Notre Dame Cathedral West Rose Window, Detail
Viollet-le-Duc, Eugène-Emmanuel, 1814-1879; Lassus, Jean Baptiste Antoine, 1807-1857 Didron, Adolphe Napoléon, 1806-1867; Gérente, Alfred; Husson, Antoine; Marechal, Charles Laurent, 1801-1887; Steinhel, Louis
Originally completed around 1225, the rose window gracing Notre Dame's west facade was the first and smallest of the cathedral's three rose windows (north and south transept windows, 1250-1260). That a large circle of glass could pierce a wall supporting tons of stone is a quintessentially Gothic architectural feat accomplished by traversing the aperture with a visually delicate but structurally strong web of stone which breaks the glass into smaller shapes in a symmetrical way, distributing weight equally across the circle.Between 1844 and 1867 Jean Baptiste Lassus and Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc guided restoration of several deteriorated areas of Notre Dame Cathedral, including the west rose window. Although none of the ancient glass survives in this window, chemists analyzed fragments of the original 13th C. glass to determine its composition and reconstruct how it was made. Master glaziers who carried out the re-creation of the west rose window were Alfred Gérente, Louis Steinhel, Antoine Husson, Charles Laurent Maréchal (called Maréchal of Metz) and A. N. Didron the Elder.
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