Sometime in the early 1230s, glaziers at Reims Cathedral installed new stained glass windows around the east end of the French coronation church. Most show paired apostles, with standing figures below representing the suffragan bishops of the archdiocese of Reims, each twinned with a representation of their cathedral, rendered schematically as a Gothic façade crowned with an oversize angel. Glowing in the cathedral clerestory, the apostles and their episcopal successors represent the “living stones” of the church (from 1 Peter 2:4–6), the architectural metaphor made explicit through the bishops’ architectonic canopies and proximity to their Ecclesia. One of these windows (no. 118) shows Henri de Braine, archbishop of Reims from 1227 to 1240, standing next to an image in which Reims Cathedral is rendered as an assembly of gabled portals, traceried windows, miniature crenellations, and two tiers of that emphatically Gothic creation, the flying buttress.

Outside those windows, a spiky...

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