Suger (Sugerius) ( um 1080 - 13.1.1151 St-Denis)
Abt Suger wurde in der Umgebung der Abtei von Saint-Denis bei Paris geboren und kam schon als Kind in die Abtei. 1122 wurde er Abt. Er war zwar kein Architekt, bestimmte jedoch das Aussehen des Baus entscheidend, wie er in "Libellus de conversatione ecclesiae S. Dionysii" und "De rebus in administrationem sua gestis" überliefert. MIt seinen Ideen beginnt er die Ausbreitung der Gotik in Europa. Für Ludwig Vl. von Frankreich - dessen Biografie er verfasste - war Suger 1118 und 1121 als Gesandter tätig. Ludwig VII beeinflusste er nicht nur stark, sondern vertrat ihn als Regent auch während des Kreuzzuges von 1147-1149.
Suger in his own writing: siehe auch columbia.edu/suger
Often we contemplate, out of sheer affection for the church our mother, these different ornaments both new and old.... Thus, when--out of my delight in the beauty of the house of God--the loveliness of the many colored gems has called me away from external cares, and worthy meditation has induced me to reflect, transferring that which is material to that which is immaterial, on the diversity of the sacred virtues: then it seems to me that I see myself dwelling, as it were, in some strange region of the Universe which neither exists entirely in the slime of the earth nor entirely in the purity of Heaven; and that, by the grace of God, I can be transported from this inferior to that higher world in an anagogical manner. I used to converse with travelers from Jerusalem and, to my great delight, to learn from those to whom the treasures of Constantinople and the ornaments of Hagia Sophia had been accessible, whether the things here could claim some value in comparison with those there. When they acknowledged that these here were the more important ones, it occurred to us that those marvels of which we had heard before might have been put away, as a matter of precaution, for fear of the Franks, lest through the rash rapacity of a stupid few the partisans of the Greeks and Latins called upon the scene, might suddenly be moved to sedition and warlike hostilities; for wariness is preeminently characteristic of the Greeks. Thus it could happen that the treasures which are visible there, left [on view] under conditions unsafe on account of disorders. From very many truthful men, even from the bishop Hugues of Laon, we had heard wonderful and almost incredible reports about the superiority of Hagia Sophia's and other churches' ornaments for the celebration of Mass. If this is so--or rather because we believe it to be so, by their testimony--then such inestimable and incomparable treasures should be exposed to the judgment of the many....
OF THE CHURCH'S DECORATION
". . . The first work on this church which we began under the inspiration of God [was this]: because of the age of the old walls and their impending ruin in some places, we summoned the best painters I could find from different regions, and reverently caused these [walls] to be repaired and becomingly painted with gold and precious colors. I completed this all the more gladly because I had wished to do it, if ever I should have an opportunity, even while I was a pupil in school."
OF THE ENLARGEMENT OF THE UPPER CHOIR
In the same year, cheered by so holy and so auspicious a work, we hurried to begin the chamber of the divine atonement in the upper choir where the continual and frequent Victim of our redemption should be sacrificed in secret without disturbance by the crowds. And, as is found in [our] treatise about the consecration of this upper structure, we were mercifully deemed worthy--God helping and prospering us and our concerns--to bring so holy, so glorious, and so famous a structure to a good end, together with our brethren and fellow servants.... How much the Hand Divine Which operates in such matters has protected this glorious work is also surely proven by the fact that it allowed that whole magnificent building [to be completed] in three years and three months, from the crypt below to the summits of the vaults above, elaborated with the variety of so many arches and columns, including even the consummation of the roof. Therefore the inscription of the earlier consecration also defines, with only one word eliminated, the year of completion of this one, thus:
- "The year was One Thousand, One Hundred, Forty and Fourth of the Word when [this structure] was consecrated."
To these verses of the inscription we choose the following ones to be added:
Eager to press on my success, since I wished nothing more under heaven than to seek the honor of my mother church which with maternal affection had suckled me as a child . . . we devoted ourselves to the completion of the work and strove to raise and to enlarge the transept wings of the church [so as to correspond] to the form of the earlier and latter work that had to be joined by them]....
Softcover, 240 x 300 mm, 240 pages
New Softcover-Edition: A godlike order in stone - Gothic cathedrals as artworks full of symbolism
Taschen Verlag, ISBN-