Jaros³aw Jarzewicz
The tracery in the cathedral’s choir – an avant-garde form in the architecture of 13th-century Wroc³aw

    The topic of the article is the morphological analysis and interpretation of the traceries of the choir of the cathedral in Wroc³aw. The tracery of the east window of the presbytery is particularly interesting, in its couronnement appears a nine-lobe open rosette of a “drop” shape. There is no other tracery of this kind or a close analogy which would be dated prior to the time of the creation of this window (before 1268). Its complicated and unusual form prompts us to ask a number of questions – about its authenticity, its dating or genesis, and its place in Gothic architecture. The material structure was reconstructed after the destruction of World War II according to the pre-war state, which probably corresponded to the medieval shape. Based on the analysis of forms, it can be stated that the builders operating in Wroc³aw were familiar with the latest developments in the design of traceries, among others, that of cathedrals of Paris, Amiens and Cologne. As in the case of sculptural details, there are no stylistic delays in relation to the leading centers. The tracery of Wroc³aw, whose main motif is a nine-lobe open rosette, is not a passive reception of western influences and achievements, but a highly individual creation based on a thorough mastery of the geometrical way of design by an architect searching for original solutions. Unconventional, innovative creations appeared simultaneously in Minden and in Pforta, however, these are parallel phenomena and not the prototypes for the Wroc³aw design. Their common sources are the centers of Gothic architecture in northern France.

Key words: tracery, Gothic architecture, cathedral, Wroc³aw

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