection to the interior is that it appears
oppressively narrow. The explanation of this cramped effect is that the
architect did not avail himself of the usual device of slightly
increasing its width as the walls rose. This was generally done
elsewhere and served to correct the contracted appearance which
perspective tends to give as one looks up from the floor. This
architectural trick is an old one, for we know that the Greeks used it
not only in shaping the sides of their columns, but also to preserve the
appearance of straightness in the chief horizontal lines of their
buildings. In the absence of this device the walls seem to crowd
together above us, thus accentuating the unpleasant narrowness of the
nave.

The fine rosaces in the ends of the transepts contain fourteenth century
glass, and the western rose with its gallery of eight lancets below,
excellent Renaissance glazing. The chief glory of the interior, however,
is the fine medallion panels all through the choir, not only in the
chapels, but also, and most unusually, in the fifteen large lights of
the clerestory. These clerestory medallions date from the latter part of
the century, and their lateness is evidenced in a number of ways, among
others, by the fact that the medallions are oval instead of round and
also that they extend to the edge of the embrasure, leaving little or no
room for the border. This can also be observed in the easternmost choir
windows of Coutances Cathedral. We have noted before that the choir
clerestory at this time was generally given over to large figures of
kings, bishops, etc., in order to secure more light than medallions
would admit. In the Tours clerestory the fifth window on the right and
the fifth on the left (just above the great altar) show an attempt to
correct the darkening effect of the medallions by alternating with them
horizontal stripes of grisaille. Notice that in the easternmost
embrasure the three medallions of the second tier, when considered
together, form a picture of The Last Supper. This is a more elaborate
exposition of the same idea exemplified by the Annunciation at the east
end of the Clermont-Ferrand clerestory. A quaint touch is observable in
the two medallions which show little figures of donors, each holding up
in his two hands a model of his gift window. One of these is in the
left-hand lower corner of the window just left of the eastern one, and
the other in the right-hand corner of the sixth on the right. Some of
the Tours choir chapels are glazed in white, which combined with the
pierced triforium, serves to correct the lack of light caused by the
unusual treatment of the clerestory.

 [Illustration: 13TH CENTURY MEDALLION LANCET, TOURS.
     _The shapes of the medallions vary widely. Difficult to
     distinguish the little pictures, although we are near the
     windows; the early glazier valued the colour effect of his
     window more than the legends. Later his picture becomes larger,
     and of great importance._]


ANGERS

A bad name dies hard and often lingers years after it is no longer
deserved. A striking example of this is found in the now unjust
appellation, "Black Angers." Black it may have been in the days when its
streets were dirty and narrow, but black it is no longer. Black it may
have seemed to the townspeople when their humble dwellings were frowned
down upon by the seventeen gloomy towers of its haughty thirteenth
century castle. Now the towers of the castle are razed, the walls that
girdled the city are tumbled into the great moat to form broad
boulevards, and altogether it is as agreeable a place as was ever
vilified by an outgrown name. Its most important edifice, St. Maurice
Cathedral, is not only a perfect treasure-house of glass, but is also
the depository of a profusion of admirable tapestries. Those interested
in the latter will find here (even more than at Rheims) what an added
inducement they provide for the sightseer. All around the nave are
suspended the series of the Apocalypse (as they are called), while on
the walls of the transepts are yet others dating from the fourteenth to
the eighteenth centuries. Nor are these all, for packed away in chests
are many more, which upon the occasion of certain church festivals are
brought out to hang in a row around the outside of the cathedral. In
fact, it is only on these festival days that one learns that the
interior wall space is insufficient to display half of the church's
possessions. Having set out this additional reason for visiting St.
Maurice Cathedral, let us now turn to its chief charm, the splendid
twelfth and thirteenth century glazing. We shall find the nave windows
filled with the largest and best preserved collection of twelfth century
glass that exists. They are very wide and high, characteristic of that
early period. In the choir there are fourteen excellent examples of the
thirteenth century medallion type, and there are others in the
transepts. We shall not now speak of the two great fifteenth century
rose windows, nor of the very large canopy ones which adorn the
transepts, nor of the few sixteenth century panels. It is proper to say
here, however, that they are excellent examples of those later periods,
thus rendering this cathedral one of the best in which to compare glass
styles all the way from the twelfth century to the sixteenth. The chief
glory of the edifice, however, consists of those which date from the
early mosaic period. So few and so unsatisfactory are the remains
elsewhere found of twelfth century glass, and so excellent are they
here, that it is to this church that one should come to study it. It is
a most fortunate coincidence for the student that the same interior
also contains many of the best types of the thirteenth century, because
this very contiguity enables him to conveniently contrast them with
those of the twelfth. The finer distinctions between their traits are
much more noticeable to him where the examples are side by side than
they would be if he had to carry the picture in his mind from one place
to another. He will at once notice that the earlier borders are much
wider than the later ones; some of those in the nave occupy nearly
one-fourth of the window space on each side, or in other words, if
brought together, the borders would fill nearly half of the entire width
of the embrasure. He will also observe that the figures in the earlier
ones are made of larger pieces of glass and have the draperies more
tightly drawn about them. It is very significant that the pieces of
glass are larger in the earlier windows: note this carefully, because in
many books we are told that the later artist of the thirteenth century
had no choice but to content himself with the small morsels of glass, as
he had no others. Thus they would have us believe that his wonderful
jewelled glow was merely the lucky result of having nothing but small
fragments at his disposal. Even so brief a study of twelfth century
glass as to show that the pieces then used were uniformly larger than
those of the thirteenth or jewel period, is enough to demonstrate that
the later artist deliberately used the smaller bits even with the added
trouble of more leading. He did so for the very purpose of obtaining the
sparkle and sheen that was never achieved before nor since, and
therefore he should receive due credit for his results. A close
examination of both the choir and nave windows will yield us many quaint
and interesting details. The first on the left contains a large Virgin
placed upon a panel occupying all of the window that is not given over
to a wide grisaille border. Six small medallions are arranged about this
panel, half of each on the panel and half protruding over the border.
One of these small medallions is placed at each corner and one in the
middle of the two long sides, like the pockets on a pool table. The
charming elaboration and colour work of the twelfth century borders
throughout the nave cannot fail to be noticed.

The set of thirteenth century windows placed about the choir have some
gorgeous blues and brilliant rubies. The fifth, counting from the left
side, proves to be a Tree of Jesse window, a sort of pictorially
genealogical tree which we will frequently encounter on our travels. In
this case the treatment is unusual, as the vine, winding up throughout
the window from the loins of Jesse in the lowest medallion, not only
distributes its historical personages over the central panes, but also
up and down the borders as well. The very wide embrasures of this
church give us an excellent opportunity of studying the colours of this
period.

While we are in Angers we must visit the church of St. Serge. As we are
now seeking early glass the chief interest of this small interior
consists of the five grisaille windows of the twelfth century which,
with their graceful design of pale brownish strapwork picked out and
accentuated by points of colour, leave little to be desired in their
soft beauty. They are to be found in the choir, and are considered by
most authorities to be the best type of twelfth century grisaille work
that exists. During a later pilgrimage we shall come again to this
church to inspect the attractive fifteenth century canopy windows which
decorate the nave clerestory (see page 175).


LE MANS

The great personages in the windows of St. Julien Cathedral looked down
upon a portentous spectacle on that day in the year 1133, when Henry I
of England stood holding in his arms his little grandson, Henry
Plantagenet, to be baptised by the Bishop of Le Mans. The vast throng
that gathered for this ceremony, both within and without the newly
completed cathedral, little thought that the helpless babe would one day
become not only Henry II, King of England, but also the ruler of the
mighty Angevin empire, which included all of England and the western
half of France. They could not have foreseen that this little one would
cause the House of Plantagenet to take its place in history as one of
the greatest of royal houses. Strange sights have these splendid old
windows gazed down upon, but never have they tempered the glare of the
sun for the christening of a babe who so widely outgrew the place of his
birth. In one way or another this cathedral has been connected with many
a royal family. In its archives we read that when in November, 1217, it
was decided to extend the choir over the Gallo-Roman wall, not only was
the consent of King Philip Augustus necessary, but also that of Queen
Berengaria, the widow of Richard Coeur de Lion. This double approval
was needed, since Philip Augustus, although overlord, had given Le Mans
to Queen Berengaria in settlement of her claims upon certain Norman
towns which he had captured. Perched upon a hill rising from the river
Sarthe the cathedral soars into the air from its lofty site as boldly as
befits the chief sanctuary of an embattled city boasting of more than
twenty sieges. Impressive as it is from the river, it is still more so
from the little plain which lies just below it inside the town. There is
hardly a cathedral whose east end is so beautifully revealed as is St.
Julien's from this viewpoint. We cannot help but be deeply impressed as
it swings out clear against the sky, girdled by its thirteen chapels,
hung about by its innumerable flying buttresses and to us rendered
specially alluring by the great area of window space filled with the
many lead lines and heavy iron saddle-bars which we have learnt to know
mean glazing of the thirteenth century. The view of the east end of an
elaborate Gothic church is always fascinating, but in this instance its
height above us, the great number of chapels and the unobstructed view
make it unique. The nave was constructed too early to be greatly
elaborated, but if compensation is needed, it is fully provided by the
thoroughly mediæval feeling which awaits one on entering the little
square just before its west entrance. The opposite side of the square is
occupied by Le Grabatoire, an ancient dwelling built in the first half
of the sixteenth century and in an admirable state of preservation. The
traveller in France generally finds that buildings which surround an old
cathedral are so much more recent in construction that they provide a
jarring contrast. Here at Le Mans, on the contrary, its immediate
surroundings thoroughly imbue us with the spirit of the middle ages and
we are in a proper frame of mind to enter the portal and appreciate the
Old World beauty inside. The interior amply fulfills the promises of the
exterior. The luminous glory of the broad surfaces of the glass that
seem suspended about the lofty choir is something long to be remembered.
This is not the place to speak of the transepts because they were glazed
in the fifteenth century; they are very fine, especially the one to the
north. Oddly enough, the south end of the south transept has no window
at all; its large wall space serves as a back for the organ (see page
178). Let us begin our investigations with the nave. Its triforium is a
graceful gallery, but is not pierced, while the clerestory above it
contains only modern glass, and therefore they will not long detain us.
In the west front is one broad window of the round arched Norman type,
obviously of the period which we are now considering. Within a wide
border are square panels representing scenes from the life of St.
Julien, after whom the edifice is named. Although this window is very
broad, even for its early type, it is nevertheless not large enough to
appear alone in the great west wall, and as a result, it narrows the
appearance of the nave. When we move up into the choir and look back,
this effect becomes all the more noticeable, while the nave is even
further dwarfed by the fact that the architect, taking advantage of the
greater height of the transepts, placed a clerestory window just above
the point where the ridge pole of the nave joins the crossing. Thus the
lone west window and the clerestory opening just above the nave roof
combine to lower and contract that oldest part of the church. But to
return to the nave windows; all the lower range are small and all modern
except eight, the three western ones on each side and those over the two
smaller west entrances. Of these eight all but two are medallions. One
of them (the third from the west on the north side) is of interest
because it has a border consisting of four little panels on each side
enclosing figures. This sort of border is extremely rare, except in Tree
of Jesse windows, where the personages are sometimes used in this way to
help make up the border. An instance of this may be seen in the central
panel of the second triforium window on the south side of the choir and
it may also be noticed in the fifth window on the left in the east end
of Angers Cathedral. We have just said that all but two of these lower
nave lights are filled with medallions--of these two (the second and
third on the south side), one might write a book. The writer prefers the
second window to any other in France. It was made some time between 1093
and 1120 and represents the "Ascension." As this book is not written to
describe glass, but only to persuade the reader to view it, we will
content ourselves by saying "go and see." The blue and the ruby
backgrounds have a limpidity of colour that cannot be rivaled. Of the
third window it is fair to say that some of the panes were brought from
other embrasures of this church. The upper panel, enclosing a bust of
Christ, with the drapery of blue and a blue halo upon a background of
ruby sprinkled with blue stars, is most delightful. These two are indeed
treasures and are all that were left by the ravages of the great fire
which in 1120 destroyed the earlier church. Passing from the nave to the
choir we are at once struck by the grandiose effect there caused by the
loftier sweep of its lines. The choir chapels have lost nearly all their
original glazing, but fortunately that little gem, the Lady Chapel,
still has all its eleven windows filled with medallions. These
encircling chapels not only give great width to the choir, but still
further width is added by the fact that the ambulatory is double. The
first triforium that goes around above us is not pierced, but just
above it we find the spacious embrasures of the second triforium. These
latter are the largest of their kind the writer has ever seen; in fact,
they are large enough to be placed in the clerestory of most cathedrals.
Not satisfied with these, the architect has still further increased the
lighting of the choir and given greater scope for the glazier by placing
above this second triforium the lofty windows of the true clerestory,
those toward the west of six lancets each, and those toward the east of
two. All the panels of this great curtain of light are glazed in the
mosaic style, but the pieces of glass used are noticeably larger than we
have been accustomed to find in the medallion treatment. As a result,
the amount of leading is reduced and a great deal more colour meets our
eye, colour whose individual tones we can recognise, and not the sort,
which, conflicting with other colour, produces a confused purple. At St.
Julien Cathedral we get a richer tone from the medallions than we find
anywhere else, but this gain in richness is partially offset by losing
some of the sparkling gleam which would have resulted from smaller bits
of glass set in more leads. Perhaps some of our readers will agree with
Viollet-le-Duc and other great architects and writers, in regarding this
choir a finer monument of the thirteenth century than that of Bourges or
Chartres. If the nave of Le Mans Cathedral were as splendidly glazed as
the other parts of that edifice, we might have to reconsider our
opinion that Chartres affords the best chance for the student of that
early period to pursue his researches.


CHARTRES

Across the rolling grain-covered plain of La Beauce winds a long
depression worn by the river Eure. Along the side of this depression we
find Chartres, sloping gently up from the little river that bathes its
feet and proudly lifting into the air the grey and green bulk of its
cathedral, culminating in the two finest spires in France. Its light
stone and the softly-shaded tiles of the roof combine to give us a
delicious impression of delicate greenish grey. This softness of tone
outside gives no hint of the minster gloom within, athwart which shimmer
the rich dark rays slanting through the jewelled windows. Nowhere can
there be found such a contrast between the exterior and interior of a
cathedral. This marked difference serves but to distinguish and
accentuate the special charms of each, and together they make our memory
of the cathedral a most precious possession of our mental picture
gallery.

As the pilgrim enters Chartres Cathedral, there is an impressive moment
at hand for him, for he is penetrating the Holy of Holies of stained
glass. Not only is it the most delightful expression of the thirteenth
century, but also of any century, and we speak not only of France, but
of all Europe.

One is almost staggered by the wealth and profusion of windows--174--and
nearly all of the thirteenth century. In the west front the use of
slightly larger pieces and the wonderful limpidity confirms the fact
that the lovely rose showing the Last Judgment, as well as its three
attendant lancets below, are of the twelfth century; the rest of the
interior was glazed in the next century.

Notwithstanding all that has been written of this wonderful glass, more
still remains hidden away in its pregnant mystery, that mystery that
lays hold upon all who view it, be he poet, or unromantic follower of
one of the homely trades whose guilds have added so generously to the
tale of windows. Nor have revelations of this mystery been made alike to
all. What one man has spelt out from it may remain incomprehensible to
another. The obvious fact to one mind seems to another but a quaint
conceit. Lasteyrie, when he told his story in 1841, felt that there was
a marvellous symbolism about the change in the strength of the light,
brighter as it approached the cross formed by the transepts and then
growing darker as one withdrew further from that Christian emblem of
spiritual illumination. To him this thought was full of great charm and
some of us may agree in his poetic conception. Others may feel that the
brilliancy of the remote west windows seems to refute rather than
support his theory. It is certain, however, that the revelation of
harmony comes to us all alike. It is related that a certain lad thought
himself listening to music from the glass itself when the organ
commenced playing during the time he was gazing raptly up at one of the
great rose windows. This harmony of colours, this melodious flowing of
tone into tone, is a glimpse vouchsafed to us all into the solemn
mystery that dwells within this enchanted bower of light.

James Russell Lowell says:

     "I gaze round on the windows, pride of France!
     Each the bright gift of some mechanic guild,
     Who loved their city and thought gold well spent
     To make her beautiful with piety."

If Rheims is to be known as the cathedral of kings, or Amiens
characterised as the Bible in stone, then Chartres must be styled the
chief sanctuary of the mediæval guilds. We have spoken of the splendid
array of royalties around the clerestory of Rheims, and how they and the
many coronations of which they are reminiscent fully justify the proud
title of "Royal Rheims." Against this wealth of royal reminiscence
Chartres can show but one coronation, that of Henry IV. So far was he
from being disgruntled by the long siege necessitated by the stubborn
defence of its burghers, that he elected to be crowned in their
cathedral, partly, we feel sure, to show the approval of a warrior king
for their fighting qualities. No, it is not a long array of kings that
are set about to guard its windows and bear witness to their power and
beneficence. At Chartres, more than anywhere in France, the Middle Ages
seem to have bequeathed to us the great heartbeat of their middle
classes. Here we see about us the sturdy workers of the city, the guilds
of its industrious burghers. True, the great rose windows of the
transepts show us the royalty and chivalry of the kingdom, but somehow
they seem decorative and not dominating as they do at Rheims. Nor are
our friends of the guilds here present by any man's let or by virtue of
kingly condescension. At Laon there are statues of oxen in the cathedral
towers, put there in kindly remembrance of their services in dragging up
the great stones from the plain far below; but at Chartres it is no
kindly remembrance that has disposed about the nave and elsewhere the
glass histories of guild upon guild. They are in the place because they
are of the place, nor is there any attempt to disguise the homely
occupations of the donors. In other towns we occasionally find a panel
bearing a statement that it was presented by some company of craftsmen,
but the subject is almost always a scriptural one and throws no light
upon the work-a-day existence of the members. Here it is very different,
for so proud were the honest workmen of the crafts which they plied,
that they took infinite pains to have their windows set out scenes
descriptive of the work and life of the association which gave it. The
history of the Chartres guilds is well worth delving into, and one finds
a luminous index provided by the long series of panels around the lower
part of the nave. The glass speaks eloquently of how well organised
and how rich were the middle classes of Chartres, and nowhere else can
anything like so complete or interesting a set be seen. Goldsmiths,
cobblers, vintners, tanners, moneychangers--so the list goes on until it
swells into a total of nearly forty, and of each there is provided some
little group depicting the service performed for the community by that
particular trade. Several of the guilds gave more than one window, nor
are they confined to the nave aisles, some having strayed so far as
the choir clerestory. But for all that the windows here speak more
eloquently than elsewhere of the sturdy craftsmen--the bourgeoisie that
formed the backbone of old France--we must not forget that they also
bear witness to the gallantry and generosity of the knightly and titled
classes. To glass lovers this cathedral has a peculiar interest in
the fact that St. Louis was baptised within its walls. May we not be
permitted the delusion that to the undeveloped faculties of the royal
babe the wonderful harmony of these windows came as a lullaby, and that
the echo of this lullaby finally grew into the great love for stained
glass which he later developed? Of this love we have found many traces,
all leading up to its ultimate expression in the Ste. Chapelle of Paris.
And where more appropriately could a French king, who loved glass, have
been christened? Where else would he have had about him on his beloved
windows such an array of his subjects, representing not only the
highest, but also those of humbler rank, a bodyguard of four thousand
figures of nobles, gentry, burghers and craftsmen? Nor are these figures
content but to decorate, for some of them by their grouping serve to
narrate for us nearly forty legends. A splendid proof of how much he
loved this cathedral, so often revisited by him, is afforded by his
splendid gift, the Rose of France, as they call the great window in the
north transept. Here are the familiar combination of the French fleur
de lis and the castles of Castile showing that Louis and his mother,
Blanche of Castile, joined in this royal gift. In splendid reds,
lemon-yellows and browns it tells the story of the glorification of
the Virgin, thus repeating what we see in the carvings of the northern
porch. The gorgeous five tall pointed windows below aid it to produce a
glorious ensemble. Nor is it only in this quarter that we see traces of
the nobler classes, for was not the south transept end decorated in
similar wise with scenes showing the glorification of Christ, the gift
of Dreux and Bretagne? Again we find the windows inside repeating what
is shown by the carvings in the porch outside. The five tall pointed
lancets under this rose are especially noteworthy, for the two which, on
either side, flank the middle one containing Christ are each filled with
an Evangelist carried on the shoulders of a Prophet, a very physical way
of depicting the power of prophecy.

 [Illustration: CROSSING AND SOUTH TRANSEPT, CHARTRES. (13TH CENTURY.)
     _No photograph can even hint at the wealth of deep, warm colour
     that fills these windows. The early date of those in the right
     foreground indicated by their broad borders. Below the Rose,
     four of the lancets show Evangelists borne on the shoulders of
     Prophets._]

This is not the place to tell of the wonderful carvings that abound
within and without this great temple, and are especially delightful
around the stone screen that separates the choir from the ambulatory;
nor shall we take upon us to speak in detail of the subterranean chapel
to the Virgin who bore a Child, the pagan legends concerning whom "the
memory of man runneth not to the contrary." For us they are but
accessories to the wonderful whole which provides so magnificent a
casket for the preservation and exposition of the most splendid heritage
of windows that has come down to us.

Although completely outclassed by the cathedral's greater glory, the
glazing of the church of St. Pierre is not only pleasing to the eye, but
also provides a very complete and well-preserved demonstration of how
the transition was effected from the light-obstructing mosaic medallions
to the overlighted interiors of the fourteenth century (see page 188).


AUXERRE

Our memories of architecture are generally those of form and not of
colour. To this rule there are, however, a few exceptions, and of these
the cathedral of St. Etienne at Auxerre is one of the most noteworthy.
One remembers it chiefly for its rich brown colour, partly due to the
tint of the stone and partly to the terra-cotta tiles which cover its
roof. The deeper hue of the tiles calls out all the warmth in the
shading of the stone and they together make a mellow brown picture,
especially attractive if seen for the first time in the tones which it
takes on towards twilight, when the low rays of the sun perform for it
the same service that they do for the interior of the Corpus Christi
quadrangle at Oxford. Another cathedral whose colour lingers in our
memory is Chartres, where the dull green tiles of the roof tone into the
greyish stone of the building, accentuating and enriching it, and
leaving with us a distinct impression of a soft-hued grey church. A very
picturesque city is Auxerre, sloping up from the river, with its three
chief churches rising watchfully above the monotonous level of the
house-tops like huge rocks anchoring the city more firmly to its
foundations. Not so bulkily impressive but equally noticeable is the
quaint old bell tower, which, from its great height, rings out every now
and again reminders of the flight of time.

The proportions of the cathedral interior are very harmoniously
adjusted. The noticeable features are that the ambulatory is lower than
the nave, and that the Lady Chapel at the east end is square instead of
being rounded. In view of the geographical location of Auxerre one would
expect to find glass of the more florid Burgundian type; but instead it
is clearly of the Champagne school. There is a quantity of good
sixteenth century glazing and we would especially call the visitor's
attention to the fine blues, which he should not fail to notice. The
windows we have come to see, however, are to be found in the chapels and
the upper lights of the choir. Henri Villeneuve in 1220 caused to be
placed in the choir clerestory the great row of fifteen, each consisting
of two bays surmounted by a small rose. This arrangement is very
graceful and gives an agreeable grouping. The colouring and drawing of
the large figures with which they are filled testify to the good taste
of their donor. Nor are the windows in the clerestory any more worthy of
notice than the twenty-nine which we shall find below surrounding the
choir and filling the choir chapels--almost all complete and containing
fine types of the medallion style. The three nearest the transepts on
each side and one or two others are glazed in white, the result of
well-meaning sacrilege on the part of the monks seeking to secure more
light. Fortunately their hands were stayed, so that enough of the old
panels are left to give us the jewelled gleam which we are seeking.
There is an unique arrangement in some of the embrasures of Auxerre
which we must not fail to note. It provides an early example of the use
of grisaille to increase the illumination of the interior. In several
instances the coloured figure or panel has two borders, the one next it
being of grisaille and the outside one of rich colour. Possibly the
contrast will strike us as being too marked. We shall find that in the
next century this combination is carried to such an extreme as to become
positively disagreeable, but here at Auxerre it is so skillfully
employed that it is not at all unpleasant. In any event, it is far
better than white panes used for the same purpose.


SENS

In these days of telephones, telegrams, express trains, automobiles,
newspapers and printed books, it is difficult for us to realize that in
mediæval times thought traveled but slowly, and that two cities a few
leagues apart were much more widely separated than they would now be if
divided by the ocean. To-day a piece of news, an invention, some new
artistic method, is flashed around the world and at once meets the eye
of millions of readers. All this excites no comment. When, however, we
notice that in some mediæval period a novelty in one country very
shortly thereafter appeared and was used in a neighbouring one, we are
forced to conclude that there must have been some very unusual
occurrence to have so far set at naught the difficulty of news
transmission to which we have just referred. The history of the middle
ages does not contain a stranger example of such a rapid spread of
something novel than that presented by the story of how and of why
William of Sens (who, in building the Cathedral of Sens, constructed the
first thoroughly Gothic church) came to have the honour of introducing
Gothic architecture into England by a call to rebuild Canterbury
Cathedral. It so happened that just as he was completing his great work
and disclosing to the world the new beauty of Gothic architecture, Pope
Alexander III, exiled from Rome, took up his residence at Sens
(September 30, 1163, till April 11, 1165). It is recorded that on the
19th of April, 1164, surrounded by a gorgeous array of cardinals and
bishops gathered there in attendance upon the papal residence, he
consecrated the altar of the Holy Virgin in the cathedral then rapidly
approaching completion. Where the Pope was, there also was the centre
of the Christian world, and thither of course repaired the clergy from
all parts of Europe. These distinguished pilgrims were witnesses
of William's first bold attempt at the pointed arch, the chief
characteristic of his great cathedral. To see was to admire. Its beauty
was so striking that they could not fail to remember and recount it when
they returned to their home towns, thus stimulating other architects to
copy this new architecture. Never before nor since had a builder so well
timed a gathering of admiring ecclesiastics. Among those who came, and
saw, and remembered, was Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury,
himself an exile from his see. He dwelt four years at Sens (1166-70) and
what he saw there impelled him to invite William of Sens in preference
to all the English architects to rebuild the Cathedral of Canterbury. It
would seem strange even now, and a thing worthy of comment, if a French
architect were chosen to construct an important English church, but how
much more extraordinary was it that Thomas à Becket should have taken
this step in 1174, after the disastrous fire which destroyed the earlier
church on the site of the present Cathedral of Canterbury. William
succeeded in completing the choir as it stands to-day, but it cost him
his life, for as he was superintending the finishing touches of his
great work, he fell from a high scaffold and received injuries from
which he died. Through this introduction of the young French Gothic into
England he exercised a noteworthy influence upon the beginnings of
ecclesiastical Gothic in that country. We have told this story here
because we know the architect and the glazier worked hand in hand. This
association grows more interdependent as the Gothic blossoms into
decoration and as more wall space is devoted to windows. It is fair to
assume that the stained glass style then prevailing in France must have
accompanied its sister, Gothic architecture, upon the latter's invasion
of England, and an examination of the early medallions at Canterbury
tends to confirm this theory. Since à Becket was having the new Gothic
of Sens copied, why not also its admirable glazing? In any event we know
that French glass was well known and much admired by the English, and
later we shall recount several instances of its being brought to glaze
English churches, and even requirements made in English contracts that
French and not domestic glass should be provided. While it is true that
the early glass of Sens Cathedral is not so abundant as that of the
sixteenth century, we have come here at this time because nothing finer
is known than the few medallion windows which remain to us along the
north wall of the choir. They date from the end of the twelfth century
and are large, strong in tone, and in excellent preservation. The
clerestory lights of the choir are filled with attractive examples of
grisaille enlivened by large geometric figures in points of red, blue,
etc. These designs are constructed with slender lines and without too
much colour, so that plenty of soft silvery light is admitted to
illuminate the choir below. So well lighted is it from the clerestory
above that we are forced to conclude that all the chapel embrasures
below must at one time have been filled with the gloom-producing
medallions. It is unfortunate that the original set of medallions below
is not complete, because if it were, we would now be able to see, thanks
to the charming grisaille in the clerestory, a perfect combination of
the well-lighted choir surrounded by the sombre gleam of its protecting
chapels. Such a combination is rare. At Tours, at Troyes, even at
Bourges, we find ourselves wishing that we had a little more light from
above to set off by contrast the dark splendour of the jewelled caverns
below. The clerestory at Sens shows us just the luminous effect which
we have sought elsewhere, but, alas! our coloured dusk below, which
should go hand in hand with it, has been almost entirely dissipated. As
a result we are left with an impression of too bright an interior. The
minster gloom with all its dignity is gone! We shall return later to
Sens to see its splendid glass of the sixteenth century (see page 218).


TROYES

Of all the French schools of glass which at one time or another gained
renown, none ever surpassed that of Champagne. Not only do we know this
from the pages of history, but it is easily proved by the innumerable
examples found in the many churches of Troyes, the ancient capital of
that province. The fame of the glass artists of Champagne not only began
early but lasted long. In fact, in its capital, the perfected methods of
the sixteenth century became so firmly established that their style and
vigour lasted far over into the seventeenth century, which was not
generally true elsewhere. Troyes has always enjoyed prominence and that,
too, along different lines; "Troy weight" testifies to the wide fame of
its jewellers. In our travels we shall observe that most towns have but
one or two churches whose windows repay a visit. Troyes and Rouen are
the marked exceptions to this rule, for in each we shall find many well
worth examining and a great wealth of glass. Then, too, both these
cities provide facilities for studying the art from the earliest to the
latest period of its golden age. We will postpone consideration of Rouen
until we take up the sixteenth century because its thirteenth century
glass is unimportant. This is not true of Troyes, for if by some sudden
calamity all its splendid Renaissance windows were destroyed, we would
still most heartily recommend that our pilgrim visit the city to see the
early glass in the cathedral and in the fairy-like church of St. Urbain.
These two buildings alone provide the best of reasons for including
Troyes in this tour. The story of the foundation of that architectural
eggshell, St. Urbain, is very interesting. In 1261 there became Pope a
certain Jacques Pantaléon, a native of Troyes. After his elevation to
the pontificate he remembered his humble beginnings, and so far from
being ashamed that his father had been a small shopkeeper, he bought
the ground whereon his father's shop had stood, as well as some of
the neighbouring buildings, and erected, about 1263, one of the
most delightful and airy examples of fragile grace in all Gothic
architecture. The walls seem literally to be constructed of glass, so
slender are the stone uprights between the windows, and so wholly is
this little church uplifted and upheld by the innumerable flying
buttresses that stretch away from its roof and delicate sides like the
supporting guy ropes of a tent. At the Ste. Chapelle in Paris we noticed
that although medallion panels give a splendid dark warmth, they do not
admit light enough for a small structure. Perhaps in St. Urbain we shall
feel there is too much light. The medallions of the period are there,
but only in small numbers and imbedded in large fields of silvery
grisaille. The lower half of the clerestory windows is in grisaille and
it is only in the upper half that we find coloured figures. While it is
true that we lose the silvery hue that simple grisaille generally
yields, still, in exchange, we receive a low-toned glow that is
delightful. The proportion of glass surface to wall space is here so
great that if the grisaille had not been warmed by touches of colour,
there would really have been a glare, though the embrasures contain no
white glass. The more we study the subject the clearer it becomes that
the glazier thoroughly understood and appreciated the possibilities of
the medium in which he worked.

As we pass from St. Urbain to the larger and more impressive Cathedral
of St. Pierre, we shall notice that although the artist felt the
necessity for the lighter treatment in the dainty chapel-like church, he
found it more appropriate in the larger edifice to so glaze his windows
as to fill the place with the more solemn and dignified light suited to
its greater size. The choir of the cathedral provides an unusually
complete and satisfying example of this period, not only in its girdle
of chapels, but also above in the gorgeous row of thirteen clerestory
windows from which ferocious-looking figures stare down upon us from
glittering eyes leaded into Byzantine faces. Splendid as they are, we
feel that a little more light should have been admitted, and this
thought must also have struck the glazier, because he resorted to a
trick in the choir chapels to better illumine the eastern part of the
structure. If you will step into one of these chapels you will find that
in most of them he has substituted grisaille for the medallions in the
lancet on either hand nearest the choir. When you stood in the choir
ambulatory, this device escaped you because the arch which provides the
entrance to the chapel conceals these two nearest lancets. The result of
the trick is that two side-lights, properly softened by the grisaille,
are thrown into the chapel. If white panes had been used, they would
have illuminated the inner side of the medallion panels, thus revealing
their ugly machinery of leads, and, worse still, effectually destroying
their power to transmit a combination of colour and glow. Ample
illumination has been furnished this cathedral by its pierced triforium
and the great expanse of its clerestory, but, thanks to the remarkably
warm tone of the glass, we do not find it anywhere overlighted. Even the
later glass which adorns the nave and transepts and which we will
discuss farther on, is so unusually strong in colour that we avoid that
sharpness of contrast between thirteenth and fifteenth century work to
be seen at Bourges. Decidedly, St. Pierre is one of the most beautiful
interiors in France for the glass lover, and he should not fail to see
what the best examples of the Champagne school has done for this church,
the charm of which lays hold upon him directly he enters it (see page
222).


CHALONS-SUR-MARNE

Certain travellers and most tourists think they can, from studying maps
and reading books, obtain a very fair impression of a town before they
visit it, and that the chief result of their visit will be to fill in
sundry local details. If people of that ilk desire to remain high in
their own estimation, they had best omit Chalons from their travels. Let
us assume that one of these aforesaid folk plans a visit to Chalons. He
will probably begin by studying the map, which shows a city seemingly
drawn out along both sides of a long, straight street. His practised
mind will conclude this the proper method to enter the town and that he
can easily find his way about. Step number two will be the consultation
of histories. Here he will fall upon the account of the great Battle of
Chalons, in which Attila, the "Scourge of God," met in 451 his final
check, the combined army of Romans, Franks and Visigoths there putting a
bloody end to his dream of an anti-Christian empire erected upon the
crumbling remains of "the power that once was Rome's." Anyone who has
noticed how surprisingly few decisive victories have been followed by
widespread or lasting results must have remarked that the Battle of
Chalons stands out prominently as an exception to this rule. So much for
what the maps and the histories have disclosed to our experienced
tourist. He is doomed to a bitter disappointment. To-day in this quiet
little city of yellowish-grey houses he will find nothing reminiscent of
that old-time victory. Not only will his dip into history thus prove to
have been in vain, but what is more, the street plan has given him a
very wrong idea of a really very pretty place. The writer himself well
remembers how the map misled him. He remarked thereon the long straight
street; therefore, on emerging from the railway station, he proceeded up
this tiresome thoroughfare, which he found equipped with the usual
provincial tram-line, both trying to tie the older part of the town to
the distant railway station that bears its name. As a disappointment
this first impression of Chalons was a pronounced success! Don't fall
into the same error. This was the wrong way to enter the town, but there
is also a right way, especially for one who believes in first
impressions.

If you want to be in a mood to enjoy the glass, branch off to the right
when you reach the canal (which is not far from the station), and you
will come into a park called the Jard, one of the prettiest combinations
of green trees and water to be found in any provincial French city. On
a later visit the writer stumbled upon this park, with the result that
instead of a mental picture of an ugly town built on both sides of an
ugly street, he carried away pleasantly revised memories not only of the
charming Jard, but also of several little water-courses meandering
through the town, affording lovely vistas every now and again in most
unexpected ways. It seems certain that these streams feel equally
bitterly about the ugly street, because as soon as they come near it,
they promptly hide their heads and pass under it, carefully keeping out
of sight in small tunnels. Wait until you see the street, and you won't
blame the streams. Now that you have by means of the woody refreshment
of the green Jard purified your perceptions from the taint of railway
dirt, let us enter the cathedral. We shall find the glass more
interesting and instructive than impressive, but to this general
observation we must make an exception on behalf of the thirteenth
century windows in the clerestory behind and above the altar; they
undeniably leave little to be desired. The blue of their backgrounds
combines excellently with the tones of the figures. In one of the panels
which shows the Crucifixion, we can readily discern that the bars
supporting it at the back (called saddle bars) have been moved to one
side so as not to interfere with the two figures on either side of the
cross. This displacement of the saddle bars to leave undisturbed the
drawing of an important personage was quite usual at that time. Later
on the glazier seemed to have no objection to the intrusion of the iron
bars, just as he grew to disregard the running of his leads across
faces, arms, etc. This church also boasts of a fine rose window in the
north transept, which is rendered even more effective by the gallery of
lancets beneath it. The especial interest of the cathedral to a student
of glass is undoubtedly its grisaille windows, some plain and some
banded across by highly-coloured panels of the medallion type. This
latter arrangement we find along the north wall of the nave, while those
containing grisaille alone are in the triforium and clerestory. In the
case of the banded ones we shall notice that it is only the middle third
of each which has the highly-coloured panels, all the rest being
grisaille, doubtless for the purpose of giving plenty of light to the
nave. Although a most interesting arrangement, the effect is not that of
great beauty. Some of the narrow triforium panels have a border of plain
grisaille surrounding the central panel of colour work in which there
are no figures; this is quite unusual. A study of the use of colour with
grisaille in that century is not complete without a visit to Chalons,
but this having been said we must admit that notwithstanding the
splendid panels in the choir clerestory and the fine rose window in the
north transept, there are several more inspiring places for one wishing
to learn how greatly thirteenth century glass can beautify a religious
interior. Some of the finest and most valuable twelfth and thirteenth
century panels have been removed from the cathedral, and are now the
property of the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, in Paris. Unfortunately they
are not always on exhibition. On the south side of the nave is a fine
series of Renaissance windows, but these, together with the grey and
gold figure panels of St. Alpin, and the excellent coloured ones of the
fine church of Notre Dame, will be discussed in our sixteenth century
pilgrimages (see page 233).


RHEIMS

Royal Rheims! In this title, "apt alliteration's artful aid" not only
appeals to our ear, but is also fully justified by history. In its
splendid cathedral were crowned almost all the kings of France, the
sacred oil used in the ceremony having been, saith the old legend,
brought from heaven by a dove for the baptism in 496 of Clovis, King of
the Franks, and thereafter preserved in a sacred vessel locked away in
the tomb of St. Remi. Because of this having been for so many years, nay
centuries, the place of royal consecration, what more appropriate
decoration could have been devised for the great clerestory embrasures
than the series of the first thirty-six kings of France, each window
containing in its lower half the archbishop that consecrated the king
above him! All these seventy-two figures are seated, because convention
demanded this if the personage represented was dead. Down upon us from
their lofty station about the nave clerestory gleam these long rows of
the royalties and ecclesiastical dignitaries of France, a marvellous
exemplification of what colour in glass can accomplish. An echoing gleam
comes to us from the clerestory of the choir; but there the figures are
those of great bishops, not only of Rheims, but also of other cities in
its diocese, like Laon, Soissons, etc. At first thought it may seem bad
English to speak of a gleam of light as an echo of another gleam, but
before you criticise the expression, stand patiently for awhile in this
great house of God, looking up at these splendid windows; perhaps there
will at last come over you a feeling that in all this noble harmony of
colour, this blending of soft tones, there is--there must be--some dim
harmony of music. One never receives this peculiar impression except
from glass of the thirteenth century; later glass lacks the depth and
vibration of tone, even though it gains added brilliancy. Especially
splendid is the effect of the kings dominating the nave below. Those
near the transepts have a deep blue background, whilst a few close to
the west end have behind and around them a soft, rich red. There is no
other place where such sombre depth of hue can be seen in a clerestory
glazed during the thirteenth century. At Bourges they are magnificent,
but their beauty is of a different and brighter sort. Here at Rheims,
although raised high in the air, they yield the same dusky glow that
elsewhere we usually find in the medallion panels of the choir chapels
below. So wonderful are the windows above you that there is a fair
chance that you would have left the cathedral without noticing that
below there are no medallion windows at all; in fact, that practically
none of its lower panes are glazed in colour. This is owing to the
almost incredible folly of the monks of Rheims who, in the years
1739-68, removed the coloured glass from the lower embrasures to admit
more light. During the two years following October, 1755, they committed
the same act of vandalism in the church of St. Remi. The cathedral has
three fine rose windows, of which the western one with its bright-hued
gallery of kings below it is far the best. The north rose window is
good, although we miss the qualities which the north rose of Notre Dame
at Paris has taught us to expect. The south rose contains glass of the
sixteenth century and therefore seems pale and out of place amidst the
older glories. The west rosace should be seen toward sunset so as to get
the rays of the sun passing directly through it. Earlier in the day it
is almost gloomy in tone. There has been much discussion as to the
interpretation of the figures in the gallery of kings below, but now it
seems settled that it represents the coronation of the converted pagan
Clovis, King of the Franks. The windows of the transepts are glazed with
grisaille of a very greenish tone and somewhat darker than that
generally found at this time. Among them we observe one of the series of
bishops which has apparently crept away from its fellows in the choir
and come around the corner into the south transept. Although the bishop
series lacks, to some extent, the crude, almost savage glory of the
nave's stern array of kings, they are more carefully made. As in the
king windows, here also we find an upper and a lower row of personages,
but in addition, a feature very much out of the ordinary and which
should be remarked. Instead of placing two bishops below to balance the
two above, there is but one bishop below in each window, while the space
adjoining him is occupied by a fanciful representation of his cathedral.
There is no attempt to accurately portray the building, although the
glass artist might as well have done so, for he has gone to the pains of
making no two of these little cathedral pictures alike. So minutely has
he gone into detail that each has a tiny rose window and each rose is
markedly different from the others. The idea is a quaint one and shows
the artist to have been fertile in ideas. So dark are the faces of the
bishops as to make them look in one or two cases as though they were
wearing masks. This effect is heightened by the fact that the eyes are
glazed in lighter hues.

In the midst of all this gorgeous and sparkling colour, what a splendid
picture may we not conjure up of the scene on the 17th day of July,
1429, when Charles VII, led in by Joan of Arc, had here the kingly crown
placed upon his brow. With what vast satisfaction must the grand old
kings have gleamed and glowed in sombre delight that their glorious
cathedral was once more French, once more fulfilling its centuries-old
duty of consecrating a French king, and especially that all this had
been effected by a staunch French maid, than whom patriotism has never
had a more worthy exemplar. It was but common justice that during the
act of coronation of the king to whom she had restored not only a
throne, but also a united people, she stood at the foot of the altar
holding aloft her victorious standard. A chronicler of the time truly
said that having shared in all the hardships she richly deserved to
share in the honours.

Not only in the cathedral do we glass hunters find justification for the
title "Royal Rheims." Once more we shall see a row of French kings, this
time in the small nave clerestory lights of the old church of St. Remi.
In manner similar to that employed at the cathedral we also find bishops
adorning the choir clerestory. Fine as these two series are, and
valuable, too (because they are earlier), we must confess that they do
not produce the effect which the wonderful depth of colour gave us at
the cathedral. The choir clerestory embrasures are really too small to
afford room for the two rows of bishops one above the other. The choir
chapel windows are partly modern, and partly old with too much
restoration, so that the effect is not coherent. We must, however,
remark a fine Crucifixion in the middle of the east end. It is
undoubtedly twelfth century and, although technically well worthy of
observation, lacks the beauty which we have a right to expect from that
period. The glass in the large, round Romanesque embrasures at the west
end, although copied on old models, is modern and very thin in colour. A
careful look at the nave clerestory will reveal that in order to
complete the set of seated kings a novel method was adopted. Many of the
original panels were divided in two at the middle, the upper half being
used in one embrasure and the lower half in another, the missing half in
each case being supplied by modern glass made to imitate the old. This
reads as though the effect would be bad, but on the contrary, it is
fairly good and, at all events, the designs are in accordance with the
original drawings.

Besides its glass, Rheims has another great attraction for the traveller
in its wealth of tapestry. A magnificent series of ten presented in 1530
by Robert de Lenoncourt hangs in the transepts of St. Remi, whilst in
the cathedral we shall find around the nave walls another series of
fourteen given in the same year by the same donor. The cathedral is also
adorned with other tapestries which, although perhaps not of such
engrossing interest as the Lenoncourt series, are nevertheless
treasures. As glass viewers it is well to observe that the rich
decoration provided by these splendid hangings prevents us from noticing
the otherwise obnoxious glare from the uncoloured windows just over
them. We mention this here because as between two interesting glass
towns some of our readers might incline to one where tapestries can be
seen in addition to the glass. The Cathedral of Angers provides also the
same double inducement.


SOISSONS

During the two tours just concluded we have visited all the most
important treasure-houses of thirteenth century glass.

There is, however, a very agreeable secondary tour. Regarded as a glass
pilgrimage, it is not to be compared with the two which we have
finished, but this must not be taken to mean that the glass will not be
worth inspection. Besides, most of the windows to be seen are of the
period, thus making it an essentially thirteenth century pilgrimage. To
one in whom the love of glass and devotion to the gentle sport of
automobiling is about equal, this trip will be much more attractive than
the last two. The scenery through which he will pass and the history
that will be recalled will add very much to the charm of this itinerary
and it is therefore particularly recommended to the automobilist and
especially to the exercise-loving bicyclist. The distances between the
towns are not great and the landscape is varied and delightful.
Beginning with Soissons, our road lies through the picturesque mediæval
stronghold of Coucy-le-Château to the high-perched hill city of Laon,
then over the plain at its foot to battleworn St. Quentin, and lastly
across the rolling country to the splendid Cathedral of Amiens. Amiens
is on the line of the Paris-London expresses, so we have excellent train
service back to Paris.

We will let the traveller find his way as best he may from Paris to
Soissons and will join him there. He will soon observe that there has
departed from Soissons the ancient glory which was hers when under
Clovis, the great king of the Franks, she became the capital of his
strong province of Neustria. To-day we find a quiet provincial city
of only about 13,000 inhabitants, where the chief movement and life
seems to centre in the barracks. One noticeable feature of the town
is the really fine west front, all that remains of the Abbey of St.
Jean-des-Vignes, for nine years the home of the exiled Thomas à Becket.
Even from its present denuded state of desolate loneliness one realises
how splendid the complete building must have been, and the now empty and
staring rose window above the central portal makes us sigh for the
stained glass that must once have adorned that huge opening.

Soissons is one of the towns which benefited by the great love felt by
St. Louis and his mother, Blanche of Castile, for stained glass. The
northern rose of the cathedral is a proof of their beneficence, and is
an excellent example of its type. The central pane is occupied by a
figure of the Virgin Mary, and circling round her are the medallion
panels which are so much more satisfactory than the spokes-of-a-wheel
treatment so popular in the next century. Around the outside of the
medallions is a double border of panels containing the arms of the royal
benefactress, a field of red bearing the golden castles of Castile. As
for the rest of the interior, so much of its original glazing has been
destroyed that the effect of glow is entirely dissipated. The nave has
lost its coloured panels, and only fragments remain in the western rose.
The large lancets about the east end of the choir clerestory are most
decorative, and further, they provide an opportunity of testing our
ability to judge glass. At first sight we are convinced that they are of
true thirteenth century mosaic work, and might continue to think so, if
they were not betrayed by the comparison afforded by the two genuine
medallion lancets just below them in the Lady Chapel. Even then we may
remain undecided, which indecision is justified when we learn their
history. They were repaired and restored in 1816, much of the old glass
being retained and the old designs carefully followed. This explains not
only why they lack the depth of tone seen in the complete medallions
below them, but also why they were so deceptive until this touchstone of
comparison was applied. Notice the Adam and Eve window to the right, as
the design is very unusual. In the six scenes there depicted, one above
the other, Adam and Eve are of course nude, and appear always she on
the left side and he on the right of each little scene, with some other
personage or object between them in the middle. As a result we have a
perpendicular column of Eves on one side and of Adams on the other, the
light glass used to make the flesh colour forming a secondary border for
the window. The southern transept is an architectural freak, because
instead of a rose window it has a rounded end like the apse chapel
generally found at the eastern extremity of a church. As a novelty it is
agreeable, but it deprives the glazier of one of his rose windows.


LAON

Those proceeding upon this pilgrimage by automobile or bicycle, will
find a treat awaiting them between Soissons and Laon. The road lies
through Coucy-le-Château, the impressive and well-preserved ruin of a
massive mediæval fortress. The huge round towers at its corners,
connected by walls thirty-five feet thick, frown down from their rocky
perch upon a pleasant valley below. Snuggled up against these protecting
walls is the little town, which we enter by a narrow gateway crowded in
between two great solemn towers. On we go through the narrow old streets
and out another well-defended portal and off on our journey. When first
we espy Laon we are far off on the rolling plain which surrounds its
base. It looms high in the air, the four towers of its cathedral peering
out above the encircling houses, all seeming to keep watch over the
tiring zigzags by means of which the road lazily climbs the height. A
city built upon a hill always possesses a fascination, more especially
when it has a history as long and interesting as this one. The lofty
situation makes the town seem to hold itself aloof and lends it a
certain proud mystery which impels us to seek to know more of it--to
penetrate its reserve. Laon is even more picturesque and striking than
most French hill towns, because the height upon which it stands rises
abruptly from a great plain. None of the height is lost and thus all the
beauty is saved. After observing how remote it is upon its long, narrow
hilltop, one can well understand why the later Carlovingian kings
selected this stronghold for their capital. In those early times there
was no artillery to endanger their loftily secure repose. The cathedral,
which is a really fine one, presents us with some of those familiarly
quaint touches that prove Gothic architecture to have been so close to
the heart of its times. Perched aloft among the open spaces that
interpenetrate its light towers, are life-size statues of oxen, in
kindly memory of the beasts of burden that hauled up from the plain
below the great stones used in the building. Within the cathedral,
although there is but little glass, it is all of this period and,
besides, is so grouped as to do itself the greatest credit possible. All
we shall find is a rose filled with medallions in the north transept and
another and far finer one in the square eastern end, below which are
ranged three gorgeous lancets of imposing dimensions. The northern rose
contains scenes representing the sciences as understood and practised in
the thirteenth century. One's memory of this rose is blue with hints of
green, while of the eastern series it is reddish purple. The centre
of the splendid eastern rose is occupied by a figure of the Virgin Mary
between John the Baptist and Isaiah, and around this group are two
circles of medallions, the inner one of twelve containing the Apostles,
and the outer, of twenty-four, the Elders of the Apocalypse. This
concentration of all the old glass in these two quarters has the
satisfactory result that anyone standing at the crossing and looking
either into the north transept or into the choir, sees nothing but the
splendid richness of mosaic medallions, and is not distracted by the
sight of any other style of glazing. The placing of this fine glass more
than compensates for its limited amount. After this sweeping praise, we
may indulge ourselves in one mild criticism: the glass in the east end
would seem richer still if it were not so much illuminated from within
by the white glazed windows along the sides of the choir. If this were
toned down, even by modern glass, it would cause a decided improvement.
At St. Quentin, we are more than reconciled to the presence of modern
glass in the chapels around the choir, because it so modifies the light
as to permit the thirteenth century panels in the choir clerestory to
sparkle and gleam as they should. The north rose at Laon is of rare
construction; the stone framework is so cumbersome, and the amount of
glazed surface so modest, as to almost destroy the appearance of a
rosace, and to substitute therefor that of a series of holes let
into a wall. Also notice that the east rose is glazed flush with the
stonework, thus presenting a level surface on the inside, while just
below, in marked contrast, the three lancets are deeply recessed within.
This method of constructing a rose is unusual; another example is the
west rose at Mantes. The square eastern end, instead of the usual
rounded apse, is believed to be one of the many results seen throughout
this diocese of the influence exerted by a twelfth century English
bishop. Whatever the reason for this square apse, it admirably suits the
rest of the edifice.

 [Illustration: 13TH CENTURY ROSE AND LANCETS, LAON.
     _Medallions are admirably suited to rounded apertures in Rose,
     and assist in producing effect of huge blossom; later the lines
     radiated more from the centre and tended toward a wheel
     effect._]

Before leaving this delightful hilltop, we must not fail to take a
stroll around the boulevards which have been constructed upon the
overturned walls. The views from this promenade out over the great
plain below linger long in one's memory.


ST. QUENTIN

A few miles from Madrid lies the famous palace of the Escorial, built
upon a ground plan following as closely as possible the shape of a
gridiron. It was erected by King Philip II in pious memory of his famous
victory at St. Quentin on St. Lawrence's Day, 1557. St. Lawrence
achieved martyrdom by being roasted alive on a gridiron, hence
the selection of that humble utensil as a design for the royal
thank-offering. There are few more interesting monuments to commemorate
a victory, and one would hardly expect to hear that a battle won in
northern France is commemorated by a palace far to the south across the
Pyrenees. Many a time in history did St. Quentin make herself famous by
her stout defences, but none ever won her so much fame as this defeat
which, by delaying the Spanish forces, enabled the French armies to
assemble behind her and save Paris. It was a great victory for Philip,
but it cost him the possession of the French capital.

As we stood upon the lofty heights at Laon, we looked far out over a
wide plain, across which, forty-five kilometres to the northwest, lies
St. Quentin. The quiet streets of this well-to-do city afford little to
remind us of the mediæval strife that so often raged through them. We
hear no sounds that recall to us the angry noises of besiegers without,
which so often carried dismay to the stout hearts of its burghers.
Unlike Laon, its situation and its buildings now present little to
recall the picture of the past. The huge barn-like exterior of its great
church is quite different from those we have been seeing. Even its
triple-tiered flying buttresses have so short a span as to entirely miss
the decorating possibilities which we have a right to expect. It lacks
the lightness and grace of the true Gothic; in fact, to tell the truth,
it looms up big and bulky, more like an Italian church than the
beautiful French ones. But when we have once passed inside, we are
provided with a most agreeable surprise, for it is much more attractive
than many whose external promise has been greater. There are two sets of
transepts, one beyond the other, which unusual feature not only enhances
the charm of the interior, but also causes its beauty to reveal itself
in a more leisurely fashion. But to the glass! In the choir clerestory
are seven double windows, of which the lancets each hold two great
dignitaries, one above the other. The small rosaces above, which serve
to tie together these pairs of lancets, are very pleasing, nor should
we fail to note the handsome wide borders of the lancets themselves,
plentifully besprinkled with fleur de lis. We must particularly
appreciate the service performed by the modern glass around the choir
chapels in so subduing the light as to permit these splendid lancets to
receive all their illumination from without and therefore to disclose,
undiminished in any way, that warm glow that makes them so delightful.
The hideous polychrome painting of the interior also assists in this
fruitful modification of the light, but this is the only possible
apology for its presence! The oldest glass here is that which fills the
two side windows of the Lady Chapel. Each has twenty medallions, those
on the left showing Old Testament scenes, and those on the right,
episodes from the life of the Virgin. One of the large transepts has a
moderately-sized rose window which does not as usual contain figures,
but, instead, is filled with designs in colour. The absence of the
figures does not spoil the effect; in fact, the story depicted in glass
of this period is nothing like so important as the colour scheme. The
details of the legend are generally elaborately worked out, often in
quaint episodes, but upon this the beauty of the window does not depend.
Indeed, it is not until we are at such a distance that we can no longer
distinguish the little figures that the charm of the glass begins to lay
hold upon us. The reason we do not find more thirteenth century panels
here is because the older part of the church was reconstructed during
the reign of Louis XI. Furthermore, when we consider the many sieges to
which the town has been subjected, as well as the great fire of October
14, 1669, it seems strange that even this much of so fragile a treasure
has survived. In this connection it is interesting to learn that in
1557, Philip II instructed his artillery to avoid hitting the great
church. This very appreciation of art and respect for religion perhaps
explains why, as soon as he had captured the city, he so promptly
confiscated the church's gorgeous tapestries to be used later in
decorating the Escorial! In 1766 an attempt was made to negotiate for
them so that they could be restored to their original home, but the
Spaniards replied that they could not part with so glorious a trophy.
Nor was the ravaging hand of the warrior the only hostile force to which
the unfortunate edifice was subjected. January 25, 1572, during a
tempest, one of the great choir windows was blown in, and on Easter Day,
1582, the same fate befell the great window of the first northern
transept, this time with fatal results, for in falling it killed four
priests. The old glass in the nave clerestory was removed by the
monks in 1747 to secure more light, which form of vandalism was,
unfortunately, only too common. We must not leave without commenting
upon what a delightful monument of fifteenth century Gothic is afforded
by the south end of the easterly transepts. Below is a chapel shut in by
a light stone screen of admirable design; above it the stretch of wall
is relieved with gracefully carved patterns, while higher still appear
four large lancets surmounted by a rosace, all excellently glazed. The
lancets have richly coloured single figures below canopies of such size
that their pinnacles occupy more than half the height of the embrasures.
The only criticism possible of the otherwise satisfactory adjustment of
the various portions of this south wall is that the rose is too high up
and too small to balance the splendid lancets below it. Of sixteenth
century glass there are two fine examples in the north end of this same
pair of transepts, but we will postpone further reference to them until
later on (see page 269).

Before leaving the town, one should visit the Salle Syndicale in the
Hotel de Ville in order to see the fine François Premier fireplace, and
the double arched ceiling with its quaint corbels. The windows of this
room formerly contained a long series of sixteenth century scenes from
the life and labours of Hercules, but a Prussian shell destroyed all but
five of them.

When he leaves St. Quentin, bound for Amiens, the traveller by railway
is quite as well off as the automobilist or the bicyclist. Up to this
stage of our journey the two latter have had a decided advantage, but
now the country has less attractions to offer and the road is one of
those straight Routes Nationales whose only apology for their monotony
is that they save distance.


AMIENS

At Amiens there is not much glass, and yet the student will not have
wasted his time, for he will there see one of the finest cathedrals in
Europe, and will furthermore be able to note what the lack of coloured
glass means, in this way learning to value it even more highly than
before. If a visit to this great church renders us no other service than
this, we shall all agree that it is no small one. We shall never again
question that a magnificent ecclesiastical interior is not only vastly
improved, but actually needs its light tempered by stained glass. Our
pilgrim has long ere this learnt that he cannot always rely on
guide-books to tell him whether or not fine windows are to be found in
certain towns, and therefore we may serve a useful purpose and save some
reader a disappointing trip by setting out the facts. The cathedral owes
its chief beauty to the extraordinary detail and amount of sculpture
to be found without and within. So complete are the scriptural events
chronicled upon its west front that Ruskin has given it the title of the
"Bible in Stone." Nor are the carvings which are to be found inside in
any way inferior to those which fascinate us without. The stone screen
which runs around the ambulatory would alone repay much study, but the
most notable display of the carver's art is the little army of nearly
four thousand figures upon the choir stalls. Notwithstanding this wealth
of sculpture, we are struck by the bareness of the lofty interior. We
long for a touch of mystery and cannot but feel that in the glare of
light streaming through the immensely tall uncoloured windows everything
is too clearly revealed and there is lacking the softness which would
add so much to the beauty of the carvings. What a change there would be
for the better if we could wave a wand and by some fairy power will back
into the windows their ancient glories. Everything is too stately and
cold, too sharply outlined; in fact, far too much denuded of the
mysterious charm, the awe-inspiring gloom which lays hold upon us at
Chartres or Bourges.

Although but little of its glass has survived, it is almost all of the
thirteenth century, and some is very good. In one of the choir chapels
to the left is an interesting Tree of Jesse in the medallion style. The
left window of the easternmost chapel has a charming blue background
and a novel use of small white birds in its border. Above us in the
easternmost window of the clerestory (the only one in the clerestory
that has survived intact) another unique feature catches the eye--its
four slender lancets contain some very decorative lettering introduced
into the design. This lettering is glazed in white on a blue background
and its legend when deciphered sets out that those three windows were
given by Bernard d'Abbeville, Bishop of Amiens, in the year 1269. In
contrast to these meagre remains of glass, there are also to be seen
three fine rose windows which are completely glazed. They all have
quaint names, that in the west façade being called the "Rose of the
Sea"; that in the north the "Rose of the Winds"; that in the south the
"Rose of Heaven." This poetic and quaintly familiar method of naming
windows is not unknown elsewhere; it is also found at Chartres. The huge
western rose, thirty-eight feet in diameter, although dating from 1241,
has lost its original glass and was reglazed in the sixteenth century.
There are no figures in the north rose, but instead a mosaic of colour;
we have noticed a similar arrangement at St. Quentin. In the south rose,
red predominates, but with it there is also considerable green. If the
reader decides to visit Amiens, notwithstanding the small amount of
glass to be seen there, he will surely conclude that the day has not
been wasted, for he will not leave that splendid interior without a
truer appreciation of the great service which the glass artist rendered
to the architect, as well as a sigh for the fragile beauty which is no
longer there.



FOURTEENTH AND FIFTEENTH CENTURIES


Nowhere in art can there be found so abrupt a change of style as that
which marks in stained glass the arrival of the fourteenth century. So
noticeable is the difference between the windows of the thirteenth and
those of the fourteenth centuries that it can be seen at a glance. Not
only were the new styles very distinctive, but they were also very
enduring, for even when the fifteenth century arrived it did little but
elaborate the ideas introduced by the fourteenth, and for that reason we
should consider them together as forming one epoch. The new results
which we now find are not only in effect, but also in light and in
placing of figures. This transformation took place within a few years
and was, therefore, as sudden in point of time as it was in treatment,
which latter is so marked that it excites our curiosity as to its
causes. It is safe to assume that we have here happened upon not only
one novelty but a coincidence of several, as otherwise the change
would have been much less abrupt. Most of the new elements which in
combination so suddenly produced such a sweeping change can be studied
from the glass which has survived to these modern days, but of one
we can now only read: this was the demand for domestic glass, and
unfortunately but few examples of it are left to us. The old chroniclers
tell us of many private houses and buildings devoted to civil uses
having their windows glazed in colour, a form of luxury hitherto found
only in religious edifices. We know that it then began to be widely
used, especially in Paris, but it did not survive the turbulence of
those times. The effect of this novel use on glass styles was very
marked. Obviously it was not practicable to employ the same sort of
glass in the smaller rooms of a dwelling house that we have seen so
effective in the larger interiors of religious edifices. We notice that
beautiful as is the thirteenth century Ste. Chapelle, its "dim religious
light" is unsuited for any building devoted to secular uses. No, the
medallion window with its deep-toned panes and profusion of leads would
not serve for civil or domestic purposes, nor, on the other hand, could
we bring down the big personages from the clerestories of cathedrals;
they were most impressive when seen from the distance which their lofty
situation necessitated, but they were much too crude and coarse in their
workmanship to be lowered to the level of the observer's eye. For this
new demand of domestic architecture it was obvious that something must
be devised which would give more light. One method of effecting it was
using coloured figures on a soft grisaille background, but this has
only to be seen to be found unsatisfactory. Some examples of this exist
in the north side of Ste. Radegonde at Poitiers. They are interesting,
but the figures start out from the light background so violently as to
plainly make them unsuitable in small interiors. Plain grisaille was not
rich enough to be used in a fine private house. As a compromise between
these two methods they arrived at the use of a border of greyish
simulated Gothic architecture to frame the central coloured figure of a
window. In this way the border admitted the light and the figure gave
the richness; these Gothic frames were called "canopies." But why a
frame of architecture? The interest in Gothic had by this time spread
throughout the fair land of France. Many beautiful examples of it had
just come into being before people's eyes--it was the delight of all. It
was but natural that this noble style, still young, should be introduced
by the glazier, especially as it lent itself to the demand for more
light. Besides, in knowledge of Gothic, the glass artist was second only
to the architect, as the windows were made to suit the church, not the
church the windows. This observation upon the relation of the glazier
to the architect brings us to another reason for the abrupt change in
stained glass, and of this we can to-day readily find examples. We have
said that the artist had to make his glass to suit the window apertures.
About that time the architect was changing their shape. Instead of
being broad and single windows they were now more numerous but narrower
and taller, and were brought together in groups of two or more,
separated only by stone mullions. Above this cluster of narrow lancets
and in order to taper them off gracefully, were placed smaller openings
called tracery lights. Without this tapering at the top, the group below
would look unfinished and ill-proportioned. The few, though wide windows
used during the thirteenth century were found to give too little light,
and, besides, were not as decorative as the Gothic architect demanded
for his more elaborate style. This new period in architecture is called
"Decorated," which name has also properly been applied to its glass. The
architect not only did everything in his power to gain more light by
providing many more wall apertures, but doubtless he also insisted that
the glazier assist in this endeavour. We have just seen that the latter
complied with this request by surrounding his coloured figures with
light-admitting architectural frames of greyish-yellow. Nor did he stop
there: he helped the architect to bind together more harmoniously his
groups of narrow lights into which the whole window was now split up,
for he realised that horizontal bands of light colour placed straight
across these narrow lights would effect this purpose. The slender stone
mullions which divided them showed too many perpendicular lines and
tended to make the windows seem spindling, but this was corrected by
the broad bands of light afforded by the grey and yellow canopy tops
running along over the heads of the saints occupying the tall narrow
panes. Perhaps the reader is already asking whence the artist obtained
so much grey and yellow, because thirteenth century glass leaves rather
a strong purple memory behind it. To answer this question is to bring
forward another new thing and one which also had a large share in
abruptly changing the styles. About the beginning of the fourteenth
century it was discovered that if silver were floated upon the surface
of glass and then exposed to the furnace, the result would be a bright
yellow stain. The word "stain" is used advisedly, because by this method
the surface received a durable colour not removable like paint. We have
already seen that pot-metal colour was introduced throughout the mass
during the time of the making of the glass and was therefore part of it
from the beginning. This new stain was not applied until after the glass
was made, and no other tint but yellow could be produced in this way.
The discovery of this valuable secret has been variously recounted, but
always the credit is given to blind chance, some silver happening to
drip upon glass which, when burnt, disclosed to the surprised workman
the new and beautiful yellow. Its great value in admitting light as well
as in enriching the tones of a window was at once appreciated. No longer
was it necessary to laboriously lead in a bit of yellow pot-metal glass
where that hue was demanded by the design. Now all that was done was to
float a little silver upon a large piece of glass at the point or points
required, expose it to the fire, and behold! a tint that made glorious
the hair of angels, or the robes of saints and high dignitaries. Touches
of this rich colour also made possible architectural frames which would
otherwise have seemed dull, flat and opaquely grey. Each little pinnacle
could be brightened up, lines of yellow would enliven columns and the
canopy window in its light soft beauty was made practicable.

 [Illustration: 15TH CENTURY "CANOPY" WINDOW, ST. LÔ.
     _Name given because of Gothic canopy used to frame the coloured
     figures. The pale grey glass in the canopy portion admitted much
     more light than the earlier windows richly coloured throughout.
     Note the modestly drawn donors in the lowest panels._

     _14th century canopies seldom filled the whole embrasure,
     appearing only in bands across a grisaille field; besides, their
     architecture was much cruder, they lacked pedestals, etc._]

It is an unfortunate fact that the best glass of this period is not to
be seen in Paris, although we can get a fair idea of its effect from the
fifteenth century canopied figures in the clerestory of St. Sévérin. A
few of those at the west end of this church are at once seen to differ
in their design from the others, although all are of the true canopy
type. These few to the west were brought from their original place in
the choir of St. Germain des Prés. At St. Sévérin we shall note several
points which serve to distinguish the canopies of the fifteenth century
from the earlier ones of the fourteenth. The difference is chiefly in
the use of more colours in the later figures, as well as more careful
architectural detail in their canopies. Further, to make his windows
lighter in tone, the French glazier of the fourteenth century generally
used bands of canopies only across the middle third of the surface,
filling the uppermost and lowest thirds with grisaille. The fifteenth
century canopies almost invariably filled the entire embrasure.
Frequently during the fourteenth century the artist was not content with
the light admitted by his canopies, but added to it by using white for
one or more of the saints' robes. This practice so reduced the number of
colours in the background and the garments that we seldom find more than
two colours within the niches of fourteenth century canopies, while in
the fifteenth century we almost always find four. Then, too, there is an
added feature of decoration in the later ones which is generally lacking
earlier: across the back of the niche a coloured curtain is carried
shoulder high behind the figure, and this curtain is almost always
damasked. This can be remarked at St. Sévérin, where we shall also see
that all the figures stand upon elaborate pedestals, another sign that
we are looking at work of the fifteenth century, for in the fourteenth
they would have lacked pedestals and be found standing upon grass or
some other natural and unarchitectural base. The artist was so careful
to cling closely to contemporary conventions that sometimes we happen
upon very amusing compromises. For example, here tradition demanded
pedestals, so there they are, even though he had to make the rather
ridiculous combination of a figure standing upon a half-circle of
cloud neatly balanced upon the pedestal's tessellated pavement. The
conventions demanded the little pavement, the design required the
clouds, so he gave us both! In these days when we are so occupied in
copying older art, it is interesting to see traces of a time when they
jealously clung to the styles and forms which were then new.

A brilliant yellow was the only tint obtainable by the process of
staining, but it is also true that other new colours were secured,
although by means of an entirely different discovery which, of itself,
provided yet another new thing to combine with those already enumerated
in changing glass methods. This discovery took place early in the
fourteenth century and made it possible to superimpose another colour
upon white or coloured glass. The method of producing this effect was
very simple: the end of the blowpipe was dipped first into liquid glass
of one colour, and then into another, with the result that the bubble
when blown was of one colour inside and of another outside. The bubble
was then opened out into the flat sheet as usual. This process had
always been followed to make red glass, which was really a sheet of
white coated with ruby, but now all sorts of combinations were made.
Thus a brilliant purple could be obtained by coating a piece of red
glass with blue; red on yellow would give a splendid orange; blue on
yellow a brilliant green. Although invented early in the fourteenth
century, this process did not have all its possibilities developed until
during the fifteenth, when the number of layers was gradually increased
until we find some specimens showing six different coats. We shall enjoy
the results when we visit Quimper or Eymoutiers or Bourges. The French
have a very descriptive name for glass treated in this manner: they call
it "verre doublé," or "lined glass," referring to the fact that there
are two layers. The abrupt change in glass windows which took place at
the beginning of the fourteenth century becomes less extraordinary when
we recapitulate the various discoveries in the art and realise what an
effect must have been caused by such a combination as that of (_a_) the
chance-revealed yellow stain; (_b_) domestic use which required glass
fit for small, well-lighted interiors; (_c_) the demands of the
architect for his narrowed and more numerous window apertures, and
lastly (_d_) the enriching of the artist's palette due to the new
process of doubling the sheets of glass. The whole trend is now towards
much more light, larger pieces of glass, brighter colours and more
attention to the design at the expense of the colour effect of the
window.

We have now not only set forth the great change that was so speedily
effected in the style and appearance of stained glass, but further, we
have enumerated the various novelties, both in popular requirements and
in technique, which brought about the light tones of the fourteenth
century. The steps by which was effected this transition from the
thirteenth century mosaic type with its rudimentary suggestion of a
canopy, to the fourteenth century figure ensconced in his little
sentry-box, can be seen on but few existing windows; in fact, so little
transition glass is there that the change strikes one all the more
forcibly. There are, however, a few available for this purpose, notably
the three eastern lancets of the Lady Chapel in the Abbey Church at
Fécamp, and a certain window in the north transept of Amiens Cathedral.
The Fécamp lancets show us the first step, where, although the glass is
still entirely mosaic, the architecture at the top is brought down
the sides of the figure so as to complete the sentry-box. Of course
this admits no more light than the regular medallion lancets which
conveniently assist our comparison by flanking on either side the three
easterly ones. We have thus arrived at the enframing canopy, but have
not yet conformed to the demand for more light which had now become so
insistent. How will this be done? A mosaic medallion could not well be
put upon a light surface, as it would look splotchy and unfinished
(viz.: first chapel on the left of choir ambulatory in Rouen Cathedral),
nor would it do to station unframed, isolated, coloured figures on an
uncoloured surface (viz.: Ste. Radegonde at Poitiers). To avoid the
unfinished appearance, they hit upon the idea of surrounding the
coloured figure with a frame-like architectural border (as just seen at
Fécamp), and then put this framed picture in the midst of the plain
panes. This step is exemplified by a large double-lanceted window just
west of the north transept door in Amiens Cathedral. The entire window
is surcharged with a number of these canopy-framed figures arranged in
parallel perpendicular lines. We have now gained more light, and it is
easy to see what is coming next. Instead of placing the small canopies
up and down the window (as at Amiens), it would obviously be more
effective to assemble them in bands across it. Both Sées and Evreux
serve to illustrate this manner of glazing. There are many examples that
mark the slow development from these fourteenth century horizontal rows
of canopies across a grisaille or quarry background, to the perfected
canopy window of the fifteenth century, where the service of admitting
light is entirely transferred from the grisaille or quarry to the canopy
itself. This has been rendered possible by greatly increasing the space
allotted to the simulated stonework, so as to enable it to let in all
the illumination required, and at the same time perform its duty of
framing the coloured part of the picture. These windows at Fécamp and
Amiens are very instructive as showing us the experimental steps which
resulted in the satisfactory combination of picture and illumination,
instead of splotches of colour on a light field.

It must not be thought that we have dwelt too long on this particular
period of transition, for this is the only time during the Golden Age
of glass that there took place an abrupt change in styles, and therefore
a speedy and marked transition. There was certainly nothing hasty in the
way that the broad borders and larger glass pieces of the twelfth
century developed into the narrower borders and more minutely mosaic
method of the thirteenth. As to the transition from the fourteenth to
the fifteenth century, so slowly and so imperceptibly was it effected
that we have decided to study those two centuries together as one epoch,
the second being but the natural elaboration of the first. Lastly,
nothing could be more measured and deliberate than the steps by which
the fifteenth century canopy developed into the sixteenth century large
picture panel, by first changing the canopy from Gothic to Renaissance,
then enlarging the scene within the new canopy until it finally outgrew
the need for the frame, and emerged therefrom in its completed state,
often covering a whole window.

If at this point we turn to our histories, we shall soon encounter
reasons which convincingly explain why there remains so little
fourteenth-fifteenth century glass for us to see. This was the period of
the English occupation of a large portion of France. A peaceful
possession of a part of the country might not have interfered with the
course of art in other quarters, but the English possession was far from
a peaceful one. Fighting, and that of the bitterest kind, went on
continually. We have only to mention the "Hundred Years War" with
England (1337-1453), marked by the disastrous defeats of Crécy (1346)
and of Poitiers (1356), to be reminded of that. It is true that Bertrand
du Guesclin won a short-lived success against the English (1364), but
1415 sees them again victorious at Agincourt and their occupation of
Paris in 1421. This temporary victory of Du Guesclin proved an evil
thing for France, as it prolonged the fighting and increased the
frightful carnage which drenched French soil with blood. It is clear
that during times like these the nobility was not in a position to
interest itself in beautifying châteaux or churches. They were most
earnestly concerned in the gentle art of erecting fortifications; safety
and strength were of vital importance; beauty had to stand aside and
wait. The records show many instances of great architectural enterprises
being halted from lack of funds or from other motives, a case in point
being Troyes Cathedral, upon which no work was done for a long period of
years. The nobility were injured more than the lower classes by these
wars, and in the great defeats of Crécy, Poitiers and Agincourt their
losses were frightful. Many a titled family lost its estates and many
another was exterminated. In battle the middle and lower classes
suffered proportionately less, because the French placed most of their
reliance upon armoured knights and disdained to avail themselves of the
bourgeoisie to the same extent as the English, whose splendid bowmen and
yeomanry were so potent a factor in winning those great victories. The
fact that the great families of France were so grievously crippled
during these wars goes far to explain why glass painting languished for
lack of the support which the luxury-loving class of society was not
then able to give it. Almost as serious for the nobles as the losses in
battle and other ravages of war, was the reign of the subtle Louis XI
(1461-81), who devoted his entire life to destroying the strength of the
nobility and to building upon its ruins the centralised power of the
throne, meanwhile guarding this increase of kingly power by encouraging
the growth of the gendarmerie, and generally the military reliability of
the bourgeoisie. One incident from his life provides us with a fact of
great interest to a glass student. Upon the occasion of the repulse of
the Bretons by the inhabitants of the French city of St. Lô, Louis
presented to the cathedral of that town, as an expression of his
approval of the bravery of its citizens, a fine set of stained glass
windows. As an event in political statecraft it is most significant: he
did not ennoble or enrich certain leaders, but gave the entire fighting
populace a royal gift. To us it has a peculiar interest, because the
incident shows that stained glass was held in such high esteem as to be
considered a worthy gift from a king to a city. But before turning from
a review of the evil days which fell upon France, we must notice that
although the nobility suffered more heavily from battle and statecraft
than any other class, the times were tragic enough for all Frenchmen,
whether noble or peasant, rich or poor. The plague raged throughout the
land--not once, but many times--during these two centuries and its
fearsome grasp fell upon all alike. Nor was this misery enough; to all
these calamities was added that of civil war of the worst type--the war
of the masses against the classes. The scorn in which the nobles held
the poor man was but the natural outcome of the feudal state. The man in
armour despised Jacques Bonhomme, as he called him. When in 1358 the
disorders afflicting the body politic caused this contempt and
ill-treatment to so increase that it could no longer be endured, the
uprising of the oppressed against the oppressor assumed in hideous
satire the name of the Jacquerie. Before it could be finally put down,
French soil was drenched again and again with blood. Even this short dip
into contemporary history has revealed enough to make it passing strange
that any glass at all was made in France during those trying times, and
stranger still that, if made, it should have survived.

We have just seen that during most of these two centuries the French
kings were fully occupied at home, first in fighting the English, with
France as the battleground, and later in subduing their arrogant nobles
and adding Burgundy, Franche Comté, Artois, Provence and Brittany to
the French crown. At the end of this period, with their home lands
cleared of the English and the centralised power of the throne much
strengthened, we shall see how, under Louis XII (1498) and Francis I
(1515), war was carried on outside the borders of France. Under the
influences of this freedom from the ravages of war, combined with taste
for art learnt during the Italian campaigns and brought back to France,
there sprang up an aesthetic revival called the French Renaissance. This
new development is going to give us a very different style of glass
painting, which we will study later under the title of the sixteenth
century.

Before starting out to visit the glass of the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries, there are several remarks to be made upon it as a whole.
There is not nearly so much left for us to see as there is of the
thirteenth century. It is not going to be so easy to reach it and we
shall have to take longer trips. We may journey far off to the western
corner of Brittany to see the admirable Cathedral of Quimper, or else
down south near Angoulême where we find in the small village of
Eymoutiers a most charming example. Of sixteenth century glass we shall
find much; of thirteenth a great deal; but of fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries, only a little. At first one undoubtedly prefers the windows
of the thirteenth and the sixteenth centuries, but after one has studied
glass for awhile, he will surely come to feel that there is a certain
fascination about the silvery glow of a canopy window that is not
surpassed by the jewelled glitter of the thirteenth century or the more
brilliant colouring and drawing of the sixteenth. During the period now
under discussion there was a great deal of good glass made, and from the
records we learn of many a fine window now long since destroyed. A
fair way to judge the French glass-makers is to learn what their
contemporaries across the channel thought of them. For this purpose
it is worth citing from the contract for glazing Beauchamp Chapel at
Warwick, which contract was made by the Earl of Warwick's executors with
a certain John Prudde of Westminster, dated 1447. This contract requires
that no English glass be used, but that the windows be glazed "only with
best foreign glass procurable and to use as little white, green and
black glass as possible." John Prudde got his material from France.
We find another apposite statement in Britton's History of Exeter
Cathedral. He says that 500 square feet of glass was bought for the
cathedral in 1302-4 and that when another large purchase was made in
1317 they sent to Rouen for it. From these citations, selected from many
similar ones, we may safely gather that the English considered French
glass the best, which is most significant when one reflects that just at
that time English glass was at its highest point.



FOURTEENTH AND FIFTEENTH CENTURY PILGRIMAGES


From the standpoint of one who finds himself in Paris, it is not going
to be very convenient to visit the glass we are now considering. If he
will content himself with a little, he can see that without much
difficulty. He has but to visit the two nearby cities of Evreux and
Rouen, each of them only an hour and a half by train from Paris and not
far removed from each other. The latter is, admittedly, peculiarly a
place to study sixteenth century glass--its numerous churches are full
of it. While it is better to visit Rouen in connection with the
sixteenth century, still we have mentioned it at this time because one
of its churches, St. Ouen, affords such a beautifully complete
exposition of fourteenth century glazing. Besides, it is near Evreux,
and therefore we advise that it be visited now so that the glass at St.
Ouen can be seen directly after that in the Cathedral of Evreux. If our
reader wishes to thoroughly study the glass of this period, we would
advise him to begin with a longer trip, which we will outline, and then
conclude with Evreux and Rouen, because he will then be enabled, after
seeing the fourteenth century glass of Rouen, to immediately pass on to
the study of the sixteenth century windows which are so splendid and
abundant in the other churches of that Mecca of the glass student.

Now for the longer tour just mentioned. It should begin at Bourges, four
hours and a quarter from Paris by train. Thence we go south to
Clermont-Ferrand (on our way stopping to visit its little neighbour,
Riom), next across the mountains which overshadow these last two towns,
to Eymoutiers, which lies close to Limoges, the next city in order. From
Limoges we go north to Poitiers, then to Angers, to Le Mans, through
Alençon to Sées, to Verneuil, and conclude with Chartres, an hour and a
quarter from Paris by express. Although this is a long tour, we can
safely promise that it will repay the pilgrim. If the pilgrim has
already visited Chartres for its thirteenth century glass, he probably
took occasion to see that of the fourteenth century in the church of St.
Pierre. In that event he can omit Chartres at this time. If he wishes,
he can go on from Verneuil to Evreux (43 kilometres), and thus link this
longer trip to the shorter one already described. It is only in the
event that he travels by automobile or bicycle that we suggest a stop at
Moulins on his way from Bourges to Riom, for his way lies through it;
but if he travels by train, then, because of the finer and more
plentiful glass he is about to see, Moulins may well be omitted. We
would not recommend visiting Limoges if it were not directly upon his
road, no matter by what means of transportation he travels.

There is hardly a place in France where fifteenth century glass can be
seen to greater advantage than in the Cathedral of Quimper, but it is
too far from any other glass place to be combined therewith into a tour.
It is tucked away in the northwestern part of France, eleven hours from
Paris by express, and is only mentioned here so that if the traveller
finds himself in its neighbourhood he may not fail to avail himself of
the opportunity. The long tour beginning at Bourges and ending at
Chartres, will, if supplemented by the short one to Evreux and Rouen,
show him most of the best glass of this period which has come down to
our time. It is easily distinguishable from that of the century
preceding it as well as of the century following, and has a beauty all
its own.

[Illustration: 14TH and 15TH CENTURIES TOURS.

 (_a_) _Evreux, Rouen._
 (_b_) _Bourges, Moulins, Riom, Clermont-Ferrand, Eymoutiers, Limoges,
  Poitiers, Angers, Le Mans_, (_Alençon_), _Sées, Verneuil, Chartres._
 _Also separate visit to Quimper._

 (_For table of distances, see page 295._)]


EVREUX

In one's mental picture of a town there is almost always a single
feature which stands out prominently at the expense of the others. For
example, winding crowded streets are apt to rise in one's mind when
London is mentioned. The broad straight thoroughfares of St. Petersburg
are sure to give roominess and breadth to our memory of the Russian
capital. In a similar fashion when the writer thinks of Evreux there
always promptly arises a picture of the narrowness which not only
characterises the cathedral's nave, but also the little channels into
which the river Iton subdivides itself in preparation for its leisurely
meandering through the town. Nor must this be taken as a reproach to
Evreux. The little branches of the Iton add very materially to the quiet
beauty of the place. So, too, beauty is, though indirectly, lent to the
cathedral's interior by the very narrowness of its nave. A nave only 21
feet wide made very difficult the problem of later joining to it a roomy
choir, but the architect hit upon an ingenious device to secure greater
width for the latter without having the difference unpleasant to the eye
when viewed from other parts of the church. Just behind the columns at
the edge of the transept crossing he deftly swelled out his choir walls
at such an angle that from no part of the nave is the curving swelling
of these walls visible.

The chapels that surround this graceful choir are separated from the
ambulatory by light carved wooden screens, very dainty and each one
different. The windows all about us reveal this to be a perfect
treasure-house of fourteenth century glass, for it has more of this
period than any other church in France except, perhaps, St. Ouen, at
Rouen. In our preliminary talk about the fourteenth century we referred
to the startling abruptness with which taste in glass veered around from
the light-obscuring medallions of the preceding century to the
light-admitting treatment of the fourteenth. We there stated that the
two favourite methods of getting more light were, first, the canopy
treatment, and second, but to a less extent, grisaille windows with rich
borders which were sometimes, but not always, surcharged with coloured
figures or panels. At Evreux we shall not only find many an excellent
example of both these new methods, but also interesting proof of how
early in the century the new style laid hold upon public taste and that,
too, in a very fully developed and completed form. The windows given by
Guillaume d'Harcourt, dated 1310, show us the canopy window with a
perfection of architectural elaboration that is surprising when we
consider its early date. Not only is the canopy well advanced in its
detail, but we find that the blue background is damasked, a feature of
adornment that elsewhere took some time to develop. The use of grisaille
to increase the illumination of the interior is here amply illustrated,
as is also a certain variation of it, very much in vogue at that time,
partly because it was decorative, and partly, perhaps mostly, because it
was so easy to glaze. This is the so-called "quarry window" of white or
grisaille glass with its surface composed of either square (_carré_) or
diamond-shaped panels. These quarry windows were not only easy to lead,
but their formal design broke up the surface of the glass very
agreeably, especially when here and there touches of colour were
introduced. Nor were these quarries always used without colour
decoration, for around the choir triforium we shall see them surcharged
with gay heraldic blazons, while above, in the clerestory, they serve to
fill out such portions of the embrasures as are not occupied by the
bands of canopies. It was some time before the fourteenth century
glazier arrived at the point of filling the entire embrasure with his
canopy, and therefore this hesitating use of bands of canopies across a
light field is often seen. Below in the choir chapels even less of the
space is devoted to canopies and more to quarries or grisaille than in
the clerestory. Passing to the nave, almost all the window surface of
the chapels is given over to grisaille; indeed, it is only across the
upper third that one sees the quaint little fourteenth century canopies.
So, too, the clerestory is all grisaille except for an occasional panel
in colour. The finest work of the period here is around the choir
clerestory--the colours are richer and every part of the decoration more
carefully studied. Notice that in the fourth on the left, the second
lancet contains a kneeling figure holding up in his two hands a model of
the window which he is offering; his name appears in large letters
below--M. Raoul De Ferrières. The rich red background, surrounded by the
golden canopy, makes a very effective combination. This same pleasant
conceit is found again in the most westerly lancet of the fourth choir
chapel on the right, but here the figure is much smaller and the model
of the gift window not so carefully drawn. Almost all these clerestory
lights display facts concerning their donors set out in bold lettering
that adds materially to the decorative effect. A few of the panels were
glazed in the next century; they are readily picked out by the perfected
drawing of their canopies, the fact that they completely fill the
embrasures, the pedestals beneath them, etc. Of these later ones, the
first on the left especially merits our attention: within its elaborate
canopy framing are a triple tier of niches. In the middle tier, the
second niche contains the Dauphin (later Louis XI) and the fourth,
Charles VII, his father. This reference to the fifteenth century brings
us to the consideration of its numerous examples found here, for the
Lady Chapel, all the north transept and part of the southern are glazed
in that later style. In the Lady Chapel the canopies enclose a double
tier of niches which contain scenes remarkable for their strong
colouring, as well as for the unusual number of individuals in each
little group. Under the second canopy on the lower tier of the first
window on the left is depicted Christ feeding the multitude, and no less
than twenty-five figures can be counted: this is the greatest number the
writer has ever observed in a canopy panel.

The transepts are most charming. Each is lighted by a large rose,
while the east and west walls have each not only two great six-lancet
windows, but in addition, the triforium gallery is pierced and is
carried around under the rose. Where the triforium passes below the
rose we have in each case eight lancets filled with canopies enclosing
single figures, and in the clerestory of the north transept the same
treatment--elsewhere the lancets contain grisaille or quarries
surcharged with coloured bosses or shields--the whole bordered in
colour. Throughout all this interior so much grisaille and quarry work
was used that one should select a rainy or grey day for one's visit,
because on a sunny day the illumination is distinctly garish.

Nor is it for the Cathedral alone that we have come here--so fine is
the glazing at St. Taurin that we would have included Evreux in our tour
even if there had been nothing to enjoy at the Cathedral. The east end
of the choir juts out from the body of the church, and is lighted all
round by seven lofty windows, each of two lancets except the westerly
pair, which have four. The treatment of all these lancets is alike: the
enframing canopy encloses three tiers of niches, one above the other, in
each of which is a little scene in colour. One pair of these windows,
the second from the west, are modern, but so faithfully are they
modelled after their neighbours, that they do not mar the effect of the
whole. Instead of one lone saint beneath each canopy (then so common as
to be almost monotonous) we have here groups, always agreeable and
sometimes amusing. For example, the lower left-hand corner of the window
just left of the centre shows us St. Taurin rescuing a lady from some
very pointed flames, while a red imp, evidently much annoyed at being
exorcised, is darting off, much to the pious satisfaction of five smug
onlookers. In accordance with the conventions, each niche has at the
back a damasked curtain, above which a glimpse is afforded of an
interior lighted by three windows, all very delicately portrayed. It
seems ridiculously incongruous to find cows and other animals in the
foreground of such a niche. Unfortunately, this absurd combination of
tradition and realism was not rare during that epoch. The original
glazing of the upper part of the southwesterly window has been replaced
by a later Ascension scene, running across all four lancets. At the end
of the south transept is a broad window, very interesting because of the
different types of canopies in its six lancets. The chief charm of the
interior is undoubtedly the choir, whose deliciously soft-toned glazing
is so complete as to afford the student not only valuable material, but
also (and this is much rarer) an excellent impression of the general
effect sought for by the fifteenth century glazier.


ROUEN

In this sketch we will chiefly turn our attention to the church of St.
Ouen, although we will also take a peep into the Cathedral and into St.
Maclou. We will defer until our sixteenth century tours a fuller comment
upon this city (see page 249), because any one who has studied the
subject, even in the most cursory way, knows that he must go to Rouen
for Renaissance glass. Although the splendid windows of its numerous
churches bear witness to what that later period did for our art, it is
nevertheless entirely proper that we should come here at this time, if
only for a preliminary visit, because the study of fourteenth century
glass cannot be satisfactorily concluded without viewing the splendidly
complete exhibition of it in the church of St. Ouen. Here we shall see
for ourselves why Rouen glass was then so highly esteemed, not only in
France, but also across the Channel. We referred before to the fact that
after Exeter Cathedral had in 1302-4 purchased glass for its windows and
it became necessary in 1317 to procure another large quantity, it was to
Rouen that they sent for it, a significant tribute to the skill and
repute of the Rouen craftsmen. Ample witness to the causes for the
Englishmen's admiration is afforded by the justly famous fourteenth
century glazing of St. Ouen. It is best to approach and enter it by the
south portal, for, although a very graceful and symmetrical Gothic
edifice, the west front is unfortunately of a much later period than the
rest of the structure, and is noticeably lacking in lightness and
beauty. Notwithstanding nearly all the windows are glazed in colour, the
brilliancy of the lighting strikes us as soon as we step inside and is
especially noticeable if we have but freshly come from the inspection of
interiors whose light has been dimmed by thirteenth century glass. It is
evident that the St. Ouen windows were glazed at a moment when the
reaction from the sombre beauties of the thirteenth century was at its
height. Undoubtedly strict injunctions were laid upon the designer of
the glass that he should so complete his task as to leave the church
well lighted. In complying with his instructions he not only has used a
great deal of white glass, but also has availed himself of the lighter
tones of such colours as his pictures required. Nowhere else will we
find so complete a series of patriarchs, saints, apostles, bishops and
abbots. They are strung out around us on every side and provide a wealth
of material for investigation. Perhaps one might wish that they had been
depicted in stronger hues, especially as they range about the clerestory
on a white background, with white glass in the triforium windows below
them. On the other hand there is a possibility that if the colours had
been stronger, the contrast between them and the background might have
proved disagreeable. In passing it is interesting to note that all the
abbots are arrayed in blue robes, but in accordance with the scheme of
colour just mentioned, the blue is very light in tint. Below, in the
choir, and around the transepts, we find canopy windows, but there, too,
their effectiveness is lessened by too many panels of white. In the nave
the large figures in the windows of the upper range have much more
colour than those in the lower, and the inscription below each is in
such bold lettering as to permit of each letter being separately leaded
in. The north transept contains a fine rose window, but, unfortunately,
in accordance with the conventions of that epoch, the figures radiate
from the centre like slices in a pie. The result is a wheel effect and
not that of a great blossoming rose. The glass, not only in this rose
but also in the one of the south transept, is sixteenth century and will
be described later. The regularity and completeness of the architecture
of this church is accentuated by the long series of personages that
decorate its windows. It is but natural that there results the
symmetrical beauty which always follows the consistent carrying into
effect of a well-thought-out plan. The desire of the architect for a
well-lighted interior has also been everywhere carefully observed.
As a whole, the effect of the windows must undoubtedly be admired, but
on the other hand, if we were to be denied the warmth that a little
additional colour would have given, we ought at least to have found as a
compensation that soft silvery light which the best glass of this period
affords, but which is here rendered impossible by the excessive use of
white panes.

The Cathedral's fourteenth century glass, while not presenting the
splendid ensemble that one sees at St. Ouen, is nevertheless not only
instructive in its variety, but is also so placed as to exhibit itself
to the greatest advantage. It is to be found in the Lady Chapel, the
choir clerestory, the north transept, and the north nave aisle. The two
large windows on each side of the Lady Chapel are so wide as to permit
of four lancets in each. The treatment is the same throughout: a broad
coloured border encloses a grisaille field, across the middle third of
which is a coloured figure under a canopy, which of course has not yet
acquired a pedestal. Evidence of careful attention to detail is seen in
the borders, which are not only very elaborate, but are also enlivened
in one case by a number of little green birds, in another by brown
squirrels, and in a third by white angels playing musical instruments.
This feature is but rarely met. The modern glass in the three easterly
windows is rendered harmless by the height of the altar rising in front
of them. Broad coloured borders are also found around the clerestory,
but there each enclosed surface of grisaille has to rely for its
adornment upon five round blue bosses surcharged with golden sunbursts.
The three easternmost panels, however, bear large coloured figures, the
central one being Christ on the Cross. The rose in the north transept is
of the wheel type, and is too pale, because of the excessive use of
colourless glass, especially in the radiating arms. At the end of each
arm and also at other points are introduced medallions of mosaic
pattern. The light is admitted in accordance with the conventions, but
the contrast is too great between the plain and the mosaic panes. This
same contrast is even more unpleasant in the chapel just at the junction
of this transept and the choir ambulatory where a few mosaic medallions
are frankly placed on a light field, without even the plausible excuse
therefor which is afforded in the rose above by certain round apertures
especially suited for medallions. The artist is evidently still groping
for a satisfactory adjustment of his design and colour to the demand for
light. This period is also exemplified, although in a different way, in
the second, fifth, sixth and eighth windows in the north nave aisle.
There, across the lower part of the light quarries in each of the four
lancets, is placed a coloured figure behind whom hangs a curtain of
contrasting colour, but entirely lacking canopy framing; each lancet is
surrounded by a gay border. This treatment is not so pleasing as that
just observed in the Lady Chapel, for the nave figures lack the finished
appearance there lent by the canopy framing. The small curtain is better
than no background at all, but we are still evidently in transition.

Of the fifteenth century glass in the cathedral, but little can be said;
that in the south transept rose is good, while the chapel leading from
that transept to the choir ambulatory contains two lofty-pinnacled
canopy windows that would be excellent if they were not marred by their
upper panes being filled in with disjointed fragments of thirteenth
century medallions.

At St. Maclou (see page 251) ten out of the twelve windows in the
semi-circle of four chapels at the east end of the choir contain a
softly lovely set of fifteenth century canopies whose lofty and
intricate pinnacles are delicately outlined against backgrounds of
lilac, blue, green, etc., always in the lighter shades. The lower parts
of these windows have not fared so well as the upper portions, but they
have not been damaged enough to detract from the general effect. So
light are most of the tones used, that one fears the ensemble will
appear too pale when viewed from the proper distance; but such is not
the case, thanks to the admirable harmony between the soft colours and
the dainty canopies.

An occasional fifteenth century panel is to be met with elsewhere in
Rouen (_i.e._, the westernmost in the north wall at St. Vincent), but
they are neither sufficiently numerous nor noteworthy to be cited here.
We shall carry away as our chief souvenirs of this preliminary visit to
Rouen, memories of the complete glazing of St. Ouen, the varied
exhibition of contemporary transitional types found at the Cathedral,
and St. Maclou's delicately tinted half-circle of eastern chapels.


BOURGES

When we visited the Cathedral of Bourges to inspect the glass of the
thirteenth century (see page 42) we referred to that of the fifteenth
which fills the windows of the nave chapels. It is to inspect these that
we now make our second visit. It is very usual for chapels to radiate
from around the choir of a church, but rarer to find them introduced
into the side walls of the nave after the completion of the edifice.
Perhaps it would not prove so eminently satisfactory at Bourges if it
were not for the fact that the cathedral lacks transepts; but whatever
the reason, the result in this instance is admirable. The window
apertures of these nave chapels indicate that they were constructed at a
later period than the rest of the cathedral, for instead of the single
broad windows which we find elsewhere about the interior, the lighting
of each chapel is effected by a group of lancets bound together to form
one very wide window space, the lancets being separated only by narrow
stone mullions. To this architectural indication of date is added that
of the glass, which is among the best that is known of the fifteenth
century canopy type. The glazing of these chapels varies greatly in
excellence, but is always good. In almost every case the windows consist
of four lancets. We note here the custom of placing upon the window a
small kneeling figure of the donor, and from contemporary paintings we
are able to affirm that the glass artist made these portraits as perfect
as his skill permitted. In the chapel given by Pierre Trousseau not only
do we find the donor but also his sister and his two brothers. This
tendency to introduce various members of the family increased steadily
in vogue, so much so that in the sixteenth century we shall often find
two or three generations kneeling in a row in the lower panels. In the
first two chapels on the left the personages hold in their hands long
winding scrolls on which there is writing. This form of decoration was
also much elaborated in the next century, and very successfully, too.
But the greatest of all fifteenth century chapels is the most easterly
one on the north, just at the point where the choir chapels succeed to
those of the nave. It was given by Jacques Coeur, the merchant prince
of Bourges, who became treasurer of France under Charles VII. It is as
beautiful in detail and ensemble as a canopy window has ever been made.
The mullions separating its four lancets are not allowed to interfere
with the one great subject that extends over them all. Across the top of
this picture is carried the most elaborate Gothic dome ever attempted in
glass painting. The ceiling beneath it is blue sprinkled with golden
stars, and the groining of the arches which support it is golden also.
The robes of the figures, beautiful in combination of colour, are
elaborated to the last degree of decorative detail. Notice along the
edge of the kneeling saint's robe a row of simulated embroidery panels
gay with colour and gold. It is clear that Jacques Coeur employed upon
this window the best glass artist to be found, just as he must have
engaged the most skillful architects and builders for his palace, to the
glories of which we alluded in our thirteenth century pilgrimage. This
window and that dwelling stamp him as one of the most intelligently
appreciative patrons of the arts which his time produced.

The fact that the cathedral is built upon the edge of the old Roman
walls makes possible a well-lighted crypt instead of the gloomy cavern
generally found beneath the choirs of most cathedrals. In the embrasures
at the eastern end of this lower church or crypt have been placed a set
of fifteenth century windows taken from the old Ste. Chapelle of
Bourges, each consisting of four canopies. Under the two central ones of
each stand the coloured figures in the usual way, but under the two
outer canopies the figures are partly concealed behind simulated
architectural columns. This unique arrangement serves to render the
glass architecture all the more convincing. It would have been well if
other towns had followed the example set by Bourges in thus preserving
in some store-house like a cathedral the glass of other edifices which
had to be destroyed.

If we travel by automobile from Bourges to Clermont-Ferrand, we will
probably elect to pass through Nevers and Moulins. We have already
advised the railway traveller not to alight at Moulins and he will
probably not do so at Nevers. About the latter we will say but a word.
Although the cathedral has a special interest in that it is one of the
two churches in France having an apse at its western as well as its
eastern end (the other is at Besançon), it need not detain him, because
it has no old glass. If he decides to stop to look at the cathedral, he
should not fail to see the old palace of the Dukes of Bourbon, with the
story of Lohengrin carved by Jean Goujon on the outside of its graceful
spiral staircase.


MOULINS

If our pilgrim in going south from Bourges to Clermont-Ferrand passed
through Nevers, this slight detour has brought Moulins right upon his
road. In this event he must avail himself of the opportunity to visit
the cathedral, because its glass, although not of sufficient importance
to demand breaking a railway journey, is distinctly worth seeing if he
is passing the door. Besides, the sacristy of this church contains the
splendid fifteenth century triptych, so long attributed to Ghirlandajo,
but now conceded to have been the work of an unknown Moulins painter
who, for want of more particular information, is called the Master of
Moulins. Around the choir ambulatory there are a few canopy windows of
the fifteenth century. Most of them are good, but one on the north side
is quite remarkable and should be particularly noticed. The scene
depicted is the Crucifixion and the background seems to be of a deep
ruby. Closer inspection shows it to consist of a multitude of tiny red
angels so crowded together as to give the effect, when viewed from a
little distance, of a richly damasked surface. The result is as
satisfactory as the method of obtaining it is original. There are also
some good sixteenth century windows around the choir which are easily
distinguishable because the architecture of their canopies is so
obviously Renaissance and so far removed from Gothic.

As the automobilist or bicyclist passes through this town, he will be
struck by the attractive local feature of large diamond-shaped patterns
in black or dark bricks on the red brick walls of the houses. The effect
is most decorative.


RIOM

On our trip south from Moulins we come upon Riom, a quiet little place
living on its memories of mediæval importance and treasuring within the
shady circle of its wall-replacing boulevards many fine houses and other
testimonials to its former wealth and importance. In an old-world
country like France it is not unusual to find striking contrasts between
those parts of a city which have been absolutely modernised and other
portions still preserving their ancient appearance. Between neighbouring
towns, however, it is not often that we shall notice so startling a
difference as is effected by the 14 kilometres separating Riom from
Clermont-Ferrand. It seems impossible, while in the quiet streets of
this town, to realise that we are so near the busy city of
Clermont-Ferrand, active in many modern manufacturing industries, a
railway centre, in short, a distinctly twentieth century community.
Geographically those few kilometres are only a step, but historically
they will transport us four or five centuries. Here we are in an
atmosphere not later than the sixteenth century, although for glass
lovers the interest of the place goes back still another. The fifteenth
century feature which attracts us most in Riom is the Ste. Chapelle,
which now serves as the chapel for the Palais de Justice, through which
we must pass to reach it. The practical hand of the altering architect
has fallen heavily upon this beautiful chapel. In 1822 he took away its
lower part in order to gain room for the Court of Appeals which is just
below. He graciously allowed the upper half to remain a chapel, but,
of course, the introduction of a new floor at half the height of the
original building caused the destruction of the lower portions of the
seven fine windows. Each has four large lancets and is a remarkable
example of the highly-developed canopy type of the middle of the
fifteenth century. Upon these are displayed a great company of richly
attired personages, affording us a rare opportunity to observe the dress
of the upper classes of that day. The jewels, furs and other decorative
details are not more minutely studied than are the architectural
features of the canopies. Each figure holds in its hands a long paper
scroll upon which there is writing. These scrolls form a most effective
and agreeable feature, and their use as a form of decoration was
frequently seen during that century. It appears at its best in the Tree
of Life rose in the south transept at Carcassone. The four central
panels at the bottom contain the donors, always an attractive detail if
only they are modest in size and placing. We should try to see these
windows on a rainy or grey day. It must be remembered that we no longer
view them from below as their artist originally intended, because the
action of the architect in 1822 has brought us up on a level with them.
The chapel is so small and the windows so large that if the day is
sunny we are not able to withdraw a sufficient distance to readjust the
perspective, and therefore a dull day, by softening the light, greatly
increases their charm.

 [Illustration: 15TH CENTURY "CANOPY" WINDOW, SAINTE CHAPELLE, RIOM.
     _Gothic details carefully elaborated. Curtains suspended across
     backs of niches give the artist another colour, while white
     winding scrolls assist canopy portions in admitting light.
     Donors are here more important but not yet intrusive, as seen
     later._]


CLERMONT-FERRAND

The situation of this city is as beautiful as it is remarkable. Imagine
a long, fertile plain from which rises suddenly a great range of hills.
The plain is monotonously flat and the hills are abruptly steep, while
higher than all their heights towers the round-topped mountain of
Puy-de-Dôme, which gives its name to this department of France. Nestling
just below the hills, upon the extreme western edge of the level
country, lies the vigorous and progressive city of Clermont-Ferrand,
whose activities and commerce are fed by roads leading in every
direction across the broad expanse of the fertile district of Limagne.
From the top of the cathedral tower the view is most striking and
delightful. To the east, as far as the eye can reach, stretches out a
long vista of cultivated fields, but when we turn to the west the change
is positively startling. Hill is piled on hill and mountain on mountain,
and all so near at hand as to make us feel that, with the naked eye, we
can discern figures moving on the top of the Puy-de-Dôme, whose
knob-like crest towers proudly above its surrounding and supporting
heights. There are but few views like this in France, for it is rare to
find so bold a range of hills rising so sharply from so wide a plain.

After descending the many steps which take us back into the cathedral,
we shall soon be convinced that if most of the thirteenth century glass
towns had not been so accessible to Paris, a visit to this cathedral
must have been suggested in order to see the fine set of medallion
windows that in the apse chapels form a screen of gleaming sombre colour
all around the choir--a screen so complete as to produce that effect of
glistening caverns which we have found so beautiful in the glass of that
century. Clermont-Ferrand was left off the thirteenth century list
partly because of its distance from Paris, and partly because, if that
distance had been overcome, there are no other towns in its vicinity
noteworthy for their thirteenth century glass. Now that we are
considering the glass of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries,
distance from Paris no longer proves an argument against this visit,
because that period cannot be seen unless one is willing to go far
afield. Besides, Clermont-Ferrand fits nicely into a series of towns
rich in glass of these centuries, so we have every reason for the visit
at this juncture. The cathedral is a noble example of Gothic, the
spacious nave being separated from the choir by two transepts, each of
which possesses a fine rose window of the fourteenth century with a
gallery of small lancets below. These rose windows seem thrust too high
up against the roof; in fact, if it were not for the row of lancets
below, the effect would be unpleasant. This method of placing them in
the wall is, however, in accordance with the best traditions of that
time. The glass panels which go to make up the rose windows radiate in
distinct lines from the centre. The lancets below the south rose are
filled with diaper in rich colour, while across them, as if to bind them
together, are drawn two bands of white rosettes. The lancets under the
north rose have circles and spots of colour on a grisaille ground. Of
the glass that once adorned the nave, practically nothing remains but
the small roses at the tops of the windows, but these are quite
attractive. It is to the choir that we must turn for the greatest charm
of the interior. The sober richness of the thirteenth century panels
in the chapels below is admirably set off and accompanied by the
well-lighted clerestory above. Around this clerestory appears a row of
large fifteenth century figures in colour framed in canopies upon a
background of grisaille quarries (diamond-shaped panes). Perhaps there
is a little too much contrast between the figures and the quarries, but
the effect is good and certainly the light is admitted in a more
satisfactory way than at Chartres, where the monks, to secure more
light, replaced the rich borders of the early choir clerestory windows
by white glass. As seen from the nave or from the transepts, the choir
is most pleasing, a warm half light below and a brilliant clerestory
above. In the two easternmost panels of the latter the artist shows
us how it was sometimes possible to make one large picture by the
juxtaposition of two or more, which at first glance seem entirely
distinct. On the left is the Virgin Mary in what appears to be a large
oval frame. On the right, and facing her, is a bust of the Father
emerging from clouds. Although at first these two panels seem entirely
separate, a comparison of the subject of each indicates that taken
together they form a picture of the Annunciation. This method was not
uncommon. At Tours, three eastern medallions of the clerestory, although
seemingly distinct, really combine to form the Last Supper. We should
not fail to notice at Clermont-Ferrand how very harmoniously the styles
of different centuries assist each other in producing a well-glazed
interior. We do not find the conflict in effect which exists at Bourges.
In fact, there are but few places where glass epochs are combined in
such an attractively unobtrusive manner.


EYMOUTIERS

When from the top of Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral we viewed the mountains
of the Puy-de-Dôme range, it seemed not only that anyone planning a trip
across them would have a difficult climb, but that any idea of going by
train was an impossibility. Modern engineering skill, however, overcomes
all obstacles, stops at nothing, and the railway awaits our command to
take us over the mountains to Eymoutiers and Limoges. The grades are so
steep that no expresses are attempted and therefore we have before us a
tedious five-hour trip on a way train. The first and the last parts of
this journey are very delightful for the automobilist or bicyclist,
because of the views revealed from time to time by the windings of the
road. More than half the trip, however, is quite uninteresting, as the
way lies through clefts in the hills at too great an elevation for much
foliage or verdure. When we descend to the village of Eymoutiers on the
other side of the mountains, all the difficulties and tedium of our
climb will be forgotten. There the traveller will find a charming little
inn by the river, where he can have a delicious repast of trout from
the neighbouring mountain stream. He will be served on a cosy terrace,
which is sheltered from the sun by vines and cooled by a tinkling
fountain shooting into the air a slender spray of icy water. As a glass
shrine, Eymoutiers is one of the most delightful that our pilgrim will
meet on his travels and one to which his memory will often pleasantly
revert. He need not look about for a cathedral or for any great
religious edifice. Instead, he will find a quaint, oddly-shaped
church whose older western half is so dimly lighted by its few
deeply-embrasured windows as to provide an excellent foil for the
silvery light of the fourteen that illumine the eastern half. We
cannot properly call it the choir end, because the church seems to have
three choirs placed side by side, opening into each other, the central
one extending a little more to the east than its two sisters. At
the Ste. Chapelle in Paris we have observed that the deeply-hued
medallion windows of the thirteenth century were not suited to a small
interior--that their materials and construction required that they be
viewed from the greater distance afforded within a cathedral in order
to yield to the observer a properly combined glow from their warmth of
colour. On the other hand, at Eymoutiers, we shall learn that the canopy
window is as beautiful in its soft lighting of a small interior as at
Bourges it is appropriate in the lower windows of a great nave, or at
Quimper in its delicate illumination of a splendid clerestory. Before
we have been long in the little Eymoutiers church we shall begin to
notice that the later windows in the central eastern bay have much more
colour than the earlier ones in the right and left ones. In these two
side bays the figures have only one colour besides white in their
costumes, and but one also in the backgrounds; while on the other hand,
in the central bay the figures have never less than two colours in their
costumes; and further, that besides the one in their backgrounds, an
additional colour is there contributed by a curtain stretched across the
niches, shoulder-high, behind the figures. Then, too, these later
figures in the central bay have coloured halos, and the little ceilings
under the canopies beneath which they stand are brightly tinted. The
local authorities date the glazing of the central bay from the latter
part of the fifteenth century and that of the two side ones from the
middle. The difference in the colour schemes of the two sets confirms
this dating. This same marked difference in the number of colours exists
at Quimper, where the choir windows glazed in the first years of the
fifteenth century have but few tints, while, on the other hand, there
are many in those of the nave which date from the latter part of that
century. As accentuating this enrichment of the artist's palette which
the passage of time seemed to effect, it is noticeable that the early
tracery lightings of the two side bays are very light in tone, being
mostly white or some faint hue or yellow stain, while the later
traceries of the central bay contain deep reds and blues, etc. A close
examination of these windows repays us by revealing several quaint
manifestations of the strict adherence to tradition for which the
mediæval glass artists are noted. Contemporary conventions demanded that
St. Christopher have a tessellated pavement as the floor of his canopy,
but the legend requires that he must stand in water, so we find not only
the pavement but also upon it a semi-circular pool of water in which the
saint stands. So, too, the Virgin Mary is poised upon a halfmoon-shaped
cloud, neatly balanced on the conventional pavement. Though these little
touches make us moderns smile, they were doubtless at the time approved
as showing that the artist was well schooled. Our reader should make
every effort to visit Eymoutiers, for there he will truly feel the
delicate charm of the canopy window. The church is glazed throughout in
one style and as a type of perfection will linger in his memory in much
the same way as Ste. Foy at Conches, which we will visit later for its
sixteenth century glass. The canopy window, when properly placed, yields
a far softer beauty than any glass can show in the century before or the
century that came after, and it is greatly to be regretted that so few
of them survived the stress of those battle-troubled days.

Before we start on our way over rolling hills to Limoges, we must not
fail to observe in Eymoutiers a certain quaint custom of building
distinctive of that town. The topmost story of almost all the
dwelling-houses is not walled up on the street side. This open top floor
is used to store fuel. Under the eaves there is a pulley by which the
bundles of wood are pulled up from the street by a block and tackle and
swung in under the roof.


LIMOGES

After a charming ride of fifty kilometres from Eymoutiers, we arrive at
Limoges, sloping picturesquely up from the banks of the winding river
Vienne. We elsewhere set out our reasons for believing that the
Byzantine influence upon the beginnings of French art was first and most
potently exercised at Limoges, the cradle of French enamel. After
remaining dormant for centuries, the enameller's art has again been
quickened into life in its old home. Its younger sister, stained glass,
however, never seems to have returned to its birthplace; in fact, if it
were not necessary to pass through Limoges on our way north from
Eymoutiers, we would not have included it in this trip. While the
cathedral contains some fourteenth century glass, it lacks sufficient
quantity or quality to repay one coming from a distance to see it. From
Eymoutiers our route takes us through Limoges, and what it can show of
glass, we, like conscientious pilgrims, must not fail to inspect. Now
for the cathedral! Architecturally it is very satisfactory. Just inside
the west door of the nave there is a finely-carved stone jubé or arch,
in fact so good is it that we shall not see a better except in the
little church of La Madeleine at Troyes, or in St. Etienne-du-Mont in
Paris. Around the clerestory of the choir are thirteen double lancet
windows, presented in the fourteenth century by Bishop Pierre Rodier.
Unfortunately, only two of them (those of Ste. Valerie and St. Martial)
are preserved intact, but the others have been so judiciously restored
that we have a very good idea of how they originally looked. They
consist of large coloured figures in canopies, surrounded, however, by
too much grisaille. The revulsion from too little light in the preceding
century sometimes produced the curse of too much in the fourteenth. This
placing of subjects upon a light surface cannot help but cause an
unpleasant contrast between its soft tone and the stronger colour of the
figures. In the ambulatory chapels on the north side of the choir, there
are two complete windows of this period, both of them grisaille with
gay heraldic devices and coloured borders. In one the light field is
arranged in quarries (diamond-shaped spaces), each quarry having its own
little border of colour; this is very unusual. Here the contrast of rich
tones and grisaille is not so disagreeable as in the clerestory. In the
south transept is a large rose window containing conventional designs in
red and blue, but no figures. We find the same objection to the placing
of this window and to its construction that we did to the rose windows
at Clermont-Ferrand: it is too high up and seems crowded against the
roof, while its lines radiate so obviously from the centre as to make it
resemble a wheel, whose spokes are too thick. The century before did
well to have medallions placed around the central opening of its rose
windows, for they gave the effect of a huge blossom and not the stiff
look of a wheel. As we leave Limoges on our way to Poitiers we shall
find, if we travel by automobile or bicycle, that the road along the
Vienne, following the picturesque windings of that charming river, is
one of the most delightful in all France.


POITIERS

Upon one of our thirteenth century pilgrimages the reader has already
been taken to Poitiers (see page 47). Not only has he visited the
cathedral and seen its glorious Crucifixion window, but he has also
entered the smaller church of St. Radegonde to view the thirteenth
century glass there. For the purpose of this trip he must again repair
to the latter church to see a unique manifestation of the effect
produced by the new demand for more light, which is the most marked
feature of the taste in glass of the fourteenth century. The windows
which we are now seeking are the four in the north wall between the
north portal and the choir. They are undoubtedly interesting, but can
hardly be called beautiful. In order to admit as much light as possible,
the greater part of their surfaces is filled with light greenish-grey
grisaille, whose design is that of a number of circles, each circle
impinging on the next. Scattered irregularly upon the grisaille are many
small-sized personages in deep colour. Around the whole is a brilliant
border. The contrast between the gay hues of the figures (and also of
the border) and the light tone of the grisaille is not only too sharp to
be pleasant, but it also destroys the harmonious ensemble which is the
great charm in the early canopy window. It seems logical that the
light-admitting canopy should be used as a frame for the richly-coloured
figure which it encloses, but there is no artistic excuse for spotting
light grisaille with sharply-outlined, strongly-toned figures, and then
framing the whole by the harsh lines of a coloured conventional border.
At Bourges the beauties of the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries can be
seen at the same time, and each enjoyed, although for different reasons.
Here at St. Radegonde, however, the charming thirteenth century rose
window above the north portal enjoys an easy victory over the glaring
contrasts of its fourteenth century neighbours. The latter should be
inspected because they are unique in their elaborate method of admitting
light, but they point to a road which should not be followed. It is
interesting to note that at the time of their construction these windows
were very highly considered. There was no reason why they should not
have been of the best, because this church has long benefited by the
generosity of pilgrims to the tomb of the saint beneath its choir. Among
these none was more devoted than Anne of Austria, the queen of Louis
XIII. Nor is this shrine the only attraction to the pious which the
church can boast, for in the south wall there is a small recess
protected by an iron grille enclosing what is represented to be a
footprint of Jesus Christ. This is still an object of much veneration.
These facts must be taken into consideration, because a church to which
crowds of votaries for centuries resorted would surely contain no glass
inappropriate to the wealth and high standing of these pilgrims. In
fact, a certain hallmark is thus given its windows, which enables us by
means of it to judge of the taste of the time.


ANGERS

There is hardly a religious edifice in existence where so many periods
of glass are represented by such uniformly good examples as in St.
Maurice Cathedral at Angers. In a former visit (see page 55) we observed
that its nave contains the greatest amount of twelfth century work which
any French church can show and also that in its choir and transepts
there are many fine medallion windows of the thirteenth century. Now we
will take up the really gorgeous fifteenth century glass, beginning with
the two large west windows of the north transept. So elaborated and full
of architectural detail are they that their canopies alone occupy more
than half the entire window space. We have generally seen the canopy
used only as a frame, but here there is more frame than picture! Each of
these two windows contains four niches enclosing brilliantly-hued
figures, two in the lower half and two in the upper half of each window.
The glass forming the canopy part is much deeper in tone than we have
been accustomed to find, having a strong greenish shade similar to that
found in many English fourteenth century canopies (as, for example,
those in New College Chapel, Oxford). We have noted before that English
glass is generally more highly coloured in the fourteenth than in the
fifteenth century, but the contrary is true in France, where the
fourteenth is much softer in tone than that found in the next century.
These windows provide a case in point. It is perhaps well that they are
so strongly toned, for even as it is, they seem rather pale in
comparison with the early medallion windows all around them. The
embrasures which they fill were built in the thirteenth century and are
therefore larger than those generally found in the fifteenth; the
extremely strong saddle bars necessary to support this great weight of
glass are so noticeable to the observer that they seem to isolate the
panels containing the figures and thus hurt the frame effect of the
canopy. Perhaps the pilgrim will find this comment is hypercritical, for
the windows are undoubtedly very effective. They were given by Bishop
Jean-Michel about 1440.

One is naturally curious to see the work done by an artist in his home
town, for if not of his best, it is apt to be typical and show the
influence which his natural environment exercised upon him. For this
reason we turn with considerable interest to see what was accomplished
by André Robin, when called in 1452 to reglaze the rose windows of the
transepts. The stone traceries had been constructed in the thirteenth
century, and though it is difficult to adapt later glass to earlier
framework, the result here has been very successful, much more so than,
for example, in the case of the west rose of the Ste. Chapelle in Paris.
In the north rose window Robin put the Resurrection. Christ is in the
centre and from Him there radiate sixteen elongated panes bearing yellow
and blue angels. The resurrected dead are shown in the act of pushing up
the covers of their tombs, a conventional method of representing them.
Above are little scenes illustrating the occupations of each month of
the year. Upon the south rose there appear the signs of the zodiac, and
below them the Elders of the Apocalypse. In these Elders we may trace a
reference to the splendid set of Apocalypse tapestries which hang around
the interior. The most northerly window on the east side of the transept
is also by Robin. The subject is the Crucifixion, and it was finished in
1499. In Angers there is yet another set of fifteenth century windows,
and to see them we must go to the little church of St. Serge, in whose
choir we have already studied the charming twelfth century grisaille.
These windows are of the canopy type and are placed in the nave
clerestory. There are three on each side, the two westerly ones being of
three broad lancets each and the easterly one of two lancets. The colour
contrasts are good and the architecture in the canopy framing very
convincing, both in size and adjustment.


LE MANS

During the course of our former visit to Le Mans Cathedral (see page 60)
we remarked that the transepts were glazed in the fifteenth century. The
glass is good and the north rose is particularly well worth seeing. Of
the transepts themselves, it may be said that no others in all France
are provided with windows in such a curiously irregular way, no two
corresponding portions of wall having the same or even similar ones.
There is no window at all in the south transept end, but instead there
is a solid wall against which the organ is backed. The west side of this
transept has two very large windows with coloured borders framing
grisaille, upon which are small circles and squares. On the east side
the wall has even fewer openings. Crossing over to the north transept,
we find still more irregular arrangement, there being a marked
difference in amount of window space, as well as in the shape and
adjustment between the east and the west wall. There is, however, a
distinct improvement over the south transept in that here there are
canopy windows and that, too, of no ordinary type. But it is to the
north end of this transept that we must turn to have our admiration as
well as our interest thoroughly aroused. The writer believes this to be
the finest example of a rose window, blossoming out at the top of a
well-adjusted group of lancets, that the fifteenth century can afford.
At Clermont-Ferrand and Limoges we have noticed that the tendency at
that time was to crowd the rose up too high against the roof and then
try to counteract the effect by placing beneath it a row of lancets to
bring down the whole group. At Le Mans the adjustment in the wall is
perfect. Further, the lower range of windows is treated with the respect
it deserves, for not only is the rose beautifully glazed, but the
lancets have also received the artist's careful attention: they are
graceful, good-sized and filled with a triple tier of excellent canopied
figures. The rose is poised above and between the points of two wide
lancet windows, each of which is in turn divided perpendicularly by
mullions. The subject, The Crowning of the Virgin, is admirably treated,
and nothing could be more delightful than the numerous angels singing
and playing upon various musical instruments. For the honour of the
fifteenth century glazier it is well that we should see this splendid
effect, because we might otherwise conclude that, notwithstanding his
brilliant success in producing canopy panels, he never grasped the full
possibilities of the rose window.


SÉES

En route from Le Mans to Sées we must pass directly through Alençon,
famous for its lace, and especially for the sort known as Point
d'Alençon. If en automobile we should stop here long enough to see the
Renaissance glass in the church of Notre Dame. Although of a later
period than that which we are now considering, we must not be so
narrow-minded as to deliberately pass by fine glass, no matter when it
was made. The exterior of Notre Dame struck the writer as curiously
emblematic of the impression which one receives of the town. The church
is squat and ugly, but it is redeemed by the lace-like Gothic of its
western porch, which, fearful lest it be not remarked, thrusts itself
out into the street. In similar fashion, Alençon as a town has its
commonplaceness condoned by reason of the beauty of its lace, a beauty
which is constantly thrust upon your attention by its inhabitants. The
glass to be noticed is around the nave clerestory. A most charming stone
setting is provided for this sixteenth century glazing by the broad and
high embrasures of six lancets each. Particularly note how, at the top
of each sheaf of lancets, the delicate lines of the traceries flow
upward and inward like flames aspiring from a broad-based fire, seeking
the outlet above of a narrow chimney. The picture period is here at its
best, and the artist, regardless of the upright stone mullions, has
spread his subject across all the lancets of each embrasure, and has
lavished upon them all the shades of his richly stocked palette. Over
the west portal we have the same shape of window, but here it is broader
and permits of eight lancets. The subject is the well-worn one of Jesse
and his descendants, but the design is distinctly novel, and an unusual
amount of green foliage against a blue background lends a pleasant tone
to the picture. The descendants are relegated to the upper panes, while
the major portion of the great surface is divided equally between Jesse
(on the right) and a large panel enclosing the scene of the Saviour's
birth (on the left). Of the rest of the glass in this church it is
kindly comment to say that it is unsatisfactory.

But let us push on to Sées, 20 kilometres further. One reads but little
of the cathedral there, and more's the pity, because from any point of
view it is not only admirable, but picturesquely delightful. Placed upon
a slight eminence in the midst of a wide basin, this elevation suffices
to make it visible from a long distance on every side. Its gracefully
aspiring twin spires, its mantle of flying buttresses, the charming
conformation of its eastern end, all conspire to allure us and fill us
with expectations of what a nearer view may reveal. Nor does the
interior fail to realise all this distant promise. What a graceful
lightness of stonework is everywhere visible, supplemented by the
glazier's intelligent delicacy of touch. The nave alone lacks its
ancient glass. Nowhere in France or elsewhere can the fourteenth century
glass artist be seen to greater advantage than at Sées. Very happy is
the way in which his light-admitting grisaille has been enlivened and
decorated by coloured borders and bands of richly-toned, canopy-framed
figures. At Evreux we will find him more splendid, more varied, but
here, around the choir and the transepts, he has worked out more
consistently, more coherently, his new idea of combining translucence
and colour decoration. Dainty, almost dangerously fragile as is the
stonework that supports the upper windows, the glazier's handwork is
daintier still--a film of soft grisaille held in a spider's web of lead
lines, whilst across the middle third are bands of early canopies. Not
only in the clerestory of choir and transepts, but also in the choir
chapels below, do we find this treatment uniformly carried out. The
completeness of the scheme of decoration, as well as the satisfactory
adjustment of colour to grisaille, give an ensemble which we elsewhere
seek in vain. Not satisfied with the illumination provided by his airy
clerestory, the architect has pierced his triforium gallery throughout.
In this lower tier there has been no attempt to introduce figures, the
glazier having contented himself with surrounding his grisaille by
decorated borders. The only exception to this rule is where the
triforium gallery passes below the lovely rosaces that decorate the
transept ends--there, in each case, the row of ten lancets is filled,
alas! with modern glass whose thin tones betray it at once. Fortunately
one is too much absorbed in looking at the great roses above to notice
them very intently. So high up are these rosaces in their respective
walls that the arching of the ceiling actually passes in front of their
upper corners. That in the south transept is a wheel window with
medallions in the ends of the spokes, but instead of the rest of the
openings being glazed in grisaille (as at Rouen Cathedral), colour is
here used throughout. Very different is the north transept rose, from
the centre of which six broad arms diverge, separating groups of
blossom-like apertures. The colour is good, but would have been better
had there been omitted the white borders that make the coloured panels
seem about to start from their sockets. The luminous effectiveness of
the interior is utilised and accentuated by the placing of the
double-faced altar on a raised platform in the middle of the crossing
where the transepts can contribute to its glory equally with the choir.
The high altar carries off the unusual honour of this central position
with great dignity and success.

So much are we seized and held by the charm of the general effect that
we are not tempted, as is so often the case elsewhere, to solace
ourselves with spelling out quaint details in individual windows.
Nevertheless, that form of research is here well worth while. Three
times on the south side of the choir clerestory and again in the second
choir chapel on the left, do we find the donors, ingenuously holding in
their uplifted hands small models of their gift windows. Several times
we will note two canopy panels whose stories must be read together, as
for example in the first choir chapel on the right, where a mounted man
in armour is piercing with his spear the side of the crucified Christ in
the next panel to the right. Interesting as are these and many other
similar details, it is the softly tinted illumination of the whole
interior, more than any particular feature, that makes us remember Sées
Cathedral as one of the most satisfactory French examples of fourteenth
century glazing.


VERNEUIL

Long before one reaches Verneuil he remarks a great tower looming high
above the surrounding house-tops, a tower so commanding as to seem to
beckon us from afar, and then later when we have reached its foot, to
make us halt awhile in its shadow to enjoy the innumerable delicate
details of its architecture, which render a near view as delightful as
the distant prospect is imperious. It is not often in France that one
sees so striking a landmark, which must have been vastly more
significant still in those battleworn years of the middle ages when
Verneuil was for so long an important post on the frontier between
France and the territory held by the English. There may still be seen
one of the massive round towers of the ancient fortifications, its great
size bearing witness to the importance attached to the possession and
defence of the city. Nor is Verneuil lacking in other and more homely
charms, for it preserves many of its old timbered houses, as well as
others of stone and brick decorated at one corner by a gracefully carved
tourelle. On making our way to the centre of the town we find that the
great tower belongs to the church of La Madeleine, which occupies one
end of the spacious market-place. No more ill-assorted collection of
incongruous elements were ever found in one edifice. The lofty uplift of
the choir and transepts rises so much above the low roof-tree of the
nave, that viewed from a little distance, there seems no connecting link
between the eastern portion of the church and the great tower at the
western end. The transepts are so short as to extend but little beyond
the sides of the choir, and furthermore there are two sets of transepts,
side by side, and opening into each other. It is to the eastern and
loftier part of the edifice that we must repair. Here about the choir
and the two parallel chapels that adjoin it are a dozen windows
containing fifteenth century canopies, mostly arranged in two tiers, one
above the other. Note that it is groups rather than single figures that
appear within the enframing niches, and that the stories told by these
panels are more elaborate, even if less effective than their grander
contemporaries in the transepts. These latter are fine tall-pinnacled
examples, each canopy enclosing a single figure, and are found in three
of the four great embrasures that light the end walls of the transepts.
The fourth contains Renaissance canopies. Throughout all this fifteenth
century glass the deepness of the tones used in the figures within the
niches is most noticeable.

There are also several sixteenth century windows, the most noteworthy
one being a Tree of Jesse in the east end of the southerly chapel. A
large figure of the Virgin holding the Infant Jesus is shown standing on
the vine just at the point where the branches separate. Jesse's
descendants, drawn to a smaller scale, are emerging from blossoms all
about the Virgin, whom they are intently regarding.

Although the fifteenth century glass in La Madeleine is not so splendid
as some we have seen elsewhere, it is in such quantity and variety as to
afford valuable facilities for comparison and study. There is also good
glass to be seen in the church of Notre Dame. The picturesque old-world
flavour of Verneuil will perhaps make it a greater favourite with us
than some towns possessing more important windows.

On leaving Verneuil, whether we decide to return to Paris via Chartres,
or to link this trip on to the next by passing directly to Evreux and
thence to Rouen, we may, by means of a slight detour, go through
Nonancourt. If we do, we should delay there long enough to enter the
church to see the low fifteenth century windows along the nave aisles,
as well as the larger Renaissance ones that stretch in a long row around
the whole length of the clerestory. It will be worth the few additional
kilometres to the automobilist, although hardly demanding the breaking
of a railway journey.


CHARTRES

Besides its wondrous cathedral, Chartres has another though a more
modest sanctuary which also possesses its original glazing almost
intact. This is the church of St. Pierre, a unique example of the
glazier's attempt to meet the objection of light obstruction charged
against the thirteenth century mosaic method. His treatment of the
clerestory lights is of peculiar interest. There are no transepts.
Around the clerestory each window is divided perpendicularly in half,
one side being glazed in colour and the other in soft grisaille. The
only difference in the nave clerestory is that there each window is
divided perpendicularly into three instead of two, the middle division
in each case containing colour work and the two outside ones, grisaille.
This method of glazing, plus the fact that the triforium is pierced,
produces the desired amount of illumination within, but one can hardly
say that it is produced in an altogether satisfactory manner. It is
inevitable that this sandwiching of strips of colour between others of
grisaille should reduce the value of the tints and dull their glow. The
effect is very strange--it is as if tall shutters of dark hue had been
prepared for grisaille windows, but that these shutters had only been
put up on one side of each. Whether one admires it or not, the method is
novel, and worth examining. The new demand for more light has been met,
but we have not yet reached the perfection of church illumination. For
this we must wait until the fully elaborated canopy panels of the
fifteenth century, for in those the glazier hit upon just the right
proportion of colour and translucency by means of convincingly complete
designs containing no jarring contrasts. It is well if one defers this
inspection of St. Pierre, and does not go to it straight from the sombre
glories of the cathedral. Such an immediate comparison will render it
difficult to realise what an agreeable experience the smaller edifice
affords for the student of glass (see page 67).

Do not fail to go into the Lady Chapel to see the delightful set of
twelve enamels representing the Apostles, by many considered the chef
d'oeuvre of the master of that craft, Leonard Limousin. They are
remarkable not only for their delicious combination of tones and shades,
but also for their unusually large size (two feet high by one foot
broad). One is not surprised at the great care everywhere apparent in
their workmanship when one learns that they were ordered by Francis I,
who, however, did not live to see them finished. His son, Henry II,
presented them to Diane de Poitiers for her Château d'Anet.

Before leaving St. Pierre, observe how excellently the architect
adjusted the relative heights of the bays, triforium and clerestory; so
graceful is the result that we depart with the impression of an edifice
of unusually agreeable proportions.


QUIMPER

Far off in the western corner of France dwells that strange race, the
Bretons. Leave behind you Paris, the standard-bearer of things modern,
and set out for distant Quimper, the westernmost outpost of French
glass. You will find yourself in the midst of a curious folk whose
origin is unknown, in a bleak country where over a million people speak
an uncouth Celtic tongue utterly unlike French; where customs, handed
down from father to son, persist for centuries; where modern costume is
ignored and the peasant glories in his bright blue and gold jacket
adorned with glittering buttons. You have even passed beyond the fabled
forest of Broceliande, where Vivien held the great Merlin by her magic
spell.

Quimper must be visited for its own sake because there are no
neighbouring glass towns. Long as is the journey, it is safe to say that
you will be repaid for its discomforts. Arrive, if you can, on a Sunday.
The roomy interior of the cathedral is quite as attractive as the
elaborate Gothic detail outside has promised. Here during service,
perhaps more than anywhere else in France, will the middle ages seem to
you still to be lingering on. No stiff rows of pews obtrude their modern
convenience upon your notice. You will find the great church filled with
group upon group of Breton men and women sitting on rude rush-bottomed
chairs, the men in their gay attire and the women wearing quaint white
caps which vary slightly in each little village or commune. All this
serves to take us back into feudal times; we sink into a seat and
observe the intense interest with which our neighbours are following the
ringing exhortations of the priest, couched in homely phrases, quite
like the discourse which his predecessors in the fifteenth century
preached from the same pulpit to a very similar audience. Our mood
becomes so mediæval as to almost make the ancient stained glass seem
contemporary. It is a pleasant thought that the series of canopy windows
made for the choir clerestory in 1417 by Jamin Sohier should have been
continued and carried along the clerestory of the nave and transepts by
his son, also named Jamin Sohier, towards the end of the same century.
One of these later ones near the west front bears the date 1496. Some of
those in the nave were sadly injured by the stress of time, and a few
altogether destroyed; but they have been repaired and replaced most
successfully, pious care having been taken to restore them as nearly as
possible to their original condition. This was done during the years
1867 to 1874 by M. Luçon at the expense of the State. The nave windows
of the younger Sohier are much more brilliant, both in richness and in
variety of colours, than the earlier choir windows of his father. The
gradual development of the verre doublé (or double sheets of glass)
placed a greater variety of tints at the disposal of the artist, and he
eagerly took advantage of his enriched palette. By comparing the choir
panels with the later ones of the nave, we have here an excellent
opportunity to study the development of the canopy window. We cannot
help but feel that although the earlier ones lack the brilliancy and
glow which characterise those constructed later, this lack is more than
balanced by the delicious softness of the light which they transmit. It
is interesting to observe how many of them set forth the legend of St.
Christopher. Do not fail to notice the skillful contrast of a strong
yellow with a rich green of which the east windows of the north transept
provide several excellent examples.

There is a striking peculiarity in the ground plan of this church. The
choir is not upon the same axis as the nave, but inclines at quite an
angle to the north. This peculiarity also exists in one or two other
French churches, and the local authorities always delight to tell you
that it is a form of Gothic symbolism intended to represent the drooping
to one side of the Saviour's head on the Cross. When the true
explanation is discovered, it generally proves to be of a more practical
nature. The same slant to the north is observable in the choir of Saint
Jean, at Troyes; there it was caused by the fact that the street line on
the south side of the choir had to be pushed northward after the great
fire of 1524. At Quimper the explanation is even more interesting. In
1239 Bishop Raynaud wished to add to his cathedral the chapel of Notre
Dame (founded in 1028 by the Count of Cornoucilles) which stood a little
to the east and was across a small street. He extended his choir so as
to take in the chapel; but as it lay a little to the north of the true
easterly line, he had to slant his choir to effect his purpose. This
explanation may not be poetically symbolical, but it is historically
accurate.



SIXTEENTH CENTURY


We have now reached the perfected period of stained glass, by some
called the Renaissance, and by others the Cinque-cento. The latter
affords a graceful recognition of Italian inspiration in the revival of
French art at the beginning of the sixteenth century. By this time the
reader will have appreciated the truth of the statement in our
introduction that stained glass saves us the trouble of dividing it into
periods, because it falls of itself into divisions whose boundaries,
oddly enough, coincide approximately with those of the centuries. This
was heretofore illustrated when the canopy window appeared upon the
scene and caused the abrupt change from the sombre glittering tones of
the thirteenth century to the light-admitting silvery-grey glass of the
fourteenth. Now we are about to see how another change came at the end
of the fifteenth century, when the Renaissance sprang full-grown, not
Minerva-like from the brows of Jove, but from those of Mars, the God of
War, for it was the Italian wars of Louis XII and Francis I that brought
about this sudden regeneration of all branches of French art. What the
French soldiers saw in Italy they remembered and told at home, and,
moreover, many of their trophies bore witness to the wonderful
development then reached by Italian art. The fact that after several
centuries French territory was at last relieved from distress of war
naturally resulted in a sudden interest in building of all sorts.
Because of this, architecture was among the first of the arts to be
affected by the new Italian taste. We have before noticed the
inter-relation of the needs and styles of the architect with those of
the glass artist, and therefore we are not surprised to find our windows
testifying that the latter quickly perceived Gothic architecture was
being superseded by the classic style. During the last two centuries he
had grown to appreciate more and more the light-admitting advantages of
the canopy window, but now he changes the simulated architecture from
Gothic to Renaissance. In his designs we notice an even more important
change, which results from the fact that he now enjoys a good working
knowledge of the laws of perspective and hastens to avail himself of it
in order to lend greater depth to his picture. Indeed, in some
instances, he carried the use of perspective almost to an abuse. His
predecessors in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries knew nothing of
these rules, which, indeed, were then unknown in every art. On our way
down through the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, because most of the
windows are either canopy, or grisaille surcharged with figures, we are
by their very nature denied an opportunity to observe the same gradual
development of perspective which was contemporaneously taking place in
painting. The result is that when in the sixteenth century the glass
artist decided to branch out from the conventional canopy style and
indulge his taste in the more ambitious effort of the picture window,
the sudden change from no perspective to an abundance is all the more
noticeable. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the only hint
obtainable of an increasing interest in perspective was when we noticed
that fifteenth century canopies were more elaborate than those of the
fourteenth, not only because they had much more intricate pinnacles, but
also by reason of the curtains hanging in the back of the niches, and
other details showing attempts to gain depth in the picture. In his
large picture windows the sixteenth century artist also has more chance
to show us how greatly the discovery of enamelling on glass has enriched
his palette. During the two preceding centuries his development of verre
doublé (or glass in double layers) has been yielding a constantly
increasing variety of hues in the costumes of his personages,
backgrounds, etc.; but now he adds his brilliant enamels and fairly
riots in colour.

We shall often have occasion to deplore that the glazier of the
Renaissance never truly grasped the full artistic possibilities of the
black outlines ready to his hand in the leads, and that he failed to
realise, as did his predecessors, that the more the drawing was executed
by the leads the more attractive and convincing the resulting picture
would be. Towards the end of this epoch this disregard for their
usefulness in the design was often carried to such an extreme that one
concludes the artist must have regarded them as of no service except to
hold the glass in position. Some of the men who indulged most in enamel
painting became so engrossed in this form of decorating glass as to
consider the leads an intrusion, and as tending to reduce the size of
the sheets, which they preferred should be of large size in order to
facilitate the painting thereon of their pictures.

To recapitulate, the most noticeable features of the new régime are
then--

 (_a_) Renaissance architecture depicted instead of Gothic.
 (_b_) Larger scenes.
 (_c_) Use of perspective.
 (_d_) Greatly increased diversity of colour.
 (_e_) Use of enamel painting.
 (_f_) Increasing carelessness in use of leads.

 [Illustration: "DESCENT OF THE HOLY GHOST," MONTFORT L'AMAURY (16TH
  CENTURY).
     _Architecture depicted now entirely Renaissance. Tracery lights
     above, much simplified, lend artist more room for his picture.
     Lead lines now mar the picture, instead of only providing the
     outlines. Drawing greatly perfected; note the excellent
     grouping, the "Golden Tongues," etc. Kneeling donors are not
     only too large but intrude upon the subject. (See page 237)._]

Not only does Renaissance architecture supersede the older Gothic on our
windows, but it very naturally brings with it certain characteristics of
the new architect. For example, because he generally placed the date
conspicuously upon his edifice, so in Renaissance glass we find
the glazier introducing the date upon some panel of the simulated
architecture. Before this time, windows were seldom dated; now this
custom soon became firmly established and various methods for it were
devised. In the parish church at Les Iffs, in Brittany, the west panel
of the small chapel on the south side of the choir bears its date upon
a gold coin held by one of the figures. The writer remembers this well,
because, finding no date, it struck him that it might be on the coin.
He piled three chairs, one on top of the other, climbed up, and there
it was. Immediately after the discovery, the chairs fell down!

Notwithstanding the richness which the artist's palette has attained, we
occasionally meet an indication that he has not forgotten the cool
silvery-grey formerly yielded by the canopy window. He now sought to
obtain the same result in another fashion by occasionally restricting
the colour of a picture window to various shades of grey (or very light
brown), relieved by flesh tints where needed, and enlivened by touches
of yellow stain. We sometimes find a church glazed throughout in this
style, as, for example, St. Pantaléon at Troyes. It was, however,
chiefly used in smaller edifices and for domestic or civil purposes.
This particular manifestation of sixteenth century style outlived most
of its contemporaries and is found as late as the end of the next
century. By this last observation we are naturally led to comment upon
the almost complete collapse of the cult of stained glass that came
at the end of this century. People seemed to no longer care for it,
although it had for more than four hundred years been so highly
esteemed. We read of many instances of artists who had no orders for
work and therefore had to turn their talents into other channels. That
master of so many arts, Bernard Palissy, writing at the end of the
century, tells us that so completely had the sale of glass fallen into
disrepute that it was then hawked about from village to village by those
who sold old clothes and old iron, and that although the art was a noble
one, many of its practitioners found it difficult to get enough to
live upon. For this passing of interest there have been many reasons
advanced, but perhaps the most convincing is that of surfeit. Certain
it is that an enormous quantity of stained glass was produced during
the sixteenth century, much of which has survived. Of course, in some
quarters the cult lasted longer than in others, but then it is generally
traceable to the existence there of a peculiarly gifted group of glass
artists. We shall find this true at Troyes, where the skill and fame of
Linard Gonthier and his school produced such a demand for their work as
to cause the art in that locality to survive far into the seventeenth
century.

While it is true that during the sixteenth century glass reached its
highest perfection, it is but natural that on the way up it should have
outgrown many of the indications of craft tradition which we have from
time to time noticed. The perfected picture no longer needed certain
conventional signs to tell its story. Perspective and improved drawing
obviated the need of them. There are, however, several instances which
show that even the sixteenth century artist felt the charm of
quaintness, though to a lesser degree than his predecessors. For
example, a window in Caudebec Cathedral (the Passage of the Red Sea by
the Israelites) takes pains to identify the sea by having the waves
glazed in red! Though he had discarded most of the conventions, he
retained and much beautified a few of them. For example, in Tree of
Jesse windows, he far outstripped the older schools in grace and
elaboration of treatment. As an indication of the interest felt in
allegory by the later men we must invite attention to the so-called
"Wine Press" window. Here we have the same branching vine found in the
Tree of Jesse, but in this case it springs from the wounded Christ, who
is being bruised in the press (or sometimes from His pressed-out blood),
and spreads out over the panes, bearing as its blossoms saints, apostles
or historical personages. In a few instances it rises from the wine
pressed by Christ from the grapes. Windows of this type are to be seen
at Conches, at Troyes and many other places, but nowhere is the idea so
elaborated as at St. Etienne-du-Mont in Paris. Sometimes the heads
displayed on the vines indicate another tendency of this century, which
can be particularly noted in the last cited window (by Pinaigrier) and
in Engrand Le Prince's Tree of Jesse at St. Etienne (Beauvais). In these
two the heads prove to be accurate portraits of contemporary royalties
and church dignitaries, a fashion then much affected and highly
esteemed. Another evidence of this same tendency to add personal touches
is shown in the greatly increased use of armorial bearings, not only
serving as the sole decorations of a panel, but also appearing upon
picture subjects. These coats of arms are not only agreeable in effect,
but also by their heraldry are very useful in fixing dates. Many of
these armorial bearings were, however, destroyed after the edict of
1792, forbidding their use. Most sixteenth century windows bear the
donor's figure, nor shall we find excessive modesty shown by the man who
paid the price. In this connection it is interesting to note that
although stained glass has always been very expensive, strangely enough
the expense has remained practically constant throughout all its
history, providing, of course, one takes into consideration the varying
purchasing power of money. In fact, the cost thus corrected varies so
little from epoch to epoch as to be positively surprising. When we
consider how costly was a gift of this sort, perhaps it is not
extraordinary that, during the sixteenth century, we generally find upon
it the givers' portraits; the wonder is that the custom was not more
widely spread before. Unfortunately, the donor was now more aggressive
than his predecessors, for often the figure is not only too large, but
actually intrudes upon the subject of the window. Frequently not content
to appear alone, he had the portraits of several of his family added as
well.

Before we make our selection of towns to be visited, let us look about
us in Paris, for it has not a little glass to show us.


PARIS

Before starting on our thirteenth century tours, Paris supplied us with
very useful results from our comparison of the glass in the Ste.
Chapelle with that of the north rose at Notre Dame. Not so satisfactory
was our study of the fifteenth century canopy windows at St. Sévérin in
that city. We shall, however, find excellent sixteenth century glass in
several of the Paris churches, and will thus be afforded an opportunity
to prepare for our excursions by obtaining in advance some idea of the
style of that period, and shall also find some examples by its best
artists. Let us begin at St. Germain l'Auxerrois, whose charmingly light
tower and graceful exterior seem to give the lie to the sinister fact
that from this very belfry rang out the signal for the massacre of St.
Bartholomew. The west wall of the north transept provides a reason for
here beginning our study of sixteenth century glass, because there, side
by side, are two very similar windows, harmonising agreeably one with
the other, and yet the architecture of the canopies of one is fifteenth
century Gothic, and of the other, Renaissance. This very conveniently
illustrates for us one of the marked changes which came over our glass.
If the canopies were not enough to date them, other details are not
lacking to perform that service. The earlier window has all the features
of the distant landscape put in with the leads, while in the later one
they are delicately painted on greyish blue; especially note this in the
well scene. The other windows in this transept are also attractive and
the warmth of some of the reds in the bed draperies of the earlier one
of the pair just mentioned should be noticed. The adjusting of the
figures to their panes in the transept rose windows is adroitly handled,
particularly some of the kneeling angels in the south one. In the west
wall of the south transept, the problem of placing a central figure when
the architect provided only four, instead of five lancets, is gracefully
overcome.

At St. Gervais we have one of the few opportunities to compare two of
the greatest artists produced by the new school--Robert Pinaigrier and
Jean Cousin--but that is about all that can be said for this ugly
church, where architecture, white windows and modern glass combine to
drive away the student. The best window is by Pinaigrier, the Judgment
of Solomon (second on the right in the choir chapels); it is dated 1531,
and although considered by many his masterpiece, seems to us to have too
much marble pavement, etc., for its personages; and further, the little
scenes in the tracery lights contrast disagreeably not only with the
picture below, but also with its minarets and their sky background which
jut up into the space above. We must, however, note how the accurate
perspective contributed by the lines of the pavement and the distant
architecture facilitates the correct stationing of the figures without
confusing them as to position or foreshortening. His, also, are the
twelve panels in the Lady Chapel, giving scenes from the life of the
Virgin Mary: here the composition is delightful. We may remark in
passing that at least one of them displays verses which by reason of
their quaint expressions are less suited to our times than to the more
unrestrained speech of those earlier days. Jean Cousin's window, the
Martyrdom of St. Lawrence (1551), is the first on the right in the
choir, and though good in technique, is not attractive. We should
reserve judgment upon his work until after we have visited Vincennes.
Across the river and at the top of the hill crowned by the Panthéon is
to be found an edifice that looks more like an architectural freak than
a church--St. Etienne-du-Mont. It seems to realise its own ugliness and
tries to conceal itself behind the Panthéon. Once we enter its portal we
find a vast improvement over the distressing exterior of this confection
of stone. There are plenty of spacious windows and a general airy
effect. Swung high in the air across the front of the choir is a
graceful stone jubé arch, seemingly fastened to the columns at each end
by double loops of delicate spiral stairways. The choir is so lightly
constructed, and with so few obstructing columns, that the whole of the
ambulatory space becomes a part of it. This arrangement enables us to
enjoy the glazing of the ambulatory and the choir chapels from all parts
of the building. A little door marked "Sacristie" leads off from the
ambulatory through a corridor to the Chapel of the Catechism. Along the
west wall of this chapel are ranged a series of twelve panels by
Pinaigrier, and because they are on the level of the observer's eye, he
is afforded every facility for examining what could be accomplished by a
great artist in enamelling colour on glass. In fact, there is no place
in France where this can be more conveniently studied. Although all
twelve are fine, that devoted to the allegory of the wine press is
easily the best. Oddly enough, it was the gift of a rich wine merchant.
In it are to be found faithful portraits of Pope Paul II, Emperor
Charles V, Francis I, and Henry VIII of England, as well as sundry
cardinals and archbishops, all in rich ceremonial costume. Needless to
say, those individuals have nothing to do with the subject of the
window, but the opportunity to display portraits of them was too good
for the artist to waste. This frequently appears on glass of the period
and sometimes the result verges on the ludicrous.

After visiting these stately temples, the quiet church of St. Merri
appears even more modest and retiring than its obscure site just off the
busy quarter about the Hotel De Ville really renders it. In fact, so
well is it hidden that we would have missed it had we not been seeking
very carefully. The windows here are more interesting than beautiful and
their effectiveness has been impaired in several ways. We read that
during the eighteenth century those in charge of the church, after
careful deliberation, replaced a great deal of the coloured by white
glass, especially in the nave, where they removed the two central
lancets of each group of four, leaving only the upper half of the two
outer ones. Of course, the result was not only disastrous to the
window's general effect, but entirely extinguishes any warmth of tone in
such glass as remains. We cannot but deplore the absence of the
abstracted panes, for the remains in the side lancets and tracery lights
evidence such skill, as well in combination of tones as in drawing (more
particularly in the handling of perspective), that one can readily
imagine what harm has been done. Even the few scenes that are left are
well worth inspection, and are as interesting as any of this epoch in
Paris. Notice in the third window on the right, the way in which the
landscape is carried back until it ends in a little red-topped tower,
from which peer out two heads. Fortunately, these deliberate and
painstaking vandals spared the glass in the three westerly windows on
each side of the choir, and also in the eastern walls of the transepts.
The panels on the left, showing the history of Joseph, are better than
their neighbours across the choir.

Of the sixteenth century glass to be seen in Paris, this much can be
said: it varies markedly, illustrates most of the types of that time,
and is therefore very useful in preparing us for the tours we are about
to take.



SIXTEENTH CENTURY TOURS


We shall have to approach the subject of viewing sixteenth century glass
in a very different spirit from that in which we undertook the tours of
the preceding centuries. We can no longer set up any claim to
thoroughness. If our pilgrim visited all the places recommended in our
thirteenth century excursions, as well as those for the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries, he can rest with the comfortable assurance that he
has seen about all of the really good glass of those periods. Now we
have a different problem. There has survived a great deal more glass
from the sixteenth century than from all the preceding ones combined. He
cannot hope to see it all, and we will have to limit ourselves to
sketching out for him three tours covering the best--supplementing these
by several detached cities, so that if the glass hunter happens in their
neighbourhood he will not overlook them. He will find, however, some
compensations for the bewilderment caused by the great quantity of
sixteenth century glass, the chief of which is that either Rouen or
Troyes provides in its many churches a complete exposition of that
period's style. If the pilgrim's time is limited, he can accomplish more
during a short stay in those two cities than he could upon any tour
which might be outlined. Two other compensations provided by this
abundance of material are--first, that there is a great deal of good
glass to be seen in Paris, and furthermore, the automobilist especially
will delight to learn that there are a half-dozen points in its
immediate neighbourhood which offer an excellent excuse for a half-day's
outing. For the leisurely traveller who has both time and inclination,
we will arrange three tours; but he must understand that although they
will provide him with a sight of the best sixteenth century glass, there
will still be left a number of towns worth visiting.

Each of these trips will begin in Paris. On Tour (_a_) we first stop at
Vincennes, just outside the fortifications, then on to Sens, to Troyes,
to Chalons-sur-Marne and back to Paris. Tour (_b_) takes us by way of
Versailles to Montfort l'Amaury; then to that perfect shrine of
Renaissance glass, Conches; next to Pont-Audemer; then across the Seine
by boat to Caudebec, and from there upstream, by the interesting old
Abbey of St. Wandrille and the stately Jumièges to Rouen. From Rouen we
run out to Grand-Andely, Elbeuf or Pont de l'Arche before we push up the
river Seine to Paris. Tour (_c_) will particularly recommend itself to
the automobilist, and most of the points are quite near Paris. We go out
through St. Denis to the town of Montmorency, then through the wood of
Montmorency to Ecouen, and next a little further on to Chantilly. From
there our route lies across to Beauvais, and back to Paris. As stated
before, several of the towns comprised in these three tours are so close
to Paris as to enable a glass lover with a half-day on his hands to
pleasantly employ it in a short excursion by train or automobile. Of
course, if he travels by train he can hardly hope in half a day to see
more than one of these. If, however, he is an automobilist and therefore
untrammelled by time-tables, he can combine several. For example, a
glance at the map will reveal that Ecouen, Montmorency and Chantilly are
so close together that an automobilist can fit them into one day. A word
of warning is not out of place for one about to visit these nearby
towns. He must be careful to ascertain from his Baedeker or from the
public prints, upon which days they are open to the public. Montfort
l'Amaury and Ecouen can be seen any day; Vincennes and Chantilly,
Thursdays and Sundays, etc., but these statistics had better be verified
in the manner suggested because the regulations are changed from time to
time. There are three very important glass shrines which are, however,
so located as to make it impossible to combine them into a tour. These
are the Cathedral of Auch (down in the southwest near Toulouse), the
chapel of the château of Champigny-sur-Veude in Touraine, and the famous
church of Brou at Bourg in Savoy. The pilgrim should make every effort
to see them.

[Illustration: 16TH CENTURY TOURS.

 (_a_) _Vincennes, Sens, Troyes, Chalons._
 (_b_) _Montfort l'Amaury, Conches, Pont-Audemer, Caudebec, Rouen,
  (Grand-Andely, Elbeuf, Pont de l'Arche)._
 (_c_) _Montmorency, Ecouen, Chantilly (St. Quentin), Beauvais._
 _Also separate visits to Bourg, Auch and Champigny-sur-Veude._

 (_For table of distances, see page 295._)]


VINCENNES

Vincennes lies so close to Paris that it can be reached by an electric
car which starts from the Louvre. Its sternly forbidding fortress of the
most approved feudal type, and the delightful park, have been the scene
of many an interesting episode in French history. In the old forest
which was the predecessor of the modern park, good Louis IX was wont to
seat himself beneath an oak and measure out to all comers that
even-handed justice which supplied one of the reasons for his
canonisation. Often, on our travels, we have noted how enthusiastically
he espoused the cause of stained glass, and, therefore, we of the
Brotherhood of Glass Lovers should feel a sympathetic glow of interest
whenever we happen upon any scene hallowed by his personality. As for
the castle, perhaps the best proof of its great strength is its sinister
record of having served during many reigns as a dungeon for prisoners of
State. Many are the great names on its roster of prisoners, nor shall we
wonder it was chosen for that purpose after climbing to the top of its
donjon tower and remarking the vast thickness of its walls surrounded by
the deep, yawning moat that isolates it from the smiling countryside.
It is with a feeling of relief that we turn from the contemplation of
such a subject to the delight which awaits us in the graceful Gothic
chapel with its fine vaultings, set off by the superb set of windows
from the hand of that great master, Jean Cousin. Poor windows, they have
suffered many vicissitudes since their completion in 1558; it was not
enough that they should be subjected to the ordinary hazards of
time--they were actually taken out of their settings and moved away!
After an interval they turned up in 1816 in the collection of Lenoir.
Later they were restored to their original embrasures, but some of the
heads and limbs having been lost, a bungling repairer replaced them by
fragments from other panels. Fortunately for us, the last restoration in
1878 has corrected this and they are now in condition to show us what
their artist intended to set forth. Notwithstanding the glaring light
from the uncoloured windows to the west, these stained glass pictures
are so delightful in tone and drawing as to give us a very high opinion
of Jean Cousin. It was but natural that he should, in accordance with
the custom of his time, seize this opportunity to recommend himself to
royal favour, and, therefore, we must not criticise him for putting
Henry II attired as a Knight of St. Michael in one of the eastern
windows. We may, however, very properly object to the presence of the
royal mistress, Diane de Poitiers, among the Holy Martyrs! Henry II
must have lacked a keen sense of humour, or the artist might have run
some risks in so placing the fair Diane. The subjects of these windows
are taken from the stories of the Apocalypse and allow the artist wide
scope for his fancy, of which he avails himself to the fullest extent.
He also indulges in several daring combinations of colour, as for
example, in depicting the flames in the panel to the right of the
central one, where he used lilac, yellow, brown and red, and each colour
in several shades. Just below, in his shipwreck picture, he again
represents the flames in the same bold way. Then, too, there is a
distinctly bluish tone to his enframing stone canopies; all this sounds
very raw and harsh, but the general effect is nevertheless excellent.
This was the official chapel of the Order of the Saint Esprit, so we are
not surprised to find upon some of the windows knights of that order in
full regalia. Vincennes is perhaps the best place to study Jean Cousin;
certainly far better than his birthplace, Sens, which we next visit.
There the cathedral contains but two examples of his skill, but they are
veritable masterpieces.


SENS

Even the most enthusiastic admirer of Sens could not bring himself to
describe that city, or the surrounding country, as picturesque. The
latter is monotonously flat, relieved only by occasional chalk ridges.
The town straggles away from the river Yonne with little to remind us of
its former glories except the cathedral and its immediate neighbourhood.
As we cross the bridge near the railway station we will remark a very
incongruous service which practical science has exacted from a relic of
the past. Rising from the parapet at the highest point of the bridge is
a crucifix up the back of which runs a wire ending over the head of
Christ in an incandescent electric light! When we passed through Sens on
our earlier trip (see page 77) we took occasion to relate the fateful
coincidence which took place in the twelfth century when representatives
from all parts of Christian Europe came there to visit the exiled Pope
just in time to see William of Sens completing, in the cathedral, the
first great step in Gothic. This coincidence not only caused the rapid
spread of the new style of architecture to every part of the Christian
world represented by these visiting delegates, but also explains why
Thomas à Becket, then sojourning in Sens, selected this architect to
rebuild Canterbury Cathedral in far-off England. Now we come to a
sixteenth century tale which serves to show that the people of the
Middle Ages were likewise keenly interested in art and that an artist's
fame travelled perhaps even more widely, all things considered, than it
does to-day. The beautifully light and graceful transepts at Sens were
built by Martin Cambiche, who was also the architect of Beauvais
Cathedral and likewise drew the plans for the west front of St. Pierre
at Troyes.

First let us look at the cathedral's exterior. When viewing the west
front we are struck by the appearance of unusually great breadth, due
partly to the construction of the cathedral itself and partly to the
placing of the Officialité (a thirteenth century building) which has its
greatest length extending to the south level with the cathedral's west
front. Note the device of the Officialité's architect to increase the
seeming length of his front by gradually diminishing the distances
between his buttresses. Within this fine hall St. Louis (Louis IX) was
betrothed. This ponderous appearance of breadth resulting from the
juxtaposition of these two buildings might have produced too massive an
effect if it were not for the almost coquettish fashion in which the
tower rises up at the cathedral's southwest corner, giving a decided
uplift and point to the entire façade. Although the cathedral has far
fewer windows than we shall see at Troyes (because its triforium is not
pierced), the lighting here is almost garish, owing to the fact that the
clerestory embrasures are glazed only in grisaille. In the charming
transepts, however, we obtain what is perhaps the ideal lighting sought
for by the glass artist of the sixteenth century. The windows are very
numerous and of such general excellence as to render these the best
glazed transepts in France. They have not only unusually ample window
space in their sides, but have also large low-reaching panels below the
big rose windows which, as usual, decorate the upper portion of the end
walls. So generous was this architect in the number and size of wall
apertures as to prove how greatly he esteemed the assistance of the
glazier. The records show that those in charge of the building made most
intelligent use of the opportunity provided by the unusual amount of
window space. They sent far and wide for the best artists. We read
that in 1500 they summoned from Troyes three master glass painters,
Lyenin-Varin, Jean Verrat and Balthazar Godon, and turned a large part
of the work over to them. These men finished their task in three years,
and the result amply justifies their selection. The rose windows are
especially pleasing, that to the south showing the Last Judgment with
many repetitions of the Angel Gabriel, and that to the north a most
charming throng of angels playing upon various musical instruments,
the interweaving of the glass tones being as harmonious as befits this
heavenly choir. The best known window in this part of the church is a
very brilliant Tree of Jesse with a red background bearing on one of its
branches the celebrated Grey Jackass (a familiar figure in the old
"Fête des Fous"): it is at the north end of the east wall of the south
transept. Of the beauty of these transepts, as well as of the way in
which their architecture and glass prove mutually helpful, too much
cannot be said. The most famous windows in the church are two by Jean
Cousin, who, although born in this city in 1501, is only represented in
his home cathedral by these examples. His glorious St. Eutropius is in
the third chapel on the right of the nave, but even finer still is the
Tiburtine Sibyl in the Notre Dame de Lorette chapel on the right side of
the choir ambulatory. It is only fair to this second window to say that
it was somewhat damaged during the siege of 1814. After inspecting these
two products of his genius, it is easy to understand why Jean Cousin
enjoyed so wide a fame. We have already referred to the splendid relics
of the twelfth century which are found on the other side of the choir
ambulatory. The result of this very convenient opportunity to compare
the best work of the twelfth and the sixteenth centuries is that we are
sure to be startled by the difference not only in results, but also in
methods.

 [Illustration: SOUTH TRANSEPT, SENS (16TH CENTURY).
     _The Rose is now greatly elaborated, its lines more flowing, and
     its position in the wall beautified by the graceful adjustment
     of the lancets below._]


TROYES

To-day the flat country of the ancient province of Champagne, broken
only by occasional ridges of the chalk which underlie the surface to the
great advantage of its famous grapes, affords but little of interest to
the traveller by automobile, and has only its level going to recommend
it to the bicyclist. There is not enough traffic on its roads to enliven
the monotony of the journey. How different must it have been when these
same highways teemed with interesting groups from every rank of society,
all crowding to the famous fair of Troyes, which during the Middle Ages
was the bourne of so many traders, knights and other seekers of
adventure from all parts of Christendom. In those days no one would have
had leisure to notice the monotony of the scenery, so engrossed would he
have been in those passing crowds made up of every nationality of
Europe, all repairing to this great mart of trade. During those halcyon
days of commercial distinction there must have been laid broad
foundations of cosmopolitan tastes, and a reflection upon those times
makes it easier to understand why so many artists should later have
been born citizens of that stout burgh. This also explains why so large
a number of Flemish and Italian artists resorted hither, leaving marked
traces of their influence. This prosperity was temporarily checked by
the edict of Louis X forbidding the Flemish to trade at its fairs, and
the absence of these lowlanders was soon followed by that of the
Italians. From this cause, combined with others, the fairs lost their
importance, and the Hundred Years War coming soon after, put the
finishing touches to the city's decadence. The damaging and dreary years
of the English occupation were, however, enlivened by the episode of the
marriage of Henry V of England to Catherine of France, attended by all
the pomp and pageantry that would naturally be attracted thither by so
notable an event. Troyes did not, however, recover her old commercial
prestige until just before the beginning of the sixteenth century. Then
she took such a bound forward as, through the new wealth of her
citizens, to make possible that encouragement of art which developed the
unrivalled school of glass painters soon to make her famous far and
near. In fact, so widely was their fame spread and so firmly were they
established, that their school persisted far into the seventeenth
century, the vigour of their art long outliving that of most of the
other French glass centres. There is no place in France in which one can
better see examples of the various ramifications of the sixteenth
century style in glass. We have here not only the cathedral, but church
after church full of the work of the best masters. We shall see not only
the picture window in lively colour, but also that in the subdued style
of grey and yellow stain, to which we have alluded before. Furthermore,
in the Library there is a series of historical panels which is not
excelled anywhere, the secular topics of the scenes giving an excellent
opportunity to show costumes and manners of the times. Nor must one
confine oneself within the exact limits of the sixteenth century,
because we have noted that here the style of that century extended
practically unchanged far into the next. We shall begin when the style
begins and we shall follow it as long as its healthy life continues. Of
the numerous churches in Troyes, those which chiefly interest the glass
student are the Cathedral, St. Urbain, St. Jean, St. Nizier, La
Madeleine, St. Pantaléon, St. Nicolas, and St. Martin-ès-Vignes. Besides
these churches, there is also the Library to be visited for its series
of windows devoted to civic subjects. For a description of that Gothic
eggshell, St. Urbain, turn back to page 82, where will also be found an
account of the splendid thirteenth century glass that makes the choir of
the Cathedral so glorious.

Let us begin our stroll about the town by a visit to St. Jean. It would
be difficult for a church to more completely preserve its mediæval
appearance than this one. Besides, the way in which it is tucked in
between two crooked, narrow old streets conforms to the most approved
rules of stage setting. Its quaint, irregular exterior makes it appear a
picturesque medley of three or four churches of varying size, while its
ancient belfry perched on one side like a feather in a cap lends the
ensemble an almost jaunty air. The altar before which Louis II was
crowned and Henry V of England married, has been removed to the east and
placed in the more modern Lady Chapel. We get an interesting hint of the
great value attached to stained glass when we learn that the original of
a window on the right side of the nave clerestory (showing the
coronation of Louis II) was demanded as part of the ransom of Francis I
when he was captured at the Battle of Pavia. This original window is
said to be somewhere in Spain. The axis of the choir slants quite
noticeably from that of the nave, and the priests say that this slant is
intended to symbolise the inclination of the head of Christ on the Cross
after His death. We notice the same difference in axis, as well as the
same tradition, at Quimper, but we there learned that the true
explanation was not so poetic. Here also we are obliged to reject the
quaint legend of the priests; the municipal improvements after the great
fire which ravaged the city in 1524, necessitated the rectification of
the street line, and the north side of the choir had to be slanted to
conform thereto. The glass is in many ways of interest, but has been a
good deal mutilated. That in the nave has suffered most, but fortunately
much of its beauty remains. Notice the admirable Judgment of Solomon on
the south side. In the choir and in its chapels we shall get a real
taste of the Troyes glass school, some of the windows being excellent,
especially that of the brothers Gonthier, showing the Marriage Feast at
Cana, the Manna in the Desert, etc. In many of the churches in this city
we shall observe paintings hung upon the walls, and two of those which
decorate this sanctuary will serve to remind us that Pierre Mignard, the
great painter of Louis XIV, was born here.

Another ancient church, and one much richer in glass, is St. Nizier. Its
original glazing had remained practically intact until in August, 1901,
when a most unusual calamity overcame some of it. An anarchist exploded
a bomb in a chapel on the north of the choir. We have observed what our
poor friend has had to endure in many places, but to be shattered by an
anarchistic explosion seems a most incongruous fate. It is, however, a
pleasant surprise to find how little damage was done by this act of
vandalism. The finest window is undoubtedly that which adorns the south
transept and shows Religion overcoming Heresy. The central one in the
choir (the Virgin Mary and the Apostles receiving the Holy Ghost) is by
the celebrated Macadré of Troyes, but the writer finds its effect
injured by the fact that the artist (probably to indicate that the side
panels are to be considered in conjunction with the central one) allows
the hands of certain figures at the side to extend over upon the central
panel. This century surely went far enough in its disregard for the
delimiting duties of the leads, but when we find an artist so careless
of the properties of his materials as to put a hand over on the other
side of a stone mullion, it would seem that the limit had been exceeded.

The most ancient of all the Troyes churches is La Madeleine. It contains
a marvellous jubé arch swung in air between the two western columns of
the choir. Although of stone, the workmanship is so delicate and
lace-like that we are not surprised that the epitaph of its builder
buried below used to read that he calmly awaited the Judgment Day with
no fear of the stone arch falling upon him. The glass around the choir
is excellent, but we must go to the Lady Chapel to see the best. On the
right is a Tree of Jesse, remarkable for the number of figures it
contains. The east window is the gift of the Jewellers' Guild, which
fact is carefully set forth thereon. To the left is a fine example of
glass-making, but in addition to that, because of the treatment of its
subject, it is as interesting as one will often find. Beginning at the
lower left-hand corner and reading to the right, are a series of scenes
depicting the creation of the world, Garden of Eden, etc. The
imagination of the artist set forth the creation of the world in a
manner surprisingly close to the latest theories of modern science. He
starts with a round glowing ball of matter which, by means of rotation
upon its axis, develops in the succeeding pictures, first, a more
symmetrical shape, and then the appearance of land, formation of
continents, etc., etc. On the left of each of these scenes stands the
figure of Jehovah, in a costume resembling that of a high priest. There
is hardly a window in France that tells as much or is more interesting
in the telling than this one.

 [Illustration: "CREATION" WINDOW, LA MADELEINE, TROYES (16TH CENTURY).
     _Read from left to right, beginning with lowest tier. Earth
     evolved from chaos, shown by glowing yellow ball revolving on
     its axis; birth of Eve, etc. Tracery Lights above are becoming
     simpler in form as elaborate Gothic gives way to Renaissance._]

Now we come to a style that is better shown here than anywhere else--the
picture window composed of grey and occasionally some flesh tints, with
touches of yellow stain to relieve it. Two churches are entirely glazed
in this manner--St. Pantaléon and St. Nicolas. The latter, it is true,
has one or two of its upper windows in colour, but the general effect
is that of a church glazed in grey and stain. Of course, these two
interiors, because of this glazing, are very brilliantly lighted, and
in the opinion of the writer, much too brilliantly. This method proved
very felicitous when devoted to domestic purposes (as found towards the
end of this century and during the early part of the next), but for
a religious edifice, although interesting, it is doubtful if it is
beautiful or suitable. There are some unusual architectural features to
be found in both these churches. St. Nicolas has a very graceful stone
gallery extending across the western end approached by a gradually
bending staircase, the supports of which are of admirable design. St.
Pantaléon can hardly be said to be attractive. The interior is too high
and too glaringly lighted, but it affords the best opportunity to study
this grey and stain style. Notice that freely as is the yellow stain
used to enliven the monotony of the greys, it does not succeed in
producing the charming silvery tone yielded by the canopy window of the
two preceding centuries. Here and there one observes an attempt to
modify the ultra-yellowish grey tone by introducing blues into the
borders. The falseness of style everywhere noticeable reaches its climax
in a gallery on the left near the entrance, containing two stone figures
which appear to be looking down from it. Do not fail to visit St.
Pantaléon in order to study its unusual glazing, but do so out of
curiosity and not expecting beauty, or you will be disappointed. Its
lack of charm will, however, prove useful if you go straight on from
here to the Cathedral, for by contrast it will intensify your
appreciation of the sympathetic assistance which the wealth of colour
there lends to the splendid architectural effect of the interior. We
have already taken our reader to inspect the thirteenth century glass
around the choir, but now we will have him stop in the nave to see the
work which the sixteenth century produced. One immediately notices the
particularly clear fresh colouring of the glass, and this, combined
with its great quantity (for the pierced triforium permits an
additional row of windows besides the clerestory above and the aisles
below), produces an impression which is so unique, and so distinctive,
that it always lingers in the memory. The rather unpleasant contrast
noticed at Bourges between the depth and the warmth of the thirteenth
century and the lighter tones of the later glass is fortunately absent
from Troyes. The reason for this is the unusually rich colour of the
later windows. From so many excellent ones it is difficult to select a
few to mention, but we particularly commend the fourth on the right (a
Tree of Jesse) and the one in the fourth chapel on the left, Linard
Gonthier's famous Wine Press. The Tree of Jesse is not only a beautiful
example of its type, but is rather out of the ordinary because it has a
red instead of a blue background. Upon this window, as well as on most
of the others, are to be seen the donors, their coats-of-arms, and other
interesting sixteenth century features. Gonthier's Wine Press is so well
known as hardly to call for a word of description. Christ is stretched
out in the press, His blood running into a chalice, while from His
breast springs a vine spreading over the window, bearing as its blossoms
the twelve Apostles. Although this window is dated 1625, it is in the
best style of the sixteenth century and shows no tendency towards
decadence in either drawing or colouring. Before leaving the interior,
notice an odd architectural device in the north rose. This window is of
the wheel type and has a supporting column running up through it as far
as its middle, suggesting a gigantic pinwheel. There is a similar
supporting column in the north rose at Tours, but there it runs straight
up through the window to the top, and unfortunately is too heavily and
solidly built.

Nearly all mediæval glass was adorned with religious subjects, and
therefore we have an unusual treat when we visit the large hall of the
Library and examine the thirty-two panels that fill its eight large
windows. They are from the hand of Linard Gonthier, and the scenes are
commemorative of the visit to Troyes of Henry IV in 1595. Very charming,
indeed, are these pictures of the life and pageants of the time. There
are many familiar little touches, such as a small boy being pushed off
into the water by the crowd, etc. Some of the panels are also rich in
armorial bearings.

We have purposely delayed until the last any reference to St.
Martin-ès-Vignes because it was entirely glazed at the time when the
Troyes sixteenth century school, although still worthy of its
traditions, was about reaching its end. This glass is uniformly good and
provides a most pleasing interior, obviously relying for its effect upon
the glazing. The dating is that of the earlier years of the seventeenth
century. If we examine the windows too closely we easily find
indications of a decadence of style. For instance, the second on the
left gives so much importance to the kneeling donors that, although we
cannot deny the excellence of the work, we must strongly criticise the
taste which made them so prominent a feature. Regarded as a whole,
however, the result in this church is so excellent that it clearly
proves what we have before stated, viz.: the virility and strength of
the glassmaker's art at Troyes outlasted that of most of the
contemporary French schools.


CHALONS-SUR-MARNE

Before paying our second visit here to examine the sixteenth century
windows, let us turn back to page 87 and refresh our memory by glancing
through the account of our thirteenth century trip to this city. We
shall thus be reminded of the modestly retiring beauty of its small
parks, as well as of its cathedral and two fine churches. Every style of
sixteenth century glass is to be found in Chalons, but for all that it
would hardly be selected as one of the best places in which to compare
them. The small church of St. Alpin has in its nave a series of
excellent windows of yellow stain and grey such as we noticed in St.
Pantaléon and St. Nicolas at Troyes. In those two churches the
relatively great window space exposes the weakness of this style by
demonstrating that in large interiors it makes the light glaring. By
contrast, in St. Alpin, where the nave ceiling is low and the window
apertures small, this method of glazing, by admitting a great deal of
light, produces a very happy effect. In this St. Alpin glass there are
marked traces of Italian taste, more so than in that at Troyes, though
the latter is commonly credited with being the most noticeably affected
by foreign influence. The first one on the right, showing St. Alpin
before Attila, is delightful, every advantage having been taken of the
softness of tone which is the chief merit of this particular treatment.
Some of the others are also good, but the one just mentioned is the
best. Around the choir are interesting coloured panels, but so broken up
into small scenes as to be rendered ineffective. The handsome church of
Notre Dame does not, in its windows, fulfill the promise of its
architecture. A great deal of the glass is new, and much of the old is
mutilated, but in the lower row on the left side of the nave there are
several brilliant examples of what the sixteenth century Champagne
school could accomplish in the picture window. Especially vigorous and
striking is the first on the left, showing St. James encouraging the
Spaniards to defeat the Moors. It is as good a battle picture in glass
as one will find. In the fifth on the left (a Crucifixion scene) we note
a trick often observed in this province, for the little golden stars are
separately leaded into the blue sky. Passing on to the Cathedral,
disappointment awaits us. On our former visit we found it so fruitful
and interesting in thirteenth century glass that we had a right to
expect more than is yielded by the inspection of the row of sixteenth
century windows which extend along the lower right side of the nave. The
canopies in the sixth one betray that it is fifteenth century, but all
the others are later. The first on the right is the most interesting of
this series, although it is the poorest in execution. On eleven of its
compartments are represented scenes from the Creation, Garden of Eden,
etc., wherein certain quaint conceits are noticeable. Unfortunately its
many nudes are very poorly drawn and the glass used is mediocre in
quality. We can here clearly see that, although the artist of this
period was saved a great deal of lead work by his large pieces of glass,
their use required him to select sheets of evener tone and better
quality than in the days when his pieces were much smaller.


MONTFORT L'AMAURY

An agreeable route from Paris to Conches, etc., is by way of Montfort
l'Amaury, which lies beyond Versailles, just off the main road to Dreux,
and 45 kilometres distant from Paris. If the pilgrim is travelling by
train or if he wishes to go straight from Paris to Conches, he should
then postpone until another occasion his visit to Montfort l'Amaury, and
will thus keep in store for himself a very pleasant half-day automobile
excursion. The object of the visit proves to be a small church which has
preserved its sixteenth century glazing practically intact. Nothing
could be more simple than its ground plan, for there are no transepts,
no chapels, simply one long building rounded at the east end, whose
shape suggests that of a man's thumb. While we must not expect to find
so splendid a glass series as at Conches, neither must we fail to
appreciate that here is a church with thirty-three windows, all of the
sixteenth century, and in excellent state of preservation. As we enter
by the small south portal the effect that meets our eye is most
agreeable. Closer inspection of the windows unfortunately reveals that
they vary markedly in quality and are evidently the work of different
artists. It cannot be denied that many of them are commonplace, although
none is really poor. Their dating helps to explain this mediocrity, for
they were constructed towards the end of the sixteenth century, at a
time when our art was hurrying into decadence. The few earlier ones, and
especially that dated 1544, are the best. The latter is the eighth on
the left and depicts Jesus being shown to the people. Another, the third
on the left, tells the story of Joseph, and is an obvious example of the
Italian influence so prevalent during that epoch. The scene in which he
is escaping from Potiphar's wife is almost an exact copy from Raphael.
We must not fail to remark the third from the eastern end, in which the
Holy Ghost is descending upon the assembled disciples in the form of a
shower of golden tongues. The grouping of the figures, the play of the
colours, and the richness lent by these touches of gold, all combine to
make a brilliant picture. The second to the right of this contains the
Falling of Manna in the Wilderness, but as the tones used here are much
lower, and the manna is depicted as a rain of white spots, the window,
as a whole, is much quieter than the one just described. In the church
at Montfort l'Amaury an instructive light is thrown upon the obtrusive
appearance of donors so frequently found during the sixteenth century.
We know that the figures are often so large as to be positively
obnoxious, but it is here demonstrated beyond doubt that the artist
worked very much more carefully upon these portraits than upon the rest
of his window. There are few places where this can be more conveniently
studied, and for this reason our visit has been a useful one, even
though the glass be of a class a little below the best.


CONCHES

There are four modest shrines to which every glass lover should contrive
to repair, no matter what may be the difficulties in the way nor how
much time it may take. Of these four, one at Fairford (near Oxford) is
in England, while the other three are in France, and are the Ste.
Chapelle in Paris, the village church at Eymoutiers and Ste. Foy at
Conches. In each we find the church completely glazed in one period and,
furthermore, with the best glass then procurable. The scene that to-day
meets our eye in each of these small sanctuaries is practically the same
that rewarded the artist the day he completed his work. We have
frequently had occasion on our tours to notice how much certain glass
would have been improved if contrasting windows could but be removed
from the edifice, or the edifice itself in some way changed. There will
be no need for any such mental correction of the picture when we visit
Conches. Here, after you have closed the door on the twentieth century
life outside, you feel that you have turned back the finger of time and
are living in the days of that eloquent beauty which speaks out to you
from its windows. Perhaps nowhere else will you get the wonderful accord
of tone with tone and hue with hue that makes the colour at Conches so
radiantly lovely. We find ourselves in a very simple church about twice
as long as broad, the only departure from its rectangular plan being a
small five-sided chapel which projects from its eastern end. There is
nothing to aid the glass in its service of making splendid the interior.
In fact, one might add that there is nothing which dares insult it by an
offer of so obviously unnecessary assistance. Practically all the
windows are of the sixteenth century, and they are so fine that it seems
unfair to call particular attention to the elaborate set designed by
Aldegrevers, a pupil of Albrecht Dürer. These fill the seven tall
windows of two lancets each, which light the eastern chapel and are
dated 1520. Of the forty-two subjects upon these windows, those in the
upper range show scenes from the life of Christ and those in the lower
from that of Ste. Sophia. It is unfair to describe them; they should be
seen. At this point we may comment that although it is occasionally
possible to convey some idea of an individual panel by technical
description, it is useless to attempt, by means of words, to give a
reader a just conception of such an interior as the glass produces at
Conches. Beside these by Aldegrevers there are eighteen others whose
dates, running from 1540 to 1553, show them to be of slightly later
construction. In the fourth on the right the allegorical subject
contains an unusual detail. A group of figures represent the Liberal
Arts, and among them, Music: upon her insignia appears a musical phrase
expressed in proper notation. This representation of written music upon
glass is extremely rare. We shall see another of the very infrequent
instances when we visit Caudebec. Among the finest windows is the fifth
on the right, which represents the allegory of the Wine Press. Here the
subject is not treated in the usual gruesome fashion. It is not the
blood of Christ which serves as the wine but, instead, the juice of
grapes which He is crushing in the press. Throughout all these windows
the distant landscapes are depicted in much more convincing colouring
than is usually found at this time. This seems due to the fact that the
light blue glass used for that purpose is left clear of all paint except
that needed for delineation. Elsewhere these blue backgrounds often have
so much paint upon them as to be rendered partly opaque and therefore
incapable of simulating the depth necessary for great distances. In
strength as well as in judicious combination of a surprisingly wide
range of colours, their century can show few examples to rival these.
Not only is their value enhanced by the simplicity of the interior which
they decorate, and which, therefore, has nothing to distract our
attention from their beauty, but this very beauty is made all the more
impressive by the sharp contrast provided by the dullness of the little
town outside and the plain exterior of the church which it so glorifies.


PONT-AUDEMER

The church of St. Ouen at Pont-Audemer will always have for the writer
that peculiar charm of almost proprietary right which the discoverer is
sure to feel in something upon which he has happened unexpectedly. On
his way through the town he saw the church, and having noticed from the
outside that the windows contained stained glass, he stopped and went
in, undeterred by the positively dishevelled look of the unfinished and
dismantled west front. A delightful surprise awaited him. Around the
walls of the nave, the space usually occupied by the triforium gallery
here becomes a broad frieze so exquisitely carved in Gothic patterns as
seemingly to drape the walls with lace. In fact, you hardly notice the
unfinished condition of the upper part of the church, so engrossed are
you in this very unusual feature, one of which any cathedral in France
might be proud. And in the embrasures below, what a gallery of
harmonious glass! Not only are the individual windows excellent, but
they harmonise so well as to make one feel that each artist must have
been at the greatest pains to make his work contribute to and not
interfere with the general scheme. It is for the glass hunter a treasure
trove to find a church which has preserved a complete glazing of one
period, but to have the windows all good, and better still, in such
charming accord with each other, makes the occasion of his visit to
Pont-Audemer a red-letter day. The ground plan of the church is somewhat
broken up, but even that seems but to add to the charm of the interior.
The first window to the left in what might be called the choir
ambulatory is not only the best but by far the most interesting. Without
any definite division of its surface into panels, the whole picture
seems to gracefully resolve itself into four contrasting scenes from the
Old and the New Testament, entitled "Devant la Loy," "Soubz la Loy,"
"Devant la Grace," "Soubz la Grace." The effect of clouds in the sky is
very elaborately worked out, while here and there between them peep
forth the head and wings of little cherubs--it is really very engaging.
Possibly the over-captious visitor may consider the combination of small
heads and surrounding clouds somewhat reminiscent of the buttons holding
down upholstery, but such a carping critic should be packed off about
his ill-tempered business! In a window on the right side of the nave the
donors are ranged along a little gallery in the lowest panel. This
method has in its favour that it does not present them as intruders on
the picture, so often the case in this century. We carry away with us a
charming impression of the service rendered by the glass in toning the
light for the graceful stone carvings on the nave walls. The effect is
unique.

On the outskirts of the town there is a small church, St. Germain, whose
east window is an agreeable example of fifteenth century canopy work.


CAUDEBEC-EN-CAUX

Our way from Pont-Audemer lies for some little distance through the
large Fôret de Brotonne, one of those tidy symmetrical woods produced by
the excellent system of French forestry. Its excellence, however, is
largely practical, for all the charm of the "forest primeval" is pruned
away. On reaching the banks of the Seine we find ourselves in full view
of the pretty town of Caudebec, its graceful cathedral spire beckoning
us across the water. It is just at this point in the river that there
occurs the Mascaret, the local name given to a swift-rushing wave
produced by the conflict between the incoming tide and the outgoing
current of the river; it takes place only at stated intervals and is
then viewed by numerous tourists. Assuming that we have arrived at a
time when the Mascaret is not interfering with navigation, we embark
upon a flat, open ferry-boat and soon reach the bank on the other side
and are off to the cathedral. Few French churches have their Gothic
architecture lightened and beautified by more infinite detail of carving
than this at Caudebec, while over all rises an airy spire encircled at
three different heights by a stone crown--a form of decoration very
unusual and quite lovely. Above the west portal is a gallery that
attracts our notice because its open-work stone railing is composed of
Gothic letters. Once inside the church, we realise that the windows are
well worth a visit, particularly to one seeking quaint details in glass,
for there are many such here. We have already referred in our
introduction to the first window on the right, the Israelites crossing
the Red Sea. In order to render the scene as descriptive and realistic
as possible, red glass is used to make the sea, thus removing any
possible doubt in the observer's mind as to the identity of that body of
water. Almost opposite (the second on the left) is a Tree of Jesse, upon
which the descendants appear at full length instead of as the usual
busts. Much golden brown is used, not only in the intricate convolutions
of the vine, but also in the costumes and in the stone terrace
supporting the pavilion below which Jesse is seated. Above the small
north portal is a pleasing canopy window of the fifteenth century whose
unusual feature is that the bottom of it is curved to fit the arched top
of the door. Because of this unusual base, the customary pedestals at
the foot could not be used, but the irregularly shaped space is
tastefully filled with decorations of yellow stain, surcharged with
shields whose heraldry catches the eye of the American traveller,
because they bear stars on a blue field, as well as red and white
stripes. Fifteenth century canopies also fill the first window to the
east of this portal and the three to the west, one being dated 1442,
and all containing four lancets. A couple of windows across the church
are also of this type, while the whole of the side-lights of the
clerestory contain contemporary light-admitting panels, whose colour is
restricted to a few round bosses bearing golden rays, and to the broad
golden borders which here are carried up into and almost fill the
tracery panes above. Another very unusual feature (and one which we have
just noticed at Conches) is the presence of two pieces of music written
out in the form called "full chant" and borne by angels.

If one can spare the time, Villequier, four kilometres down the Seine,
should be visited. The small church there has seven excellent sixteenth
century windows, one of which, that in the centre on the north side, is
really famous. The lower half of its three lancets each contains a
figure on a white background bearing an etched damasked pattern,
bordered richly in gold. Across the entire upper half is spread out a
spirited naval battle in which four ships are engaged. The armoured
knights are depicted with great vigour, while excellent use is made of
the artistic possibilities provided by three great pennants, two of red
with white crosses, and one of yellow bearing a black eagle.

The route from Caudebec to Rouen is charming, thanks to the
ever-changing views provided by the windings of the Seine. If we please,
we may stop on the way to view the Abbey of St. Wandrille (recently
purchased by Maeterlinck) and also the loftily impressive ruins of the
Abbey of Jumièges. Jumièges, in the midst of its beautiful park, is most
picturesquely situated within one of those very pronounced loops so
common in the lower Seine, which seem to signify the unwillingness of
its waters to depart from this delightful corner of France.


ROUEN

Upon approaching Rouen one is sure to be struck by the insolent daring
of its situation. Lying on a sloping plain beside the river, it seems to
disdain the well-nigh impregnable site afforded by the steep cliffs
which rise just to the northeast. The history of the city bears out the
audacity of its location. Through all the centuries its inhabitants
concerned themselves so continuously in conquering other peoples that
little time was left in which to consider the security of their own
homes. The Norman boasted that his strongest defence was a vigorous
offence, and he made good his boast. The town of William the Conqueror
seems always to have been imbued by the spirit which gave him his name,
and the triumphs of the Normans in England, and later in Italy, are but
natural expressions of that virility of race which endures to the
present day. Upon the arms of the city there appears a lamb with one of
its forefeet lifted. Upon this is based the old Norman saying, "L'agneau
de la ville a toujours la patte levée," a homely comment upon the
restless spirit of its citizens and their disposition to be always up
and doing. Perhaps the most characteristic feature of Rouen when viewed
from a distance is the great number of its spires that shoot up above
the house-tops, earning for it the sobriquet of the City of Churches.
This very attractive detail is all the more striking because so rarely
seen in French towns, and is particularly reminiscent to one freshly
arrived from England, a country whose church towers are such a charming
feature of the landscape. Full of significant history is this Rouen--a
history branded for all time by the cowardly fire that ended the
tortures of Joan of Arc, that strangely potent and beautiful spirit.
Fortunately, no trace remains of that dastardly deed. Turning to a less
sinister page in the city's history, we see on one side of the
market-place, a small pagoda-like structure called the old tower of the
Fiérté. Here, on Ascension Day in every year, was freed a prisoner
selected by the people, and that this privilege was jealously retained
by them is proved by the existence of a complete list of the prisoners
so freed from 1210 to 1790. Nor do the records stop there: they also
narrate many a fierce encounter resulting from the determination of the
burghers to preserve this right. Most of the quaint features of the town
have been modernised away--so thriving a commerce as here flourishes
could not long tolerate the old narrow crooked streets. Where old
features remain they are so obviously protected as to look almost
theatrical. Of this the two best examples are the clockbearing archway
over the street which bears its name (Grosse Horloge), and the ancient
carved wood housefront transported from its original site, affixed to
another dwelling and dubbed the House of Diane de Poitiers.

Placed just at the point where ships coming in from the sea must
transfer their freight to the smaller vessels that go up the Seine,
Rouen is so intent upon her commerce, that all the principal hotels are
strung along the quays on the riverfront, a very unusual arrangement in
a French town. When we visited the church of St. Ouen to see its
fifteenth century glass, we mentioned the esteem in which the Rouen
glass-makers were held at that time both at home and abroad. From what
we are now about to see we can judge for ourselves how much truer it
must have been in the sixteenth century. The number of splendidly glazed
churches which have been preserved for our inspection almost consoles us
for the long list of others swept away by the ruthless vandalism of the
Revolution, and, to a less extent, by the peaceful hand of time or the
mailed fist of war. The principal ones we should visit (beside St.
Ouen already described) are St. Maclou, St. Vincent, St. Patrice, St.
Godard, St. Romain and the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Perhaps the
least interesting sixteenth century glass is in that gem of Gothic
architecture, St. Maclou, whose florid façade has its bizarre charm
accentuated by the graceful bowing outwards of the west front. The
glass that attracts us most is in the transept rose windows, the lancets
below them and in the very brilliant western rose. All these roses are
dwarfed by the excessive size of the pendent lancets: it is all the more
unfortunate, because considered separately the roses as well as the
lancets are excellent. The earlier windows in the choir chapels have
been described in our former visit (see page 144). In the south transept
a well-composed Crucifixion scene is carried across all the lancets. The
north transept contains a Tree of Jesse on a blue background, and oddly
enough, the tree has white branches. In leaving St. Maclou, notice the
dainty spiral staircase that winds up at the south side of the door; it
seems almost too delicate to be made of stone.

St. Vincent has its entire lower part lighted by large embrasures
completely glazed with glass of this period, producing a singularly
brilliant and luminous effect all about us. The columns which separate
the ambulatory from the choir are so slender that they do not materially
interfere with our view, and thus the whole interior is exposed at once,
an enclosure of glorious colour. In fact, it is not too much to say of
this church and, to a less extent, of the two which we shall next visit,
that they are bowers of iridescent glowing light. There are two Trees of
Jesse at St. Vincent, one over the north portal, and another at the east
end of the south aisle, but inspection of the latter reveals that the
genealogical tree rises not from Jesse but from St. Anne! In the true
Jesse tree over the northern door the branches are white, a peculiarity
just noticed at St. Maclou.

St. Patrice differs from St. Vincent in that, instead of seeming to
stand in the midst of a circle of luminous colour, our attention is
rather directed towards the splendid bow-window at the east with its
Crucifixion scene, to which all the rest of the glass seems decorously
subordinated. Although glazed a little later than St. Vincent, it yields
the same splendidly luminous effect, the natural result of a series of
panels all of this period. The chief boast of this church is the Triumph
of the Law of Grace by Jean Cousin in the Lady Chapel. Nor is his the
only great name that we shall find frequently upon the glass of Rouen.
One window much admired for its felicitous combination of theoretically
uncongenial colours is that which sets forth the legend of St. Hubert.
Its greens, reds, yellows and blues must be seen before one can believe
that it is possible to agreeably unite them.

Our next church is St. Godard, whose ancient glories have been so
restored and replaced by modern trash that we find it hard to believe
that, when it possessed its original glass, no church in all Normandy
could vie with it. To-day it is far less attractive than St. Vincent and
St. Patrice, the latter of which, by the way, now contains several of
the original windows of St. Godard. The second in the chapel named
after St. Romain, depicting scenes from his life, is one of the few in
the church which is not either restored or renewed. It is so good in
every way that one is surprised the other windows do not seem more out
of place by contrast. We sigh for the days when there was justified the
phrase used by the Norman peasant in describing good wine, "As red as
the windows of St. Godard."

Near the railway station is St. Romain, which, though less ancient than
those which we have just visited, is the fortunate possessor of glass
brought from several of the churches swept away by the Revolution.
Particularly notice the spirited scene of St. Romain slaying the
Gargouille, the fabled dragon of early Rouen. On the left, in what seems
to be a transept, is a pretty window at the bottom of which appear such
a sensibly modest row of small kneeling donors that we could wish that
all sixteenth century glaziers might have seen them, and had been
thereby restrained from their customary exaggeration in this particular.
Unfortunately, the ancient panels were not large enough to fill the
embrasures here provided, so this extra space was filled by wide borders
of light modern glass. The result is that these borders admit such a
flood of light as to drown the beauties of the older panels.

Now we have arrived at the Cathedral. Before we enter, let us feast our
eyes upon the delicate Gothic detail which softens and decorates its
sturdy west front. At the southwest corner rises the Tour du Beurre,
built (as was the same named tower at Bourges) from the moneys received
out of the sale of indulgences to eat butter during Lent. The modern
iron spire is so well designed as to seem hardly out of place among its
older sisters. We should enter by the north portal. Just outside it is
an enclosure formerly devoted to exhibiting the wares of booksellers,
which is shut off from the street by a light Gothic screen. Viewed
through it the wonderful carvings on the north portal become doubly
effective. The interior of the cathedral is as full of interest as the
best style of Gothic can make it. On the right is a very attractive
zigzag stairway which leads up to the library. In the Lady Chapel are
two especially fine tombs, one of the Duc de Brézé, husband of the
famous Diane de Poitiers, and the other of Louis XII's great Minister,
Cardinal d'Amboise. The fourteenth century glass of this chapel has
already been described (see page 144). The 130 windows which light the
cathedral's interior are mostly glazed in colour, but they are the
product of various centuries and are of varying excellence. We find here
but eight thirteenth century medallion windows, but they are delightful.
Two of them are in the nave, the third and fourth on the left. The
others are in the choir ambulatory and are so placed as to be singularly
effective. If one stands in either the north or the south aisle of the
nave and looks directly east, the only glass which meets his eye is that
of windows brilliant with these early medallions, far off at the other
end of the great cathedral. Just at this time the western rose window
chiefly concerns us because it is of the sixteenth century. Its
concentric circles of white angels, red seraphim, green palm branches,
etc., provide a strong contrast between the reds and yellows (filling
the centre third of it) and the dark greens and dark blues of the outer
two-thirds. In the southeasterly corner of the south transept, the
window on the east, as well as that on the south, are worthy of our
attention. The latter is by Jean Cousin, and its six panels show six
virtues, each entitled in Latin. Those of us who are subject to fits of
depression should especially observe "Fortitudo," for there the bishop
has slain the Blue Devil, and is pursuing its lilac and its green
brothers!

Although St. Ouen has already been visited for its magnificently
complete fourteenth century glazing (see page 144), the rose windows of
its transepts are such noteworthy examples of the Renaissance that we
must not omit a comment upon them at this point. That in the north
transept has its diverging figures arranged like herrings in a barrel,
but while those at the sides and around the lower part are light in
tone, those in the upper part are red seraphim and blue cherubim: this
is very unusual. The south rose is peopled by a multitude of small
personages, each occupying a pane by itself. Careful examination reveals
that we have here a Tree of Jesse. He is in the middle, but it is only
with some difficulty that we distinguish the branches of the vine
radiating from him.

Before leaving Rouen the traveller should see the interesting carvings
on the House of Bourgetheroulde, depicting the Field of the Cloth of
Gold, nor will he fail to admire the magnificent apartments which Norman
love of equity constructed for it in the Palais de Justice.

Besides the towns already visited, there are three others near Rouen
which contain interesting glass, Grand-Andely, Elbeuf and Pont de
l'Arche, distant, respectively, 33, 20 and 18 kilometres from Rouen.
They are worth a visit if one can spare the time, but we risk an
anti-climax in recommending our traveller to see them after the glories
of the Norman capital. The nearness of these towns and also of
Pont-Audemer (48 kilometres), Caudebec (35 kilometres), and Conches (51
kilometres), suggests a way in which one can change the whole itinerary
just outlined. This can be done by using Rouen as a centre from which to
run out and back, and thus visit all this group of six without cutting
oneself off from one's base. To one at all encumbered with luggage, this
suggestion will probably appeal.


GRAND-ANDELY

Of the trio just mentioned, Grand-Andely is much the most interesting,
in fact it deserves greater renown for its glass than it at present
enjoys. Unfortunately only one side of the church retains its original
glazing, but we find ample compensation for this, because the entire
southern half is filled with brilliant sixteenth century subjects, not
only along the chapels below, but also in the clerestory. After a
delightful hour spent here one readily credits the tale that a youth of
the neighbourhood, by constantly contemplating their glories, so
developed his love of colour that he determined to devote his life to
painting. This youth was Nicolas Poussin. The great width of the
embrasures, as well as their number (six in the nave and four in the
choir, on each side, both above and below), provide ample scope for the
display of the glazier's skill. Among so many of such excellence it is
difficult to select which to praise the most, but the third on the right
in the nave clerestory (dated 1560), because of Abraham's gorgeous
yellow robe, as well as the blue canopy with red draperies above the
aged Isaac, will linger longest in the writer's memory. Even when
viewed on a dull, grey day, one cannot escape from the impression that a
bright sun is shining outside, because of the brilliancy of this
window's hues. It is one of the few examples of this epoch to possess
that peculiarity, which, by the way, is so common among the mosaic type
of the thirteenth century. This tendency towards the ornate, everywhere
apparent throughout this series, finds its ultimate expression in the
sixth nave chapel on the right, where the stonework of the Renaissance
canopies is heavily overlaid with golden designs. The choir's four
southerly clerestory windows each contains a large figure under a canopy
of the time, the treatment varying in each case. Below, in the south
wall of the choir, the tracery lights of the two easternmost windows are
filled with diminutive angels, eleven praying or playing musical
instruments in one of them, and in the other, nine, each carrying a
symbol of the Passion. The way in which each angel is adjusted to the
small pane it occupies is very graceful.

The apse end is square, in the English fashion. Its great east window
contains good fourteenth century canopy work, in bands across a
grisaille field. The subsequent addition of a Lady Chapel to the east
has injured the effect of this glass, not only by an entrance being cut
through it below, but also because the second tier of canopies is
entirely shut off from the light by the wall of this later chapel built
against it outside. There is thus left only the third, or upper tier,
for our inspection. If the northern side of this church were as
fortunate as the southern in the possession of its original glazing,
this would rank among the best French glass shrines, which is high
praise.


ELBEUF

Elbeuf has two churches worthy of our attention, St. Etienne and St.
Jean, but the former is very much the better. In St. Jean the first four
windows on the right, three of those opposite them, and the first on
each side in the Lady Chapel are all of the sixteenth century. There is,
however, so much restoration as to greatly diminish our interest, except
in the Lady Chapel. There the one to the right displays scenes from the
life of the Virgin, with a label below each. The lower right-hand panel,
in which appear Joseph and Mary, carries realism to an extraordinary
point, while its label prevents any misunderstanding of its meaning.

However unsatisfactory St. Jean may prove, we shall be consoled when we
enter St. Etienne. There the whole effect leads up to and culminates in
the splendid bay that, with its three lofty windows, each containing
three lancets in double tiers, forms the eastern end of the choir. There
are no transepts, the nave joining directly on to the choir. Although
the nave glass is all modern, it does not affront the glories of its
older neighbours in the choir, which is, unfortunately, so often the
case elsewhere. One is tempted to confine one's comments to the splendid
easterly screen of colour, but that would be discriminating unjustly.
The famous legend of St. Hubert, dated 1500 (the second from the east in
the southerly choir aisle), has been too much restored, but this is the
only one that can be thus reproached. In the east end of this aisle we
find at the bottom of a window two panels with tapestry-makers at work,
showing that it was the gift of that guild. Across, in the north aisle,
the easternmost window in the north wall is a Tree of Jesse, dated 1523.
Jesse is seated beneath a pavilion; from the tent pole sprouts a vine,
out of whose blossoms arise the usual half-length figures. In the
topmost pane of the traceries, the Virgin is seen emerging from a great
lily.


PONT DE L'ARCHE

Pont de l'Arche, approached from Rouen, is most picturesque. It lies
snuggled down by the river, its bridge flung invitingly towards you
across the Seine, while behind it the forest comes down the steep slope
almost to the town. The church, perched high upon a corner of the old
fortifications, seems to be keeping watch over the homes of its
parishioners. Its elaborately carved exterior gives rise to expectations
that are not realised, for within we find but little glass to arrest our
attention, although what there is dates from the sixteenth century. At
the eastern end of the north wall there is a Tree of Jesse, but it is
clumsily imagined and coarsely drawn. The flowers upon the vine are too
large, and from them protrude great half-length figures, so much out of
balance with the rest of the design as to render the ensemble lumbering
and ungraceful. The reason for our visit is provided by the second
window east from the south portal. The upper part shows Christ walking
on the sea. Below, reaching across the entire window, is a scene full of
the liveliest local interest. A boat is being drawn under an arch of the
bridge over the Seine, and pulling upon the two long tow-ropes are
groups of the townspeople, fifteen of them and two teams of horses
tugging at one rope, and eighteen and one team at the other. These
groups are carefully painted in enamel. A second vessel is being
similarly assisted under another arch of the bridge, the tow-rope in
this instance being made fast to a rowboat. The details of the bridge,
of the fortified island in the right foreground, and of the enamelled
figures of the citizens, are all most engaging. In the matter of correct
perspective, the artist relies heavily upon the indulgence of the
spectator, but otherwise the panel is agreeable, full of quaint
interest, and absolutely unique.


MONTMORENCY GLASS

The tour which we now propose will prove particularly attractive to the
automobilist or bicyclist, although we do not by that statement desire
to discourage the traveller by train. He will find the same glass and
the same towns, but he will miss the opportunity to enjoy, en route, the
forests of Montmorency and Chantilly which during the summer are so
alluring. During the first part of the journey we will see glass
designed for moderate sized interiors and, therefore, adapted for close
inspection. On these windows will be found many careful portraits of the
donors, some of which in their perfection of treatment have never been
surpassed. It would be unfortunate if this itinerary for any reason
should be omitted, because without it our study of sixteenth century
glass would not be comprehensively complete. We leave Paris by the road
going north through St. Denis: our pilgrim will hardly, upon this
occasion, stop to visit the Abbey Church, because nearly all of its
glass is modern and glaringly poor. What there is of old glass is
twelfth century and either fragmentary or much restored and repaired.
The celebrated window showing the devout figure of its donor, Abbot
Suger, excites our reverence, hardly our admiration. Its chief interest
lies in the fact that there has come down to us the good abbot's own
account of this among other windows which he presented. The tombs of the
French kings are, of course, most impressive, and provide one of the
great sights of France to one interested however slightly in its
history, but to-day we are in pursuit of stained glass, so the Abbey of
St. Denis must wait until another occasion. The road straight on to the
north leads to Ecouen, but that visit must be deferred a little, so just
outside of St. Denis we turn sharply to the left and after eight
kilometres arrive at Montmorency, delightfully perched upon a hill with
orchards on every side. From the little platform just outside the west
front we get a fine view of the forest of the same name which,
fortunately for American eyes, has not been so pruned as to no longer
resemble a forest. From Montmorency we take the right hand to Ecouen
there to rejoin the straight road running north out of St. Denis. We
follow this road to Chantilly, where the Montmorency glass ends, then
turn northwest to Beauvais, and after enjoying its splendid cathedral,
return to Paris. At this point let us remark that although automobiles
and trains undoubtedly add to the comfort of the traveller, it would be
better for us on this particular trip if we could substitute for them a
mediæval belief in magic. Then our first move would certainly be to
seize a fairy wand and summon as our guide that glorious warrior,
courtier and patron of the arts, the great constable, Anne de
Montmorency. Nothing could be more incongruous than the selection for
him of a woman's name, even though borrowed from the Queen of Louis XII.
The reason for summoning him is most obvious: it was he who built the
castles of Ecouen and Chantilly, while the church at Montmorency, though
founded by his father, William, was completed by the son. Who, then,
could better tell us their stories or more delightfully revive by
familiar anecdote the originals of their glass portraits? Even after our
conjuring had secured for us his company, we might find ourselves in
trouble, unless we were willing to discard our automobile or train for a
stout horse. The arts by which we secured his presence in the flesh
might seem to him quite natural, for magic was much more respected in
his time than in these more practical days, but it is greatly to be
feared that the puffing engine would overcome that stern courage, tested
in many a stricken field, and that it would take the utmost vigilance on
our part to prevent him from bolting back into the sixteenth century.
After accompanying him to Montmorency and Ecouen, and after wandering
together through the forest, park and château of Chantilly, we shall bid
him farewell, but we must not be surprised if he stoutly objects to our
turning off towards Beauvais, demanding that, having recalled him from
the spirit world, we hear his story out, and to that end push on to St.
Quentin. The lusty old warrior would be quite right, for the chronicle
of his career would be incomplete if it omitted the delaying and
glorious defeat he there received while commanding the French forces,
thereby providing time for Henry II to rally the remaining strength of
France and save Paris from the victorious Philip II of Spain. The result
of that battle proved highly satisfactory to both victor and vanquished,
for while its delay saved Paris, on the other hand Philip's victory so
elated him that in memory thereof he erected the famous palace of the
Escorial near Madrid. Though most of us will conclude to refuse the
Constable's request, some few of our company may desert us and follow
him to St. Quentin. Once there, they must not fail to view the two
splendid sixteenth century windows in the second northern transept of
the church already visited on our thirteenth century tour. They are each
two and a half metres wide by nine and a quarter high. One is dedicated
to Ste. Barbe and is dated 1533, and the other, dated 1541, to Ste.
Catherine, each displaying elaborately gruesome episodes depicting the
martyrdom of the heroine. The latter one shows God the Father at the
top receiving the saint, who is borne upward by flying angels. In the
lowest panel we remark Catherine's headless body sitting bolt upright,
while nearby on the floor lies her severed head intently regarding it
(see page 107).


MONTMORENCY

Up a steep road that has more turns and branches than a grape-vine, and
suddenly we come out on a little platform before the west front of the
diminutive church of St. Martin. Off to the west and around on each side
there unfolds a panorama of smiling valleys and green hillocks in most
enticing succession.

As one enters the western portal, he first observes that the three
westerly windows on each side are modern, and of these there can be no
higher praise than that they harmonise admirably with their fourteen
ancient neighbours to the east of them. These fourteen are chiefly
interesting because of the delicacy of their composition, which is
really delicious.

 [Illustration: CONSTABLE OF MONTMORENCY AND HIS FIVE SONS, MONTMORENCY
  CHURCH (16TH CENTURY).
     _Here the donors are frankly the important feature. So proud
     were the Constable and his wife (Madeleine de Savoie) of their
     five sons and seven daughters that we find four pairs of windows
     portraying them._]

Perhaps the chief interest here is the gallery of family portraits
afforded by the donor's figures upon the panes. Among the many admirably
drawn faces of distinguished scions of the House of Montmorency, the
best is that of the founder of this church, William, the father of our
friend the great Constable, which is behind the altar, to the left. It
is evidently the work of a great artist. The fourth on the right and
the fourth on the left (and, therefore, opposite each other) are two
windows containing one, Anne de Montmorency, and the other, his wife,
Madeleine de Savoie, each attended by their children. These two were
made about 1563, while those to the east of them range from 1523 to
1533. The Constable is supported by his five sons and his wife by her
seven daughters. She is looking toward the altar, but he is looking
across at her. Each of these domestic groups occupies nearly half of the
entire embrasures, but it does so in such a frank manner as to entirely
avoid the appearance of intrusion, so generally the result of portraits
like these. As we walk around the church we are amazed that so fragile a
medium as glass should have preserved through all the centuries these
portraits in more perfect condition than many which were consigned to
canvas or marble. In fact, one wonders why this was not more often done,
and at the same time wishes it had been effected as frankly as in these
two just described, and not by the intrusion of donors upon a window
devoted to another subject. It is impossible to repress a smile upon
noticing that the Crucifixion scene which bears the portrait of its
donor, Guy de Laval, shows him kneeling in the central panel, while the
crucifix is in a side one! Lest these comments may have seemed severely
intended, let us point out a few of the many lovely features. For
instance, the second window from the east in the north wall has in its
central panel the Virgin holding the Infant Jesus, who reaches out His
baby hand to receive a dove. The greensward below is picked out with
bright flowers and peopled by small animals, quite as one sees them on
the early tapestries. Nothing could be more charming. The tracery lights
are excellently treated throughout, sometimes in a most unusual manner.
Above the window just described, we find on a lilac field thirteen
golden coins, each bearing a different head. This comment upon the
higher panes leads us to speak of a most delicate group of four panels
perched up above the north portal. Across them extends what appears to
be a long cloister having a rich damasked curtain fastened shoulder-high
from column to column, above which is afforded a distant prospect of
gardens, etc., while in each of the panels there stands a female saint.
But little height is needed for this picture, so the traceries above
come down low, and are filled by a throng of blue eaglets on a golden
ground, the heraldic insignia of the Montmorencys. Before the Battle of
Bouvines the shield of this house bore but four eaglets, but on that day
Mathieu de Montmorency captured twelve of the enemy's standards with his
own hand. In recognition of these deeds of prowess King Philip Augustus
added twelve more eaglets to his arms, one for each captured standard,
thus raising the total to sixteen. These arms we shall see often
repeated in the windows at Montmorency, Ecouen and Chantilly. A visit
to this little church is a delightful experience and fills us with eager
expectation of what its founder's son, the great Constable, can show us
in his two castles of Ecouen and Chantilly. We are tempted to stray off
into the charming forest which stretches away more than five miles to
the northwest and to revel in the natural beauty of its chestnut trees,
but the Constable awaits us, so off we must be to Ecouen.


ECOUEN

Ecouen is generally visited because of its fine château, built on the
crest of a hill and entirely surrounded by a delightful wood except on
the side where from a flowered terrace there is disclosed a far-reaching
view out over a smiling country. But it is not the château which lures
us hither, but the parish church down in the town that nestles at the
foot of the castle walls. The château has lost its old glass, the two
panels from its chapel showing the children of Anne de Montmorency being
now in the chapel at Chantilly, which place also rejoices in the
possession of the famous series of forty-four scenes from the adventures
of Cupid and Psyche, which originally decorated the now destroyed Salle
des Gardes at Ecouen. For us, therefore, the château has lost most of
its charm; if you wish to inspect it you must obtain a carte d'entrée
from the Chancellerie de la Legion d'Honneur in Paris, for it is now a
school for daughters of members of that order, and is not open to the
public. For those of us who have come here to see the parish church
there will be no bother about permits, for none is needed. This church
not only contains excellent Renaissance windows, but upon them we shall
find a fine array of Montmorency portraits as well. The upper panels of
the lofty lancets that flank the high altar are filled with scriptural
scenes, but below they contain, that to the left, Anne de Montmorency
with his five sons, and that to the right, his wife attended by five
daughters. Although we have here the same family portraits as those seen
in Montmorency Church, this pair is much older (1544-5), and not only
shows the children as much younger than at Montmorency (1563), but also
has but five daughters instead of the seven seen on the later glass. Nor
are these the only similar pairs of these windows. The Constable was so
proud of his children and of their number that he seemed to never tire
of having them portrayed on glass. We have just referred to a third pair
(dated 1544) made for the chapel of Ecouen château, but now at
Chantilly, and there is still a fourth pair in the nearby church of
Mesnil-Aubry which are the latest of all, for the Constable is there
shown with a snow-white beard. At Ecouen we observe that the parents
occupy each a separate panel from the children, but at Chantilly the
parent panels are both missing. The remaining three windows on the south
side of the choir bear as donors still other Montmorencys, but the work
is later and not nearly so good. The high altar concealed the lower half
of the central eastern windows, so they did the next most sensible
thing to lowering the altar back--they transferred to a little northern
chapel the panels it obscured. The whole northerly side of the choir
opens out into a chapel whose northern and eastern ends are lighted by
three large embrasures filled with excellent Renaissance glazing,
depicting scenes from the life of the Virgin. Especially fine is the
second from the east, showing in the lower half, the death of the
Virgin, while above are clouds peopled with angels, all leading up to
the Father in the top pane of the tracery. The traceries of the three
easternmost choir embrasures are filled with blue eaglets on a golden
ground, the insignia of the Montmorencys. This same treatment of the
traceries may also be remarked in the chapel of the château; in fact,
they are all that remains there of the original glazing. We have already
admired this same form of decoration over the north portal at the
Montmorency Church.

It seems a pity that the Ecouen glass now at Chantilly could not be
restored to the embrasures for which it was made; it obviously does not
belong where it is now found, and, besides, it loses there the historic
significance which it would enjoy in its old home at the château of
Ecouen.


CHANTILLY

At one time or another during our glass pilgrimages we have happened
upon examples of other mediæval arts and crafts which all combine to
make France so absorbingly interesting. It has been reserved for our
visit to Chantilly to show us one of the formal gardens of Old France in
which nature has been made to yield to the whim and fancy of the
landscape artist. Most travellers have seen the famous gardens of
Versailles and have heard that they were designed and arranged by Le
Notre, but those at Chantilly were designed by this same master before
he was called by the King to do his greatest work at Versailles. There
are many who prefer his earlier effort, and we must be grateful to our
glass for having brought us to this delightful spot. The forest of
Chantilly, which covers over six thousand acres, forms an excellent foil
for the formal stateliness of the gardens. One is not allowed to visit
the château except on Thursdays and Sundays and not then if it happens
to be a day when there is racing at the Chantilly track. This regulation
is to prevent race crowds from overrunning the château and grounds. The
beautiful building with its priceless collections was the private
property of the Duc d'Aumale and was by him presented to the Institut de
France. In a long low gallery especially constructed for them, and which
receives all its light through them, is a much travelled and widely
discussed series of forty-four panels narrating episodes from the
adventures of Cupid and Psyche. They are of the yellow stain and grey
type which we have noticed at Troyes and Chalons, but here the
workmanship is far superior. Note that the grey is in places almost
brown, and that the yellow is used but sparingly. The high state of
perfection to which the design and drawing are carried, combined with
the fact that their subjects are non-religious, make them delightfully
unique. It is easy to observe the strong influence of Italian art, not
only in their general style but also in the very liberal borrowing of
designs from well-known Italian paintings. Until recently they were
attributed to that versatile master of many arts, Bernard Palissy, but
that has been definitely disproved. They are now generally acknowledged
to be the work of Cocxyen, a Flemish student of Van Orley (who made the
windows of Ste. Gudule in Brussels), and the Italian influence is
explained by the fact that he studied in Rome. These panels are dated
1542-4 and were originally made for the windows of the Salle des
Gardes at the Château of Ecouen upon the order of Constable Anne de
Montmorency. The Revolution dislodged them and they found their way into
a museum arranged by Lenoir. This collection was dispersed in 1818. It
is narrated that the Prince de Condé, when visiting the museum, admired
this set of glass. Hearing someone remark that they had formerly adorned
a castle belonging to his family (meaning Ecouen), he had them bundled
up and packed off to his château at Chantilly, where they have since
remained. This picturesque tale serves to show that stained glass panels
were not then regarded as necessarily stationary. We have seen several
other instances of this lack of respect for their stout iron bars. They
were beautiful and valuable, and therefore, when the occasion arose,
they were removed! Excellent as is the work upon these panels and
graceful as are the figures, we cannot but notice that our art is taking
rapid strides towards its decadence. They are no longer windows where
the full value of colour and leading are appreciated and used. In this
set they are careful colourless paintings on glass in which the artistic
value of the leads is so disregarded that they no longer provide or even
assist the drawing--they only mar it as they run across the panes
wherever their supporting strength is necessary. We have arrived at a
time when the windows are becoming painted pictures done in the manner
of paintings on canvas. The artist no longer remembers that stained
glass is a separate art and that he has certain advantages in technique
over the oil painter, just as the latter has over him.

The small ante-chapel has on each side a tall window. In the middle of
each is set a large panel of sixteenth century glass, the one on the
right showing five Montmorency daughters kneeling in a row, attended by
Ste. Agathe, and the one on the left their five brothers, also kneeling,
and similarly attended by St. John. The remainder of the embrasure is,
in each case, filled with modern glass done in the Renaissance manner
and intended to harmonise with the older panel in its midst. The artist
devoted more care to the faces of the boys than to those of their
sisters, for although the latter are monotonously alike in drawing and
posture, the former differ markedly. The face of the smallest boy is
most diverting. His hands are clasped in prayer, but unlike his more
devout brothers and sisters, his eyes are not turned toward the altar,
but he is gazing out into the chapel with childish curiosity. In these
two panels the leads are not so cumbrously intrusive, but there is a
lesson which every glass artist should learn from an inspection of the
carefully painted windows at Ecouen, Montmorency and Chantilly. He
cannot fail to notice how the misuse of the leads has been accentuated
by the careful painting, and he should carry away with him a firm
conviction that the more delicate the design the less it can afford to
quarrel with the leading.


BEAUVAIS

The average tourist looks forwards with keen interest to his first visit
to Beauvais. He has, of course, heard of the ancient glories of its
tapestry, which industry is still kept up by the French Government. He
has also read that the perfect French cathedral would be composed of the
choir of Beauvais, the nave of Amiens, the west front of Rheims and the
towers of Chartres: so of the choir of Beauvais he expects great things.
Nor will he be disappointed, especially if he first views it from the
Amiens road. This approach reveals the town to him in the most
picturesque way imaginable. On reaching the brow of a short hill he
becomes suddenly aware of Beauvais, lying below him in the valley beside
a lazy river. One could more properly say that he first saw not the
town, but the amazing uplift of the cathedral, and next the town about
it. The great height of this edifice is accentuated by the fact that
only the choir and the transepts are now standing. Long ago the nave
succumbed to the great strain which its unnatural height put upon the
materials of which it was constructed, and collapsed. The architect's
vaulting ambition o'erleapt itself. In fact it is only by means of
constant shoring and repairing that this choir, the loftiest in France,
is preserved in a safe and solid condition. When the pilgrim descends
into the town he comes upon many interesting timber-framed houses, some
of them with second stories projecting over the arcaded footway below
and exhibiting quaintly attractive carvings on their heavy beams. We
find an intelligent attempt to preserve the best traditions of the older
Beauvais tapestry in the modern factory. Just as formerly, it bears
floral designs and very rarely personages, being of the sort called
"basse lice," and woven on a horizontal frame, thereby differing from
the "haute lice" of the Gobelins factory, where the frames are
perpendicular. Not only in the Cathedral, but also in the church of St.
Etienne, do we find excellent glass of the sixteenth century. The
latter's fine Gothic choir, adorned with graceful flying buttresses,
provides a strong contrast to its sturdier Romanesque nave. The glass is
only to be found around the choir, and is well deserving of its high
repute. One should notice the tone of the blues, especially in the
background of the church's finest window, a Tree of Jesse, the first on
the left from the Lady Chapel. It is the work of Engrand le Prince, and
is one of the best known examples of the irrelevant use of portraits of
high dignitaries. Their half-length figures appear as blossoms on the
vine. Among the fourteen, almost all contemporary likenesses, the most
recognisable are Francis I and Henry II. At the back of the choir
clerestory there is a fine window, blue with golden rays of the sun
spreading out over it. The legend of St. Hubert is very agreeably set
out just to the east of the small south portal, the green used therein
being seldom surpassed.

 [Illustration: "TREE OF JESSE" ST. ETIENNE, BEAUVAIS (16TH CENTURY).
     _Popular subject in stained glass; the vine springing from the
     loins of Jesse generally bears his descendants as blossoms, and
     culminates above in a great lily from which emerge the Virgin
     and Child. Here occurs an interesting 16th century
     variation--among the descendants of Jesse appear contemporary
     portraits, Francis I, Henry II, etc._]

It is difficult to express in words the effect of extreme loftiness
which strikes one as he enters the south door of the Cathedral. It seems
almost impossible to shake off this impression; in fact, one is
constantly being surprised that he does not grow accustomed to the great
sweep of the upward lines. In the two great rose windows which decorate
the transept ends, and in the double row of lancets below each, there is
excellent glass of this period. The northern rose shows the golden rays
of the sun spreading out over a blue background, reminding us of its
prototype at St. Etienne. Below, the ten figures of women are attributed
to Le Pot. The southern rose contains the history of the Creation with
such interesting detail as to well repay the trouble to decipher it
caused by its great height above us. Below are two handsome rows of
lancets dated 1551, the upper containing prophets, and the lower,
saints. The western wall, rising abruptly at the point where the nave
should commence, has in its north and south corners two chapels. Each of
these chapels has large sixteenth century windows, the northerly one in
the west wall, the Descent from the Cross, being very fine; in fact, it
is by some considered the best in the cathedral. The choir also has fine
Renaissance glass, although in several of the choir chapels (especially
in the Lady Chapel) and around the clerestory at the east end, there are
some very interesting thirteenth century windows, one, in particular, a
Tree of Jesse, rendered attractive by the halo of flying birds about the
head of the Saviour. So tall are the clerestory embrasures that
generally only the middle portion of them contains personages, the upper
and lower parts being filled with grisaille. Most of these upper
embrasures were glazed in the fourteenth century, and show to a marked
degree the revulsion from the sombre mosaic, and the demand for greater
illumination. All this glass would be much more effective if nearer the
eye of the observer, the great height at which it is placed not only
spoiling the perspective, but resulting in a jumble of colours. The City
Hall contains the flag which the gallant townswoman, Jeanne Hachette,
captured with her own hands upon the occasion of the attack on the city
made by Charles the Bold and his army. Although this gallant deed was
performed in 1472, it has never been forgotten by the people of
Beauvais, and its anniversary is reverently commemorated upon the 29th
of every June.


BOURG

In addition to the glass seen during these three trips, there are three
isolated churches whose windows are so interesting as well as important
that one should not be contented to conclude his sixteenth century
studies without visiting them. Not only is each one of them distant from
other contemporary glass, but it would seem as though the Imp of the
Perverse had taken a hand in placing them as far away from each other as
possible. Bourg is down south in Savoy; Auch is near Toulouse in the
southwest; and Champigny-sur-Veude is off in the western part of
Touraine, near the lower reaches of the river Loire. Each of these three
not only was completely glazed during this epoch, but has also retained
its glass in good condition. In each case the special interest which
causes our visit is quite peculiar and very different from that which
attracts us to the others. When we concluded our trips of the fourteenth
and fifteenth centuries we were confronted with the advisability of a
separate journey to Quimper, and in like manner we should now decide to
visit Bourg, Auch and Champigny-sur-Veude. It must be confessed that it
is inconvenient, but it will prove well worth while.

First in importance is the church of Brou at Bourg. Although Savoy now
forms part of France, we shall, upon this excursion, find proof that it
was not always French, and shall furthermore encounter much interesting
history wrapped up in the tale of the building and glazing of the church
of Brou. Up in the north, at St. Quentin, we found the high-water mark
(on French soil) of that splendid empire which the Spaniard, Charles V,
agglomerated under his banner and which he resigned to his son, Philip
II, the victor of the Battle of St. Quentin. So vast and important was
his empire that he lacked only France to have all the continent of
Europe beneath his sway. It was the aunt of this Emperor Charles V,
Marguerite d'Autriche, who built the exquisite church of Brou in memory
of her husband, Philibert le Beau, Duke of Savoy, killed in a hunting
accident. After this glance at history, it is not difficult to
understand why Marguerite sent to Flanders for her architect and for her
glass designers, for as Flanders was part of her nephew's empire, none
was more fully advised than she of the high reputation then enjoyed by
the artists of the Low Countries. Apropos of the way in which her
husband Philibert died, it is related that when his father had been at
the point of death from a similar hunting accident, Philibert's mother,
Marguerite de Bourbon, had vowed to erect a chapel to St. Hubert,
patron saint of huntsmen, if he recovered. Her failure to comply with
this vow was by many firmly believed to be the reason why her son
Philibert was killed upon the hunting field, and that his untimely end
was a solemn warning that a vow to St. Hubert must be strictly kept. In
any event, St. Hubert must have been fully satisfied with the manner in
which the oath was finally carried out, for the chapel so built has
remained to amaze and delight many generations. The wonderful marble
tombs, the graceful rood screen, the splendid glass, all go to prove
that there was here lavished everything that wealth, power and
intelligence could command.

It is bewildering to decide with which of the eighteen windows we shall
begin our inspection. Because of our interest in the foundress and her
husband, let us commence with that in the choir, which is at the left
of the most easterly window. Upon this one and its neighbour to the left
we shall see spread out much concerning the life, family and habits of
Philibert. The first window shows the Duke himself attended by his
patron saint, St. Philibert, while in the background there looms up his
favourite ducal palace of Pont d'Ain, where he lived and died. As
indicating the importance of his duchy there are arranged above him
thirteen shields displaying the arms of provinces at one time part
of Savoy. The next window to the left bears a splendid array of
thirty-five shields whose heraldry serves to complete our information
about Duke Philibert by showing the individuals composing his family
tree. Those on the right are of the paternal line of Savoy, and on the
left we follow his mother's line (the House of Bourbon) as far up as
Louis IX, whose arms appear at the very top of the embrasure. It is most
fitting that the arms of our old friend, the royal patron of stained
glass, should preside over the most brilliant window in this famously
glazed sanctuary. It is to be noticed that this church is very rich in
heraldic blazons; in fact, upon five of its windows we find seventy-one
shields. The Chapelle des Sept Joies contains a gorgeous work, the
Crowning of the Virgin, in which every effort of the glassmaker's
skill seems to have been exerted. Above the principal subject runs a
panel-like frieze showing in allegory the Triumph of Christ. This frieze
is done in grey and yellow stain. The whole window would leave nothing
to be desired in either technique or colour if it were not made the
victim of an exaggerated outbreak of the curse of donors' figures. The
foundress and her husband are not only allowed to intrude upon the
drawing of the general subject, but each of them is actually larger than
the figure of the Virgin. The records show that this church (begun in
1511) had all its glass installed at the time of its completion in 1536,
thus showing that the windows were made during the most vigorous part
of the century, a fact thoroughly borne out by internal evidence. We may
consider ourselves fortunate that the use of this glorious building for
a store-house during the Revolution damaged the glass so little. In
this connection it is surprising to read that its beauty was so much
appreciated that the people voted to preserve it as a public monument,
thus staying the hand of the ever-ready vandalism which then raged
through so many French churches.

A sketch of Bourg would not be complete without a reference to the noble
poem of Matthew Arnold. The following lines are particularly appropriate
to the moving cause for our visit to this lovely shrine:

     So sleep, forever sleep, O marble Pair!
     Or, if ye wake, let it be then, when fair
     On the carved western front a flood of light
     Streams from the setting sun, and colours bright
     Prophets, transfigured Saints, and Martyrs brave,
     In the vast western window of the nave;
     And on the pavement round the tomb there glints
     A chequer-work of glowing sapphire-tints,
     And amethyst, and ruby--then unclose
     Your eyelids on the stone where ye repose,
     And looking down on the warm rosy tints,
     Which chequer, at your feet, the illumined flints,
     Say: "What is this? We are in bliss--forgiven--
     Behold the pavement of the courts of Heaven!"


AUCH

Seventy-seven kilometres west of Toulouse there lies the interesting
city of Auch, built upon a hillside rising sharply from the river Gers.
Here one will happen upon many an ancient architectural bit which will
take him back to the days when Henry of Navarre here entertained, much
against her will, his mother-in-law, Catherine de Medicis, in this
south-western corner of France, far off from her beloved Paris. The very
remoteness has preserved many of its old-world features, and this
ancient flavour, combined with the picturesque position above the river,
renders it distinctly a town to be visited. But something more than the
general mediæval air of Auch is the cause for our long jaunt hither.
This reason we shall find in the eighteen windows that adorn the choir
ambulatory of the cathedral of Ste. Marie. An inscription in the Gascon
dialect on the final one of the series tells us that they are by the
hand of Arnaud Desmoles and that they were finished June 25, 1513. We
have here the work of a Frenchman, a Gascon at that, and there is no
trace of Italian, German or any other foreign influence; it is the true
flower of the country's genius growing on its native soil. Perhaps the
drawing and the colouring are not quite so good as we may see elsewhere,
but it is purely French. Any imperfection of detail is hardly noticed,
because we are instantly struck by the ensemble of eighteen windows made
for the building which they decorate, as well as for each other, and all
by the same artist. His scheme of subjects, showing the agreement
between the teachings of the Old and those of the New Testament, is
fully carried through to its completion. The colours show strength and
yet are not too robust. The proportions, too, are very satisfactory,
each window being about three times as high as it is broad. Their
stories begin with the creation of the world and carry us on, step by
step, until they conclude with the appearance of Christ to His
disciples. The central part of each embrasure is filled by a large
personage, with sundry smaller figures above, and groups below. It is
but natural that so complete a series as this should have always enjoyed
a wide reputation. Although we may feel, after examining them, that they
do not reach the standard of perfection attained by some of their
contemporaries elsewhere, still they cannot fail to please us. The charm
lent by their logical completeness causes us to prefer them to others
where the perfection of drawing and style in the individual window is
partly offset by lack of harmony with others near it.


CHAMPIGNY-SUR-VEUDE

Any mention of Touraine generally calls up before us the picture of a
smiling country through which rolls the lazy Loire hemmed in by its
sandy banks, with every now and again the vision of a charming château,
type of the best mediæval architecture. To the glass lover, however, the
chief and almost the only attraction of the province is the cathedral at
Tours (see page 51). We say "almost," because although not generally
known and but seldom visited by the tourist, Touraine has another glass
shrine lying within a few kilometres of the Château de Chinon. The
chapel in which we find this glass was formerly part of the Château of
Champigny-sur-Veude, but the chapel alone remains. Before we enter, the
writer wishes to deliver himself of a partial explanation or apology,
and he does so for the following reason: he has all along inveighed
bitterly against the curse of donors' figures upon windows, but on this
occasion he must frankly admit that he is guilty of taking you to see
glass of which a most interesting feature is these very representations
of the donors. In fact the chapel has a peculiar value because it
contains thirty-six portraits of the Bourbon-Montpensier family. They
are to be found along the lowest panels, each one kneeling before a
prie-dieu. The chapel is admirably lighted, partly due to the
destruction of the old château, but chiefly to the eleven large windows,
each seven by three and a half metres. The same scheme of decoration
prevails throughout. Lowest down we find the kneeling donors; above them
and occupying far more space are historical episodes from the life of
Louis IX, of peculiar interest to us, his humble followers in the love
of stained glass. Among the most interesting of these glass pictures may
be cited one showing a battle with the Saracens in the Holy Land,
several portraying ships filled with armoured knights, and particularly
the episode of St. Louis dedicating the Ste. Chapelle at Paris. Above
these in the roomy oval traceries are scenes from the Passion. Highest
of all are small panes containing either a capital L with a crown
slipped down around it, or a bird's wing similarly encircled by a crown,
referring respectively to King Louis and the Bourbons. The only
variation from the regularity of this general scheme is the east window,
which shows the creation of the world and has below it Christ between
the two thieves. The fact that this chapel is to-day completely glazed
in its original glass and that there is a thorough coherence of style
throughout, would alone serve to repay us for the long trip from Paris;
but when we add the fact that this is a Bourbon portrait gallery, an
historical interest is at once added to its other attractions. These
arguments in its favour will keep us from observing too keenly how much
the crudeness of some of the colours accentuates the dullness of others.
It would be better if the greens could be softened and the greys
enlivened. Lest we may seem by thus criticising the glass to wish to
disparage it, we make haste to urge our reader to visit Champigny. He
will find ample compensation for its isolation from other glass of its
century by the many châteaux which make a trip through Touraine so
enjoyable.

 [Illustration: DEDICATION OF PARIS STE. CHAPELLE AT
  CHAMPIGNY-SUR-VEUDE.
     _Panel containing kneeling donors not shown. 16th century glass
     picture of a 13th century event. (See page 26)._]



ITINERARIES

SHOWING DISTANCES IN KILOMETRES


THIRTEENTH CENTURY

Paris--227--Bourges--190--Poitiers--103--Tours--107--Angers--87--Le
Mans--124--Chartres--88--Paris.

Paris--168--Auxerre--59--Sens--63--Troyes--79--Chalons--41--Rheims
--145--Paris.

Paris--95--Soissons--35--Laon--46--St. Quentin--75--Amiens--131--Paris.


FOURTEENTH AND FIFTEENTH CENTURIES

Paris--94--Evreux--51--Rouen--133--Paris.

Paris--227--Bourges--97--Moulins--82--Riom--14--Clermont-Ferrand--148
--Eymoutiers--50--Limoges--120--Poitiers--124--Angers--87--Le
Mans--49--Alençon--21--Sées--64--Verneuil--54--Chartres--88--Paris.

Paris--555--Quimper.


SIXTEENTH CENTURY

Paris--5--Vincennes--107--Sens--63--Troyes--79--Chalons--160--Paris.

Paris--45--Montfort l'Amaury--72--Conches--56--Pont-Audemer--32--
Caudebec--34--Rouen--133--Paris. (Rouen--33--Grand-Andely, Rouen--20
--Elbeuf, Rouen--18--Pont de l'Arche.)

Paris--18--Montmorency--8--Ecouen--27--Chantilly--50--Beauvais--78
--Paris.

Paris--466--Bourg.

Paris--701--Auch.

Paris--279--Champigny-sur-Veude.



INDEX


 KILOMETRES
 FROM PARIS                             EPOCHS            PAGE

 192       Alençon                   16th Century         180
 131       Amiens                    13th    "            112
 302       Angers                    13th    "             55
 302       Angers                    15th    "            175
 701       Auch                      16th    "            290
 168       Auxerre                   13th    "             74
  78       Beauvais                  16th    "            281
 466       Bourg                     16th    "            285
 227       Bourges                   13th    "             42
 227       Bourges                   15th    "            151
 161       Caudebec                  16th    "            245
 160       Chalons                   13th    "             87
 160       Chalons                   16th    "            233
 279       Champigny-sur-Veude       16th    "            292
  36       Chantilly                 16th    "            277
  88       Chartres                  13th    "             67
  88       Chartres                  14th    "            188
 383       Clermont-Ferrand          15th    "            160
 117       Conches                   16th    "            239
  18       Ecouen                    16th    "            274
 124       Elbeuf                    16th    "            261
  94       Evreux                    14th    "            137
 410       Eymoutiers                15th    "            164
  99       Grand-Andely              16th    "            258
 129       Laon                      13th    "            103
 393       Limoges                   14th    "            169
 214       Mans (Le)                 13th    "             60
 214       Mans (Le)                 15th    "            178
  45       Montfort l'Amaury         16th    "            236
  18       Montmorency               16th    "            270
 289       Moulins                   15th    "            155
  97       Nonancourt                15th    "            187
 334       Poitiers                  13th    "             47
 334       Poitiers                  14th    "            172
 167       Pont-Audemer              16th    "            242
 114       Pont de l'Arche           16th    "            263
 555       Quimper                   15th    "            191
 145       Rheims                    13th    "             92
 368       Riom                      15th    "            157
 133       Rouen                     14th    "            144
 133       Rouen                     16th    "            249
 176       St. Quentin               13th    "            107
 180       Sées                      14th    "            180
 112       Sens                      13th    "             77
 112       Sens                      16th    "            218
  95       Soissons                  13th    "             99
 233       Tours                     13th    "             51
 156       Troyes                    13th    "             82
 156       Troyes                    16th    "            222
 118       Verneuil                  15th    "            185
   5       Vincennes                 16th    "            215



      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber's note:

Minor changes have been made to correct typesetters' errors; otherwise,
every effort has been made to remain true to the author's words and
intent.





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