The successors to Cluny III
The successors to Cluny III France
Notre-Dame in Paray-le-Mondial is a miniature version of Cluny III, and it will come as no surprise to learn that its architect was none other than Abbot Hugo of Cluny.The elevation of Notre-Dame proves its descent from Cluny III, even if the latter was completed considerably earlier. Here also are to be found arcades with pointed arches on stepped piers, three-part blind triforium and clerestory, pointed barrel vaulting with transverse arches, fluted responds, ornamental bands, a steep transept and the absence of a triforium in the chancel. Nevertheless the similarity is restricted to the formal. The building has not been able to emulate to any great extent the tremendous sense of space and finely articulated elegance of Cluny III.
Freer in it details, yet much closer in its effect to the prototype is Saint- Lazare in Autun. Bishop Etienne de Bage, who was an enthusiastic supporter of the Cluniac reform and liturgy, began this building around 1120 to replace a canonical foundation from the ninth century. On the occasion of a visit by the pope a dedication was transferred, although the relics of St. Lazarus could not be brought to the church until 1146, when the narthex was still under construction. The narthex has a nave and two aisles and both its bays correspond in width and height to those of the nave, whose seven bays extend eastwards. The crossing is square, as are the transepts. The latter squares are divided in two by supporting arches which are extensions of the outer nave walls. Two forebays make the transition to the choir with three apses. Saint- Lazare therefore dispenses not only with an ambulatory, but also with transepts. Despite the disturbing chapel extensions, the interior comes over as festive and full of vitality. The recessed piers support arcades of pointed arches. On all four sides of the piers there are fluted responds attached, which in the nave reach up to just under the transverse barrel vaults. In the blind triforium the middle of the three arches is open, and in the clerestory there is only one window in each bay in contrast to the three at Cluny. Above each bay there is barrel vaulting. Autun still has very important Roman remains, so it is not surprising that the classical decoration of the responds and courses is very sculptured and calculated to exploit the effects of light and shade, and that the capitals are incredibly fine and realistic. This elegant festiveness of the interior volume and the calculated absence of the transepts in favor of a continuity of space are the aspects of Saint-Lazaire which bind it more closely with Cluny III than any other building.