Rose Windows

Topics: Gothic architecture, Astrology, Zodiac Pages: 3 (1213 words) Published: July 30, 2013
Through all the ages there has always been a technique that is used to grab the public’s attention. In modern society billboards and television are most commonly used; however during the Gothic period around the 12th century, styles of architecture were pertained and the art of the church was used to educate the public and thus Rose windows were the equivalent to billboards housing information of the time. They told stories through their symbolism and through the analysis of different examples of Rose windows it can be demonstrated; with specific reference to the South Oculus Rose window of the Canterbury cathedral, St. Etienne and Angers Rose window. A great deal of detail, found in the line work of the stone known as tracery, emerged from these windows exemplifying radiance of cultural and spiritual development and ultimately representing completeness and balance. However, it is these finer details that need to be discussed in order to express the iconography of these great works of beauty. The ‘South Oculus Rose Window’ in figure 1 of the Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest surviving oculus windows that are glazed (Cowan, 2005: 47). According to Lee (2007: 70) the main theme of this rose window is Law and Prophets. The glass consists of a variety of geometrical, angular and flat figures and shapes. The center figures are usually of most importance and in this image the two figures in this focal point represent Moses and Synagogue which are surrounded by four cardinal virtues (Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Strength) who revolve around the centre symbolizing protection (Cowan, 2005: 47). The cardinal virtues are all holding scrolls that contain writing which could represent religious scriptures. There are also repetitive geometric and lucid shapes that create movement and a sense of pattern work around the glass. The patterns lure the eye into the center steering the reader to the focal point. As a whole the figures symbolize the Law. The Prophets...
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