Edited by Brian J. Levy and Paul Wackers
[Reinardus 12] 1999
► pp. 19–34
Italian Influence on French Gothic Choir Stalls
French gothic choir stalls flourished during the fifteenth century. Hundreds of sets were commissioned for cathedrals, collegiate churches and private chapels of the nobility. The stalls were adorned with carvings on dorsal panels, jouées (end panels), arm-rests and misericords. Motifs included inventive monsters and realistic narratives. The miniature figures wore contemporary clothing and performed ordinary tasks to illustrate tales, proverbs and daily life. In the sixteenth century the Italian Renaissance slowly made its way through France leaving a magnificent mingling of Gothic and Renaissance on the stalls of the château of Gaillon (Eure), commisioned by the influential cardinal Georges d'Amboise. The stalls, but not the château, survived the Revolution and may be seen today at the Basilica St. Denis.