Rayonnant Chantry Chapels: Architectural Additions and Changing Contexts in French Gothic


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


History of Art


This dissertation examines how, and to what ends, chapels were grafted to French cathedrals in the thirteenth and fouteenth centuries. Focusing on a neglected phase of Gothic architecture and an understudied phenomenon, this project identifies chapels as important, new elements in cathedral typology. Further, it contextualizes the chapels both by situating them within their broader architectural settings and by addressing the socio-cultural dynamics propelling their construction. Approaching chapels as multimedia ensembles, this dissertation argues that architecture, objects, and rituals were strategically deployed and combined in mutually reinforcing ways to assuage patrons' fears of receding from memory, simultaneously fulfilling their desires for intercession, commemoration, and social display.