Ancient Saint-Nazaire Saint-Celse Cathedral. View of the transept and apse.
THE ANCIENT SAINT-NAZAIRE SAINT-CELSE CATHEDRAL
THE GOTHIC APSE
South transept stained glass window, depicting the Tree of Life.
the reconstruction of the cathedral apse (1270 - 1320) a transept
and choir with six chapels and a polygonal apse were added to the
old Roman nave. Twenty two windows, including two large rose windows,
replaced the walls between the slender vaulting ribs to celebrate
the spirituality of light. In the apse
the life of Christ is the dominant theme whereas stained glass windows
depict the Tree of Jesse and the Tree of Life in two chapels on the
north and south sides. Light filters through the geometric pattern
of the rose windows dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Christ to be
diffused on the transept crossing. A series of sculptures, a great
innovation in Languedoc, completed the decorative aspect.. Twenty
two statues against the columns supporting the choir and apse vaults
were placed beneath canopies
embellished with gables
The slight differences between the models and the attitudes of the
figures point to three artists : the sculptor of the College of Apostles,
the sculptor of the Annunciation where the strong influence of the
High Gothic style is very pronounced, and the master sculptor of the
Virgin and Saint Nazaire whose originality profoundly influenced Languedoc
sculpture in the XIVth Century.
Ancient Saint-Nazaire - Saint-Celse Cathedral, view of the transept mullioned and transomed window. North side.
Drawing by Viollet-le-Duc, Geneviève Viollet-le-Duc collection.