These mullions, carved in a Parisian limestone selected for its qualities, testify to the great skill of the medieval builders. Stone-cutters first trimmed down the pieces to their maximum width. Then, using templates for drawing the outline of the mullions seen in cross-section, they squared off the center section and carved grooves to hold the stained glass.
Mullion from the north
rose window, circa 1240.
© UASD / J. Mangin.
The prepared mullions would then be assembled in situ, a dozen meters up, held in place by iron pins sealed in lead. Chisels and gouges were then used to sculpt them. The capitals of these mullions are decorated with foliage, in styles that varied between a pure, graphic approach and a nearly realistic naturalism. Some of the bases were adorned with diamond tips and twisted cable motifs. A yellow ochre wash has been applied to the interior surfaces, while the outside surfaces show the effect of six centuries of atmospheric erosion.
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