Sunday, September 9, 2007

Rose Windows

To me, rose windows represent a beautiful and awe-inspiring convergence of art, architecture, mathematics, spirituality, and design. Rose windows are generally found in gothic architecture, and have ornamental tracery radiating from the center. Traditionally, rose windows are found in churches and are placed above the west door of the church sanctuary, or above the transept of a church.

It is amazing that most of the examples of rose windows shown below were created by Gothic architects using only a compass and straightedge as the tools in their design. The precision of the carving of the stone, and the artistry of the colors and design of the glass, make rose windows among the most magnificent of architectural achievement.

Here is an architectural drawing of one of the world's most famous rose windows at Strasbourg Cathedral in France. Note the beautiful design of this window, which combines several of my favorite shapes: circles, quatrefoils, and flowers. The Cathedral was built between 1176-1439.

An exterior and interior shot of the actual window in the Strasbourg Cathedral.

Chartres Cathedral, France (1250)

Notre Dame, Paris (1250-1260)

Sainte Chapelle, Paris (1246-1248)

Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Atlanta, GA (2002)


Buffalo, NY

Cathedral Chartres, France: 1194-1250

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  1. Great post - they're all so beautiful. I'm a huge fan of gothic architecure, especially churche and cathedrals, and you've just brought back some old travel memories. Thanks!

  2. Lovely post Sarah. You really transported me back to wonderful art history lectures, sitting in the dark, looking up at these amazing designs.

  3. I am always amazed by the artistry of these windows. Beautiful photos!

  4. Lovely! I've been to a few of these places and they are truly magical!

  5. Beautiful post. I have a few photos that I snapped of the rose window at Notre Dame- the window is so beautiful that you just cannot take a bad picture of it (and I'm not photographer!).
    BTW- are you a member of PRUMC? I am!

  6. Peak - I am a frequent visitor - and I love to gaze at that rose window when I am there! It is a beautiful church.

  7. Just found your site while preparing a power point for my middle school art classes. We are creating rose windows, and motif and complex color wheels and I thought I would base the lesson on the Rose windows. Wonderful pics and historical resource.
    Thanks for the post.


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