What was new in his great church of St. Denis in Paris? Use & know the church terms, and identify them on images and plan.
He invited an international team of masons, sculptors, metalworkers, and glass painters, making this building site a major center of artistic exchange. Sugar began building c. 1135, with a new west façade and narthex attached to the old church, but it was in the new choir-completed in three years and three months between July 13, 1140, and June 14, 1144-where the fully formed Gothic architectural style first appeared. In his account of the reconstruction, Sugar argues that the older building was inadequate to accommodate the crowd of pilgrims who arrived on feast days to venerate the body of St. Denis, and too modest to express the importance of the saint himself. In working with builders to conceive a radically new church design, he turned for inspiration to texts that were attributed erroneously to a follower of St. Paul named Dionysius (the Greek form of Denis), who considered radiant light a physical manifestation of Got. Through the centuries, this Pseudo-Dionysius also became identified with the martyred Denis whose body was venerated at the abbey, so Suger was adapting what he believed was the patron saint’s concept of divine luminosity in designing the new abbey church with walls composed essentially of stained-glass windows. In inscriptions he composed for the bronze doors (now lost), he was specific about the motivations for the church’s new architectural style: “being nobly bright, the work should lighten the minds, so that they may travel, through the true lights, to the True Light where Christ is the true door” (Panofsky, p.49).