Plan

Elevation

History

Chronology

Sculptural Program

The building has a single sculpted portal on the south entrance. Despite being heavily damaged, it remains an essential monument in the evolution of gothic sculptural style. The portal depicts the Ascension of Christ. The lintel shows a crowding of apostles, all now missing their heads. Above in the tympanum, a crowned Christ is flanked by four angels set in an undulating carved band reminiscent of clouds. The three bands of voussoirs show the seated twenty-four elders of the Apocalypse with their musical instruments, as well as an outer band of Old Testament prophets with scrolls. As at Chartres Cathedral, the portal at Etampes has a capital frieze depicting scenes from the life and passion of Christ, as well as scenes from Genesis. The jamb figures, missing both heads and feet, depict Old Testament figures carrying scrolls. The middle figure on the left carries a staff and the tablets of the law, and can be identified as Moses. Two other figures, of saints Peter and Paul, would have occupied the outermost jambs, and now reside on the interior of the church.

Stylistically, the deep-cut, circular whirls of drapery, with its almost sensual highlighting of the body beneath the robes, is a distinct style that is also found on the left side of the north portal of Chartres' west façade. Additionally, Chartres is one of the only other French buildings from the era to possess a historiated capital frieze. Thus it is generally assumed that the workshop at Etampes was also active at Chartres in the mid-1140s. Williamson argues for an earlier date for the Etampes portal, perhaps the earlier half of the 1140s, given its iconographic simplicity compared with the complex portals at Chartres. He also points to links with southern Romanesque workshops, such as at Vézelay and Saint-Maurice at Vienne that indicate the possibility that the masters at Etampes were trained in the south. This very distinct style has been located as far afield as Nazareth in the Holy Land, indicating either that the Etampes workshop was highly itinerant, or that the style it produced was so desirable as to be readily appropriated by other workshops. Either way, it remains clear that the sculptures of Etampes represent an early creative vision of the column figure, a central innovation of gothic sculpture.

Significance

Bibliography

Bony, J., French Gothic Architecture of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, University of California Press, 1983,



Bournazel, Eric, Le gouvernement capétien au XIIe siècle, 1108-1180, Paris, 1975



Di Matteo, C.; Lablaude, P.-A., "Le portail polychrome de Notre-Dame d'Etampes," Monuments historiques de France, vol. 161, 1989, pp 86-90



Etampes, un canton entre Beauce et Hurepoix, ed. Julia Fritsch and Dominique Hervier, Paris, 1999.



Fleureau, Bazile, Les antiquités de la ville et du duché d'Etampes avec l'histoire de l'abbaye de Morigny, Paris, 1683, new edition, Etampes, 1886



Hubert, J., "L'architecture et le décor des églises en France au temps de Robert le Pieux (996-1031)," Cahiers archéologiques: fin de l'antiquité et moyen âge, vol. 36, 1988, pp 13-40



Kasarska, I., "Notre-Dame von Etampes," Bull mon, 164, 2, 2006, 221-222



Klinkenberg, E. S., Die Identität der Säulenstatuen in Etampes und Chartres, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 71 no 2, 2008 145-87



Lefèvre-Pontalis, E. "Les campagnes de construction de Notre-Dame d'Etampes," Bulletin monumental, 73, 1909, 5-31
-----, "Eglise de Notre-Dame." Congrès archéologique, 82, 1919, 6-29.



Marquis, Léon, Les rues d'Etampes et ses monuments, Etampes, 1881 Offsite AA1046 Et M34



Nolan, K., "The Early Gothic Portal of Notre-Dame in Etampes," PhD diss. Columbia, 1985
-----, "Narrative in the Capital Frieze of Notre-Dame at Etampes," Art Bulletin, 71, June 1989, 166-184



Picard, D., "Aux couleurs des écritures," Connaissance des Arts, 445, March, 1989, 128-135



Plagnieux, P., "La collégiale Notre-Dame d'Etampes," Etampes, un canton entre Beauce et Hurepoix, Cahiers du Patrimoine, 56, Paris, 1999, 77-83



Staebel, Jochen, Notre-Dame von Etampes: die Stiftskirche des 11-13 Jahrhunderts unter besonder Berücksichtigung ihrer frügotischen Bauskulptur, Worms, 2003



Thomson, S. E., "Inventing Gothic: Notre-Dame d'Etampes and the impact of design process on architectural change in the Ile-de-France, 1120-1150*, Dissertation Abstracts International, 2009, 576


The Floorplan: Images & Panoramas
Parametric Section
Vital Statistics
  • Begun around 1130
  • Destroyed in
  • Latitude 48.435001373291
  • Longitude 2.16417002677917
  • Parent Town
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