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The Flamboyant Architecture of St.-Maclou, Rouen, and the Development of a Style

Linda Elaine Neagley
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians
Vol. 47, No. 4 (Dec., 1988), pp. 374-396
DOI: 10.2307/990382
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/990382
Page Count: 23
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The Flamboyant Architecture of St.-Maclou, Rouen, and the Development of a Style
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Abstract

The construction of St.-Maclou after 1432 revitalized architecture in Rouen and Normandy for the next 90 years. Both the patrons and the architect played a significant role in the emergence of this new style. The architecture has been attributed to the Parisian master Pierre Robin, but the stylistic evidence based on a unique vocabulary of forms suggests that the St.-Maclou master was trained in the Norman Vexin and had a knowledge of architecture of Germany, Flanders, and central Europe. The parish church was also modeled on several monumental features found at the cathedral of Rouen including the interior and transept elevations, the lantern tower, and the western porch. This ambitious project, undertaken by the merchant class families of the parish during the English occupation, reflects both a desire to assume the duties of the old orders of the city and a conscious rejection of contemporary English-influenced architecture constructed during the occupation. One of these families, the Dufours, assisted the French king, Charles VII, in the recapitulation of Rouen in 1449. Thus, the retrospective and hence conservative reference to the Rayonnant parts of the cathedral of Rouen may have reflected a nostalgia for the architectural style associated with Louis IX and a golden age of French royalty. Using both stylistic and documentary evidence, this article attempts to identify the role of the patrons and architect in the development of the style of St.-Maclou.

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