(active 1101-1119 in Pays-de-la-Loire)

Exterior view

Convent church, Fontevraud (Maine-et-Loire)

At the beginning of the twelfth century, the west of France experienced the sudden blossoming of the art of the domed vault, a feature probably inspired by the domed church of San Marco in Venice. The most significant domed churches of western France are the convent church of Fontevraud, Saint-Pierre in Angoulême, Saint-Front in Périgueux, and, in its renovated form, Saint-Hilaire in Poitiers.

The convent at Fontevraud (or Fontevrault) was founded in 1001. By 1117, the choir area had been built, and in 1119 the completed parts were consecrated by Pope Callixtus II. Later another choir with an ambulatory was built that included three chapels and was terminated in the west by a five-part transept with two eastern apses and a crossing with central tower. The project was abandoned at a stage when work had already been begun on the exterior walls. What was actually built was an aisle-less church with four square bays spanned by domes resting on pendentives.

The photo shows the west façade.

View the ground plan of the convent church, Fontevraud.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.