|As we pass by these tombs, each so full of history and
legend, we should not forget the work of Hugues Capet's family to
re-invest their authority in this place. When Louis VI Capet came to
the throne, France was much in need to establish its prestige in the face
of the Normands, those who had so humiliated the family of Charlemagne and who
had then gone on to conquer all of England.
Louis VI and his incredibly innovative minister Abbot Suger, called forth all the greatest engineers, artists, and sculptors of Europe. They said simply "Do your best and we'll stand behind it". Thus was born Gothic Art. Saint Denis is the first, but many would follow.
Like so many great leaders, Louis VI's reign is measured as much by the qualities of those he chose to serve. Abbot Suger is truly one of the great figures of history -- in art, politics, and economy he "ruled" while his king only "reigned."
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This page last updated on 5/28/2004 7:30:25 PM.