Double-Lancet Window


On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 09

This limestone window from La Tricherie, a small village near Châtellerault (between Tours and Poitiers), is constructed in a style typical of the late thirteenth century. The overall opening is organized into two identical lancets topped by a circle (oculus), which circumscribes a quatrefoil—a basic scheme that first appeared in window designs in the late twelfth century. In this version new elements have been introduced, such as trefoils composed of pointed, rather than rounded, leaf forms. The desire to create a diaphanous effect is evident in the piercing of the remaining surfaces between traceries, which leaves no solid fields in the skeletal structure. Small capitals decorate the vertical members (mullions) of the inscribed lancets. On the interior face the capitals are carved with broad, flattened leaves; on the exterior face the outer two are transformed into whimsical male and female heads.

Double-Lancet Window, Limestone, French

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