The nave of Cluny III, the largest medieval church in Christendom, was destroyed, and written documentation is limited. The Context of the Nave Elevation of Cluny III studies the physical evidence, piecing together information about its structure, construction, articulation, and decoration. C. Edson Armi uses eighteenth-century depictions of the nave and the surviving Cluny III transept, as well as the priory church at Paray-le-Monial and other related buildings, to identify the artistic strands that the masons of Cluny combined to create the unique achievement of the mother church. Their sources included classical models, the ashlar decoration and apse design associated with the northern French Romanesque, and a strong local tradition of stone architecture, which was based on brick construction.

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