Lady Chapel

The Lady Chapel of Saint-Germain des Prés, 1245 – c. 1255

Meredith Cohen (Principal Investigator) and Kristine Tanton (Project Manager)

 

 

In 1227, Abbot Eudes began to reconstruct the cloister and its attendant structures. The Abbey’s chronicles, epitaphs, and archival sources inform us that the Lady Chapel was begun in 1245 and completed under the abbacy of Thomas de Mauléon by 1255. The building was constructed under the direction of Pierre de Montreuil, who was buried there with his wife Agnès; it is the only firm attribution to this famous Parisian architect to whom almost all of the greatest monuments of Paris have been associated. Later the great historical scholars Dom Mabillon and Dom Montfaucon were buried there too. The abbey fared poorly in the Revolution, and although the church was saved, the land around it was sold to a certain Doctor Salbrune, who dismantled the cloister and its buildings, reserving some of the fragments to build a medieval themed house in the area. Some 150 fragments still remain from these buildings. A new road, the present rue de l’Abbaye, was pierced right down the axes of both the refectory and the Lady Chapel.

Bibliography

  • Bouillart, Dom J., Histoire de l’abbaye royale de Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Paris: G. Dupuis, 1724).
  • Branner, R. Saint Louis and the Court Style in Gothic Architecture (London: Zwemmer, 1965).
  • Christ, Y., Églises parisiennes actuelles et disparues (Paris: Éditions Tel, 1947).
  • Lefèvre-Pontalis, E., “Etude historique et archéologique sur l’église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Congrès archéologique (session tenu à Paris en 1919) 82 (1920): 301-67.
  • Moulin, J., and P. Ponsot, “La chapelle de la Vierge à l’abbaye Saint-Germain des Prés,” Archéologia115 (1980): 48-55.
  • Murray, S. “The Architectural Envelope of the Sainte‑Chapelle of Paris,” in Pierre, lumière, couleur. Etudes d’histoire de l’art du Moyen Âge en l’honneur d’Anne Prache, ed. F. Joubert and D. Sandron, Cultures et Civilisations Médiévales 20 (Paris: Presses de l’Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 1999), 223-30.
  • Anne Prache, “Un architecte du XIIIe siècle et son oeuvre: Pierre de Montreuil,” Dossiers d’histoire et archéologie 47 (1980): 26-38.