France Period

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HISTORY OF FRANCE

• 13th century Spreading the weight of vaults over a series of ribs, columns, and pilasters, Gothic architecture allows the dissolution of the wall. Windows in cathedrals and churches are filled with stained glass; the shimmering colored light transfigures the vast interiors. Depicting biblical stories, scenes from the lives of the saints, or single figures, stained-glass windows complement the sculptures on the exterior and the rites and ceremonies observed within.
• 1209 The Albigensian Crusade is launched by Pope Innocent III with the help of Cistercian monks. While the original spark for this war springs from papal desire to extinguish the growing problem of heresy in the region surrounding Toulouse, the political struggle between the independent southern territories and lords from northern France, joined after 1226 by Louis VIII, plays itself out in a war. In 1229, Count Raymond VII of Toulouse, who had been Louis VIII's main adversary, is compelled to cede territory to the king's control.
• ca. 1210–1250 Artists at Chartres install an elaborate and extensive program of stained-glass windows in the cathedral under construction there. In addition to religious and historical subjects, the intensely colored windows depict numerous scenes of tradespeople at work, including bakers, furriers, wheelwrights, and weavers. These tradespeople were likely contributors—through hefty taxes—to the construction of the church.
• 1226 Louis IX (d. 1270), grandson of Philip Augustus, becomes king. A pious man involved in works of charity and with a strong sense of his responsibilities, he exemplifies the virtues of the Christian knight. A protector both of the university and the arts, Louis IX makes Paris a thriving cultural center. Having bought the Crown of Thorns from the Byzantine emperor in 1237, Louis IX commissions the Sainte-Chapelle, his royal…...

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