Title

Gothic architecture and a scholastic: Jean de Jandun's "Tractatus de laudibus Parisius" (1323)

Abstract

Jean de Jandun's "Tractatus de laudibus Parisius" is one of the earliest and most interesting of Parisian encomia. The author's detailed evocations of Notre-Dame, the Sainte-Chapelle, and the palace of Philip the Fair, documenting the contemporary reception of Gothic architecture, deserve greater attention than they have received to date. Primarily interested in architectural effects, Jandun praises the buildings for their size, varied decoration, transparency, and color, but pays little attention to their structural vocabulary or engineering. His "Tractatus" invites comparison with other medieval texts about art: his belief that a building's material beauty can stir the soul to devotion resembles that of Abbot Suger, while his distinction between superficial and acute perception is also found in Gerald of Wales; he implies that recognizing a building's quality requires a skill not possessed by all equally, a notion found in Boccaccio's contemporary praise of Giotto. Jandun's identity as a scholastic makes his "Tractatus" a useful means of testing the frequently alleged relations between Gothic architecture and scholasticism: a close analysis of Jandun's text argues against any necessary links between these two phenomena.

Publisher

International Center of Medieval Art

Publication Date

1-1-2003

Publication Title

Gesta

Department

Art

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.2307/25067075

Language

English

Format

text

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