Essay on Overview of Sainte Chapelle

In 1241, King Louis IX was 27 years old, when he decided to build the Sainte Chapelle to house his great treasures – the relics of Christ. In the thirteenth century, the kingdom of France was a prosperous nation in wealth and power. The popular and well-known university, Notre dame was located in Paris that occupied over 200,000 students from many different cultures. “In 1237, the new Franc Emperor of the East, Baudoin II de Dourtenay, was faced by heavy expenses of a mainly military nature; he tried to meet these by selling the Relics of the Passion that were preserved in Byzantium and which he had already partly pledged to the Venetians” (Finance 4). In 1239, Louis bought from him the Holy Crown of Thorns, and two years later bought from him fragments of the True Cross and other relics connected to Christ. King Louis IX was a model for all Christian kings, and this reaffirmed his devotion to Christ, made his kingdom shine in western Christianity, and supported the empire of France. “It is probable that from this date onwards the king thought of building a monumental reliquary to house the precious relics in a dignified manner within the palace precincts, in a similar fashion of the Christian Emperors of the East” (Finance 5). The Sainte Chapelle sparkles like a rare jewel that has magnificent architecture and decoration; the stain glass windows seem to be inside of a jewel case. The many jewels seem to change color every hour with the sunlight rays bouncing back and forth. “The founder, King Louis IX, the future St. Louis, who had it built to house the Holy Relics of the Passion, today dispersed” (Finance 1). The spire has statues of Christ’s apostles at the base of the spire and has angles decorated above the apostles. The …

…?Works Cited:Leniaud, Jean-Michel and Francoise Perrot. The Sainte Chapelle. Paris: Centre des monuments nationaux, 2007. Print .

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Finance, Laurence de. The Sainte-Chapelle. Paris: Centre des monuments nationaux, 2001. Print.

Brew, Charl Anne. “The language of Stained-Glass Windows.” Arts & Activities 148.2 (2010): 30. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.

Weisse, Daniel H. “Architectural symbolism and the decoration of the Ste.-Chapelle.” The Art Bulletin 77.2 (1995):308. Academic OneFile. Web. 7 Apr. 2014.

Papanicolaou, Linda Morey. “Stained Glass from the Cathedral of Tours: The Impact of the Sainte-Chapelle in the 1240’s.” Metropolitan Museum Journal, Vol. 15, (1980): pp. 53-66. Print.

Cohen, Merdith. “An Indulgence for the Visitor: The Public at the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris.” Speculum, Vol. 83, No. 4 (Oct., 2008): pp. 840-883. Print.


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