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Notes to Transformation

The Template-Makers of the Paris Basin

Creation of Gothic Architecture: Ark of God

Master Masons of Chartres

The Contractors of Chartres

The Creation of Gothic Architecture, an Illustrated Thesaurus:
The Ark of God

Part A - The Evolution of Foliate Capitals in the Paris Basin 1170-1250.

READ REVIEW by Paul Crossley

in the Burlington Magazine


Two volumes, 1,632 pages, 10,000 photographs,

cost $AUD.1,500
(March 2004),

ISBN 0 959600582

THE ARK OF GOD is a comprehensive pictorial history of Early Gothic churches in the limestone region of northern France known as the Paris Basin.

THE ARK is presented as a five-part series that covers the crucial 150 years between 1100 and 1250 when Romanesque architecture was transformed into Gothic.

The Paris Basin contains 1,420 churches with work from these years. Most have never been published. The photographs will illustrate over half of these which significantly contributed to the creation of the new architecture.

The underlying purpose of the series is four-fold:
1) Provide a photographic description of all the more significant churches during this 150 years.
2) Analyze the stylistic changes to the foliate capitals and the evolution of vault erection techniques.
3) Establish a solid and all-inclusive foundation for dating the construction phases of these churches.
4) Use this chronology to identify the time and place for each of the creative ideas, inventions and innovations that produced the Gothic style, to follow their evolution from place to place and to identify the major creators.



This series will be of enormous benefit to
historians, sculptors and architects everywhere.


Planned Five Part series for THE ARK OF GOD:

We expect to complete one part every three years.

Part A, Vols 1 and 2 Foliate capitals 1170 to 1250.
Over 9,000 photos of the capitals with an analysis. The capitals of this period are more natural in style than those that went before, and follow Viollet-le-Duc's observation that the mode of carving gradually evolved from spring to summer. This is confirmed in those buildings for which we have documentary dates, which may then be used to establish a chronology for other works from these times.

Part B, Vol 3 Archaic capitals 1070 to 1130
This exiting and unique collection will be available in February 2006.
The only time all these archaic capitals have been published with photographs of the buildings themselvs.
It also offers a COMPREHENSIVE CHRONOLOGY for the pre-1130s

Part B, Vols 4 and 5 Formal capitals 1130 to 1180.
Over 13,000 photos, being about half of the capitals carved during these years. They are formal-abstract in style. The analysis of the foliate carving, including the capitals on the great portals, helps to identify individual carvers through their way of working, from which the key buildings may be dated and through this a consistent chronology established for the period.

Part C, Volume 6 The evolution of the rib vault in Europe.
In over 550 building campaigns throughout Europe rib vaulting was developed and construction techniques evolved that culminated in the great vaulted spaces of medieval times.

Part D, Volume 7 The inventions that created Gothic.
The documents, foliate styles and techniques in vaulting compiled in the earlier volumes show when and where most of the key inventions appeared, how they evolved and changed, and the manner in which they were integrated into the new style. Includes and economic analysis of the building industry.

Part E, Volumes 8 and 9 Corpus of early Gothic churches.
Includes the plans, capitals, profiles and elements not in earlier volumes, with the construction sequences of all the 650 more significant buildings in the Paris basin, with drawings, locations and maps.


Southern Hemisphere Distributor


West Grinstead Publications

Australia and New Zealand

Click to contact us


Recommended Retail Prices
(March 2004)











If you wish to receive an eight-page illustrated brochure send $5 and it will be posted to you.


Northern Hemisphere Distributor


Boydell and Brewer
England and USA



Southern Hemisphere Distributor: West Grinstead Publications - contact:



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