Graphics

Graphics: A Toolbox of Plans and Sections

Use this section to explore individual details, plans, and sections of Amiens Cathedral.  Click on the image thumbnails for fullscreen images and additional text. 

Axonometrics

  • Axonometric of Nave (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Axonometric of Nave (Viollet-le-Duc)

Arches

  • Pointed Arch

    Pointed Arch

  • Rounded Arch

    Rounded Arch

  • Hooke's Law

    Hooke's Law

  • Hooke's Law

    Hooke's Law

Carpentry

  • Roof Section of Nave (left) and Choir (right) (Durand)

    Roof Section of Nave (left) and Choir (right) (Durand)

  • Steeple Elevation, c.1530 (Durand)

    Steeple Elevation, c.1530 (Durand)

  • Spire platform, c. 1530 (Durand)

    Spire platform, c. 1530 (Durand)

  • Spire sections (Durand)

    Spire sections (Durand)

  • Steeple Trussed Brace (Durand)

    Steeple Trussed Brace (Durand)

  • Steeple Trussed Brace Stirrups (Durand)

    Steeple Trussed Brace Stirrups (Durand)

  • Steeple Platform (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Steeple Platform (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Steeple Base (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Steeple Base (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Steeple Elevation (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Steeple Elevation (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Wooden Tie Beams (Viollet-le-Duc)

    In this image of the wooden tie beams, we can see the tie beam still in place (right) and cut out (left). 

    Wooden Tie Beams (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Long Section of Choir Roof (Durand)

    Long Section of Choir Roof (Durand)

  • Spire Base (Durand)

    Spire Base (Durand)

  • Spire Support Bracket (Durand)

    Spire Support Bracket (Durand)

  • Structural Frame of Spire (Durand)

    Structural Frame of Spire (Durand)

Elevations

  • Hemicycle Exterior Longitudinal Elevation (Durand)

    Here on the left you can see the last straight bay of the chevet with its characteristic three-oculi aisle window done by Thomas de Cormont and to the right the crown of radiating chapels also done by Master Thomas. Everything above the aisle roof is the work of Master Renaud: note how the buttress uprights have been reduced in mass. The elevation shows the older arrangement of aisle roofs in the choir with double-sloped surfaces intended to allow light to penetrate to the glazed triforium.

    Hemicycle Exterior Longitudinal Elevation (Durand)

  • Choir Flyer (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Choir Flyer (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Elevation of Nave Bay (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Elevation of Nave Bay (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Nave Exterior Elevation (Durand)

    Nave Exterior Elevation (Durand)

  • Nave Elevation of Southern Chapels (Durand)

    Nave Elevation of Southern Chapels (Durand)

  • Nave Interior Elevation (Durand)

    Nave Interior Elevation (Durand)

  • Elevation of North Side (St. Marc Plan)

    Elevation of North Side (St. Marc Plan)

Foliage

  • Foliate Band on West Facade Under the King's Gallery (Durand)

    This sculpture, c. 1240, has the naturalism characteristic of the early work at Amiens.

    Foliate Band on West Facade Under the King's Gallery (Durand)

  • Capital (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Capital (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Foliate Band in Nave (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Foliate Band in Nave (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Choir Foliate Band (Durand)

    Choir Foliate Band (Durand)

Historic Views

  • Amiens from the south (engraving, Abbé L.F. Daire, 1757)

    Engraving from Abbé L. F. Daire, Histoire de la ville d'Amiens, 2 vols., 1757

    Amiens from the south (engraving, Abbé L.F. Daire, 1757)

  • Cathedral seen from Belfrey, 1880s

    Cathedral seen from Belfrey, 1880s

  • Amiens from the West under Siege (Porfille, 1597)

    Engraving by Claude Chatillon, Topographe du Roy, Amiens, Archives diocésaines.

    Amiens from the West under Siege (Porfille, 1597)

  • View of Amiens Cathedral 1520

    View of Amiens Cathedral 1520

  • Vue Rétrospective et Panoramique d'Amiens en 1781

    Aimé (1803-1869) or Louis (1807-1874) Duthoit, Vue Rétrospective et Panoramique d'Amiens en 1781, ink and water color on paper c. 1850 Musée de Picardie/Amiens Metropole. 

    Vue Rétrospective et Panoramique d'Amiens en 1781

  • Vue Rétrospective et Panoramique d'Amiens en 1781

    Aimé (1803-1869) or Louis (1807-1874) Duthoit, Vue Rétrospective et Panoramique d'Amiens en 1781, ink and water color on paper c. 1850 Musée de Picardie/Amiens Metropole. 

    Vue Rétrospective et Panoramique d'Amiens en 1781

  • Plan of Amiens c.1716
    Plan of the City and Citadel of Amiens. 1716, Amiens, Archives diocésaines.
    Plan of Amiens c.1716

Ironwork

  • Triforium Chain (Durand)

    Triforium Chain (Durand)

  • Triforium Chain (Durand)

    Triforium Chain (Durand)

Language of Articulation

  • Crossing Pier Plinth (Durand)

    The main crossing piers have a stepped core with colonnettes set to receive the transverse arches and diagonal ribs.
    The unit sits atop an octagonal raft Each colonnette has its own plinth and its own base molding.

    Crossing Pier Plinth (Durand)

  • Aisle Respond (Durand)

    Aisle Respond (Durand)

  • Arch and Rib Profiles (Durand)

    In this image, from left to right, depicts the ambulatory transverse arch (fig. 22), the diagonal rib (fig. 23), and the nave aisle transverse arch (fig. 24). The ambulatory transverse arch with its intense linearity dates to the work of Master Renaud in the 1250s.  The diagonal rib profile appears in both the nave and the choir. The nave aisle transverse arch dates to the work of Master Thomas and Renaud in the 1230s. 

     

    Arch and Rib Profiles (Durand)

  • Nave Pier Plinth (Durand)

    The main body of the pier sits atop an octagonal plinth and each of the colonnettes has its own octagonal plinth creating a complex prismatic composition. 

    Nave Pier Plinth (Durand)

  • Door into West Side of North Transept (Durand)

    Door into West Side of North Transept (Durand)

  • Door into West Side of South Transept (Durand)

    Door into West Side of South Transept (Durand)

  • Saint Christophe Portal (Durand)

    Saint Christophe Portal (Durand)

  • Drawing of South Transept Portal Voussoirs (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Drawing of South Transept Portal Voussoirs (Viollet-le-Duc)

Liturgical Setup

  • Piscina and Ambry in South Choir Aisle (Durand)

    Set in the dado at the east end of the south choir aisle is a piscina to serve in the ceremonial washing associated with the celebration of the Eucharist and an amber or cupboard for storing sacred vessels. The facilities would serve the needs of the priest celebrating Eucharist in the chapel known as Notre-Dame l'Anglette. The trilobed dado is of the kind used by Robert de Luzarches.

    Piscina and Ambry in South Choir Aisle (Durand)

  • Altar of Sainte-Chapelle (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Altar of Sainte-Chapelle (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Sanctuary Plan (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Sanctuary Plan (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Interior of Radiating Chapel (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Interior of Radiating Chapel (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Liturgical Choir of Notre-Dame of Paris (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Liturgical Choir of Notre-Dame of Paris (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Double Piscina in the Chapel of Saint Quentin (Durand)

    Double Piscina in the Chapel of Saint Quentin (Durand)

Pavement

  • Labyrinth (Durand)

    The great labyrinth, spanning 12.14m, was set in the nave pavement by Master Renaud de Cormont in 1288. The decorative pavement including the labyrinth was removed in 1827-8 and replaced with a plain stone pavement. The central octagonal plaque, stripped of the inlaid images of the three master masons and founding bishop, was preserved in the Musee de Picardie. The outcry against this vandalism was so intense that a replica of the original pavement was completed in 1894. The labyrinth invites the visitor to enter into a kind of quest for the discovery of the identity of the master builders. It also played a role in a liturgical celebration where Theseus was seen as a prototype for Christ.

    Labyrinth (Durand)

  • Diagram of Original Pavement Patterns at Amiens

    Diagram of Original Pavement Patterns at Amiens

  • Pavement Diagram

    Pavement Diagram

Plans

  • Original Cathedral Floor Plan (Durand)

    Original Cathedral Floor Plan (Durand)

  • Floor Plan of the Cathedral with Nave Chapels (Durand)

    Floor Plan of the Cathedral with Nave Chapels (Durand)

  • Choir Hemicycle Plan (Durand)

    This plan shows two levels of the choir hemicycle: the darkly-shaded elements constitute the uprights of the flying buttresses built by Master Renaud in the 1250-60s which sit on top of the lower buttresses between the chapels installed by Master Thomas more than a decade earlier. You can see that the younger master has not continued the solid rectangular form on the main buttresses, preferring a much daintier "Y" shaped unit. Renaud has then placed intermediary uprights (marked D on the plan) atop the piers dividing the chapels.

    Choir Hemicycle Plan (Durand)

  • Hemicycle Buttress Plan (Durand)

    Hemicycle Buttress Plan (Durand)

  • Choir Plan and Section of the Foundations (Durand)

    This diagram, published by Georges Durand, originates with Viollet-le-Duc's excavation of the choir foundations. Viollet-le-Duc claimed to have found a gridded raft of stone descending to a depth of around 10 meters. The choir would need such substantial foundations since it sat upon an area that once formed the defensive ditch of the Roman wall.

    Choir Plan and Section of the Foundations (Durand)

  • Plan of Nave Triforium (Durand)

    Plan of Nave Triforium (Durand)

  • Plan of Hemicycle (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Plan of Hemicycle (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Hemicycle Schema (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Hemicycle Schema (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Plan of Radiating Chapels (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Plan of Radiating Chapels (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Plan of South Tower of West Façade (Durand)

    Plan of South Tower of West Façade (Durand)

  • St. Marc Plan

    Plan of Amiens Cathedral known as the "Plan Saint-Marc," 1727 Musée de Picardie.

    St. Marc Plan

  • Floor Plan of the Cathedral (Murray-Addiss plan)

    Floor Plan of the Cathedral (Murray-Addiss plan)

  • Amiens c.1200 (Massiest du Biest)
    Amiens c.1200 (Massiest du Biest)
  • Suburbs of Amiens c.1200 (Massiest du Biest)
    Suburbs of Amiens c.1200 (Massiest du Biest)
  • Plan of Amiens Cathedral 1713 Amiens, Archives diocésaines

Sections

  • Nave Aisle Transverse Section (Durand)

    On the left you see a nave support (pillar cantonné) and the nave arcade whose thickness (2 feet) is slightly less than the diameter of the body of the pier. To the right you see the outer wall of the nave aisle and the massive buttress projecting about 4 meters beyond the outer wall.
    The section reveals one of the deceptive features of Gothic. The triforium passage is not actually enclosed in the thickness of the wall, but projects out behind it. Known in French as a "porte-à-faux" this kind of overhang is a common feature of Gothic.

    Nave Aisle Transverse Section (Durand)

  • Choir Longitudinal Section (Durand)

    This longitudinal section shows the three-story elevation with glazed triforium as the middle level. To the east of the main vessel of the choir is the hemicycle surrounded by an ambulatory. Here you can see the section through the axial chapel. The section provides an excellent understanding of the form of the openwork flying buttresses and the relation of the high vaults to the main roof.

    Choir Longitudinal Section (Durand)

  • Pier Base Profiles (Durand)

    The junction between the body of the pier and the plinth is embellished and softened by a moulding which forms a kind of cushiony pad. The profile allows us to see the upper rounded rim (torus), the deeply grooved middle concavity (scotia) and the lower rim.
    The molding resembles those found in the Erechteum, Athens, and are therefore call Attic moldings (from Attica, the country around Athens).  As the builders of the cathedral continued their work over a period of decades they continued to adjust the profile to satisfy current taste. The deeply projecting lower torus on the left is characteristic of the early work on the nave, 1220s; the greater height on the right is characteristic of the choir, 1240s.

     

    Pier Base Profiles (Durand)

  • Nave Pier Section (Durand)

    The central cylindrical core (diameter 1.38m) is flanked by four colonnettes (0.47m)--this configuration is called a pilier cantonné. Precedents can be found at Chartres and Reims Cathedrals. The dimensions of the unit are matched with those of the main crossing piers to create a main arcade arch of two feet in thickness.

    Nave Pier Section (Durand)

  • Crossing Pier Section (Durand)

    Crossing Pier Section (Durand)

  • Choir Pier Section (Durand)

    The choir is flanked by double aisles with slender intermediary piers supporting the vaults of inner and outer aisles. These supports are formed around a central cylindrical core (diameter?) flanked by eight colonnettes, the major one supporting the transerse arches and the thinner ones supporting the diagonals. The thinner shafts are formed of separate sticks of stone, not coursed in the with main body of the pier. Built my Master Thomas c 1230s-40s.
    It should be remembered that these slender units carry the weight of the intermediary uprights of the flying buttresses system. We begin to understand why Master Renaud did his best to make the flying buttresses of the choir as light as possible.

    Choir Pier Section (Durand)

  • Transverse Nave Section (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Transverse Nave Section (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Section and Elevation of the Nave Clerestory (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Section and Elevation of the Nave Clerestory (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Diagram of Foundations (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Diagram of Foundations (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Choir Transverse Section (Durand)

    Choir Transverse Section (Durand)

  • Nave Transverse Section

    Nave Transverse Section

  • Longitudinal Section (St. Marc Plan)

    Plan of Amiens Cathedral known as the "Plan Saint-Marc," 1727, Musée de Picardie.

    Longitudinal Section (St. Marc Plan)

  • Transept Section (St. Marc Plan)

    Plan of Amiens Cathedral known as the "Plan Saint-Marc," 1727, Musée de Picardie.

    Transept Section (St. Marc Plan)

Tracery Forms

  • Nave Aisle Window (Durand)

    Enclosed inside a steeply-pointed framing arch and with an enormous upper oculus surmounting two uncapped lancets, such windows originally existed along the entire length of the nave aisles. They were torn out in the fourteenth century to make way for the added chantry chapels. Such units still survive in the lower transept arms. The tracery of the windows on the west side of the south transept show signs of experimentation and modification which may suggest that they were the first in the sequence.

    Nave Aisle Window (Durand)

  • Nave Clerestory Window (Durand)

    In the upper nave (c.1240) Master Thomas de Cormont has retained the great central oculus characteristic of the aisle windows but has created four lancets clumped in pairs and surmounted by smaller oculi.

    Nave Clerestory Window (Durand)

  • Nave Triforium Tracery (Durand)

    The work of Master Thomas, 1230s, the nave triforium features a generously-sized trefoil cut out of a continuous plate of stone (plate tracery). The trefoil surmounts three uncapped lancets.

    Nave Triforium Tracery (Durand)

  • Exterior Glazed Triforium on the East Side of the South Transept (Durand)

    Exterior Glazed Triforium on the East Side of the South Transept (Durand)

  • Choir Aisle Window (Durand)

    This choir aisle window by Master Thomas (1230s) is framed by an arch which is not as steeply pitched as in the nave aisle (1220s). The earlier windows are dominated by an enormous central oculus over two lancets; now we have three smaller oculi of equal size surmounting four lancets.

    Choir Aisle Window (Durand)

  • North Transept Rose (Durand)

    North Transept Rose (Durand)

  • West Rose (Durand)

    Probably the work of Master Pierre Tarisel installed c. 1520 this magnificent flamboyant window was given by Robert de Cockerel. The stained glass links the royal lilies with the ivy of Amiens to celebrate the reunification of the city and kingdom after the expulsion of the Burgundians.

    West Rose (Durand)

  • Diagram of Choir Clerestory Window (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Diagram of Choir Clerestory Window (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Diagram of Radiating Chapel Window (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Diagram of Radiating Chapel Window (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Diagram of Nave Clerestory Window (Viollet-le-Duc)

    Diagram of Nave Clerestory Window (Viollet-le-Duc)

  • Choir Clerestory and Triforium Tracery (Durand)

    The work of Renaud de Cormont in the 1250-60s. Renaud favored the trefoil--a form already used by his father Thomas in the nave triforium. Here, below, you see the reverse side of the choir triforium which is glazed, providing abundant light for the interior of the choir. In the clerestory, above, Renaud has elaborated his trefoils with trilobed cusping and capped the entire window with a gable, lending a "post modern" jagged look to the exterior.

    Choir Clerestory and Triforium Tracery (Durand)

Tombs

  • Tomb of Cardinal de la Grange (Durand)

    Tomb of Cardinal de la Grange (Durand)

Vaults

  • Crossing Vault (Durand)

    The star-shaped pattern of the ribs makes this a lierne vault (from the French lier, the link or bind). This kind of vault developed first in England in the mid-13th century (Lincoln nave). Here at Amiens it is likely that the crossing vault was only installed after the completion of the roof, c.1310.

    Crossing Vault (Durand)

  • Barrel Vault

    Barrel Vault

  • Groin Vault

    Groin Vault

  • Rib Vault

    Rib Vault