Heures d'Étienne Chevalier, enluminées par Jean Fouquet. BnFR. Wikipedia

The Medieval City of Paris

Who shaped the Medieval City of Paris? Kings, Abbots or Burghers? New Book explores these questions from multiple and different angles.

Paris The Powers that Shaped the Medieval City
Edited by Alexandra Gajewski and John McNeill
Routledge 2024

Paris: The Powers that Shaped the Medieval City considers the various forces – royal, monastic and secular – that shaped the art, architecture and topography of Paris between c. 1100 and c. 1500, a period in which Paris became one of the foremost metropolises in the West.

The individual contributions, written by an international group of scholars, cover the subject from many different angles. They encompass wide-ranging case studies that address architecture, manuscript illumination and stained glass, as well as questions of liturgy, religion and social life. Topics include the early medieval churches that preceded the current cathedral church of Notre-Dame and cultural production in the Paris area in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, as well as Paris’s chapels and bridges. There is new evidence for the source of the c. 1240 design for a celebrated window in the Sainte-Chapelle, an evaluation of the liturgical arrangements in the new shrine-choir of Saint-Denis, built 1140–44, and a valuable assessment of the properties held by the Cistercian Order in Paris in the Middle Ages.

Also, the book investigates the relationships between manuscript illuminators in the 14th century and representations of Paris in manuscripts and other media up to the late 15th century. Paris: The Powers that Shaped the Medieval City updates and enlarges our knowledge of this key city in the Middle Ages.


Alexandra Gajewski is Reviews Editor of The Burlington Magazine and an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Historical Research, London. Her research focuses on Gothic architecture, especially in relation to the cult of relics, liturgy and questions of function. She has published on Cistercian architecture in medieval Europe, religious architecture in Burgundy, the historiography of regional architecture as well as medieval women as patrons, embroidery and the Castle of Love in ivory.

John McNeill is Secretary of the British Archaeological Association, wherein he was instrumental in establishing the Association’s International Romanesque conference series. He has published widely on Romanesque architecture and architectural sculpture in England, France and Italy.






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