Rayonnant is a term used to describe a period in the French Gothic architectural style circa 1240-1350. Following from High Gothic, Rayonnant buildings took the ideas underpinning the French Gothic movement to their most accomplished level. In other schemes of the history of Gothic, Rayonnant comes after "lancet Gothic". After about 1350, the Late Gothic, Flamboyant style followed.

Gothic architecture is characterized by light and Rayonnant takes this to the extreme with buildings being so transparent that they appear lace-like from the exterior. The viewer can see through the walls of the building at many different perspectives. A famous example of Rayonnant architecture is La Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. This chapel was built for Louis IX's personal use, and while the lower story is quite enclosed, the second story is almost entirely glazed.

Some sources derive the term from the chapels spreading from the apse that are typical of the style; others from the tracery of rose windows, also typical of Gothic churches, especially cathedrals. In ideal gothic aesthetics, the petals of the rose radiate from the center of the window, thus the term "rayonnant" (from the French word meaning "to radiate").


* [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0004-3079%28196203%2944%3A1%3C39%3APATOOR%3E2.0.CO%3B2-N&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage "Paris and the Origins of Rayonnant Gothic Architecture down to 1240 ", Robert Branner; The Art Bulletin, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Mar., 1962), pp. 39-51; JSTOR]

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  • rayonnant — rayonnant, ante [ rɛjɔnɑ̃, ɑ̃t ] adj. • 1611; de 1. rayonner 1 ♦ Qui présente une disposition en rayons (1., 4o). ⇒ radiant (cf. En étoile). Des hibiscus « étalaient de fabuleuses fleurs rayonnantes » (Genevoix). Actinie rayonnante. Décor… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • rayonnant — rayonnant, ante (rè io nan, nan t ) adj. 1°   Qui rayonne. Le soleil est rayonnant.    Fig. Il est rayonnant de joie, ou, simplement, il est rayonnant, la joie est peinte sur son visage. •   Elle me fit l honneur de débarquer chez moi, plus belle …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • rayonnant — Rayonnant, [rayonn]ante. ad. Qui rayonne. Ce Saint luy apparut tout rayonnant de lumiere. Moïse descendant de la montagne parut le visage tout rayonnant. On dit fig. d Un homme qui sort de quelque action qui luy acquiert beaucoup d estime & de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Rayonnant — Ray on*nant (r[=a] [o^]n*n[a^]nt), a. [F.] (Her.) Darting forth rays, as the sun when it shines out. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rayonnant — RAYONNÁNT, Ă adj. v. reionant. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DN …   Dicționar Român

  • RAYONNANT — ANTE. adj. Qui rayonne. Rayonnant de lumière. Moïse, descendant de la montagne, parut le visage tout rayonnant .  En Physique, Le calorique rayonnant , Celui qui émane des corps en tous sens ; à la différence de Celui qui se communique par… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • rayonnant — ˈrāənənt adjective Etymology: French, from present participle of rayonner to radiate, from Middle French, from rayon ray more at rayon 1. : depicted with rays darting forth used especially in heraldry a sun rayonnant 2. : character …   Useful english dictionary

  • RAYONNANT, ANTE — adj. Qui rayonne. Rayonnant de lumière. Moïse, descendant de la montagne, parut le visage tout rayonnant. Fig., être tout rayonnant de gloire se dit de Celui qui vient d’acquérir beaucoup de gloire, de renommée. Fig., être rayonnant de joie ou… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • rayonnant —    The radiant style in thirteenth century architecture that is associated with the royal Paris court of Louis IX (1214 1270), the French king also known as Saint Louis …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • Rayonnant — the development of French Gothic which produced multiple light windows with geometric tracery ♦ Phase of French architecture corresponding to early bar tracery. (Martindale, Andrew. Gothic Art, 269) …   Medieval glossary

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