Saint-Denis is a large medieval abbey church and burial place of French Kings, with nearly every king from 10th to the 18th century being buried there. The building however, did not always look like this, it was once an old church that was in disrepair and had become too small to accommodate a growing number of pilgrims. The abbot of the church believed that it was of insignificant grandeur to serve as the church of the kings. So the abbot commissioned a better church, one worthy of crowning kings. This is where the Gothic style comes in. The new church was built using lightweight rib vaults to help support its massive size. This had the side effect of allowing stained glass windows put into the walls, as they no longer had to support as much weight. The stained glass windows allowed much colored light into the church to illuminate it, something architects and people visiting liked. The church is now considered a monument of Early Gothic architecture.
Why This Artwork?
This artwork was selected to show Early Gothic architecture, as well as provide the story behind its founding. Also it helps us to know why the changes occured during this time, and why it was so wide spread.