North rose window of Notre Dame, Paris
 

Rose windows are particularly characteristic of Gothic architecture and may be seen in all the major Gothic Cathedrals of Northern France. Their origins are much earlier and rose windows may be seen in various forms throughout the Medieval period. Their popularity was revived, with other medieval features, during the Gothic revival of the 19th century so that they are seen in Christian churches all over the world.
[Wikipedia]


Rose windows utilize geometry on three levels: manifest, hidden, and symbolic. The visual impact of the rose window is manifest. Every space is defined by another smaller geometric figure - a trefoil, a quatrefoil, rosette, or spherical triangle. Even the glasswork itself adds to this geometry. The hidden geometry defines the exact placement of every major feature of the rose window-relating to the radial elements, concentric divisions, and all to the center. The symbolic geometry is found in the the numerical significance in the chart above. Circles, squares, triangles, stars, and, of course, the 12 major divisions typically found in rose windows all point to the finite and infinite, earth and heaven, or matter and spirit. Of course, the geometric significance is rather an intellectual one and probably lost on most people other than in the pleasing proportions and the way the window draws the eye.
[Source]

For an excellent description of the geometry of the North Rose Window of Chartres Cathedral see here.

North rose window of Notre Dame, Paris

 

Rose windows are particularly characteristic of Gothic architecture and may be seen in all the major Gothic Cathedrals of Northern France. Their origins are much earlier and rose windows may be seen in various forms throughout the Medieval period. Their popularity was revived, with other medieval features, during the Gothic revival of the 19th century so that they are seen in Christian churches all over the world.

[Wikipedia]

Rose windows utilize geometry on three levels: manifest, hidden, and symbolic. The visual impact of the rose window is manifest. Every space is defined by another smaller geometric figure - a trefoil, a quatrefoil, rosette, or spherical triangle. Even the glasswork itself adds to this geometry. The hidden geometry defines the exact placement of every major feature of the rose window-relating to the radial elements, concentric divisions, and all to the center. The symbolic geometry is found in the the numerical significance in the chart above. Circles, squares, triangles, stars, and, of course, the 12 major divisions typically found in rose windows all point to the finite and infinite, earth and heaven, or matter and spirit. Of course, the geometric significance is rather an intellectual one and probably lost on most people other than in the pleasing proportions and the way the window draws the eye.

[Source]

For an excellent description of the geometry of the North Rose Window of Chartres Cathedral see here.

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