ARCHITECT, French
(active c. 1120 in Dordogne)

Interior view

c. 1120
Photo
Saint-Front, Périgueux (Dordogne)

There is an important French regional school of architecture, that of Aquitaine with Angoulême and Périgueux as its centres. They preferred aisleness churches consisting of several domed bays, with or without transept, with or without apse, with or without rwdiating chapels (but never with an ambulatory. The grave majesty of their domes is unparalleled. The centraalizing tendency which is apparent wherever domes are used culminates at Saint-Front in Périgueux, where during the second quarter of the 12th century the decision was taken to create a purely central building by leaving without the western bay of its nave an Aquitainian aisless church which had already its transepts. Thus a Greek cross resulted, with a square for the centre and four squares for the arms. Each square has in its turn short arms again and is covered by a vast dome.

The interior (for the exterior is badly restored) is the classic expression of Romanesque clarity. There is no sculptural anywhere except for some arcading along the walls.

View the ground plan of Saint-Front, Périgueux.




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