Copyright

Abbot Suger: Gothic Architecture & Stained Glass

Instructor: Matthew Helmer

Matt is an upcoming Ph.D. graduate and archaeologist. He has taught Anthropology, Geography, and Art History at the university level.

Abbot Suger is considered by many to be the father of Gothic Architecture. In this lesson, learn about Suger's life, what Gothic Architecture is, and how it revolutionized Europe's built landscape.

Introduction to Abbot Suger and Gothic Architecture

Long before vampire pop culture, Hot Topic, and metal bands, the word 'Gothic' meant something entirely different. During the medieval era, or Middle Ages (500-1500 AD), the word Gothic applied to art and architecture which built on Classic styles of Greco-Roman times. Abbot Suger was one of the first proponents of the Gothic style. Below, you will learn a bit about Abbot Suger based on the few historical sources we have about him, and the history of the Gothic style.

Who was Abbot Suger?

Abbot Suger
Abbot Suger
oblate

Suger is best known for the work he did at the Saint-Denis abbey. Saint-Denis is a commune located on the outskirts of Paris, and served as an important religious and trading center. Because monks allowed trading in Saint-Denis, travelers from all over Europe came to do business and worship there. This made the location one of the most influential in France at the time. While Suger was at the abbey, he befriended King Louis VII. Suger was in charge of major renovations at the abbey around 1140. Suger's renovations included classic Gothic elements, including pointed arches, flying buttresses, clustered columns, and most importantly, space for stained glass windows.

Abbot Suger in stained glass
Abbot Suger stained glass
rib vaultingTree of Jesse

Stained glass at Saint-Denis
Saint-Denis

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support