Talk:Rose window

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"However, it is worth noting that the term rose window is not used before the 17th century, and in all likelihood stems from the Old French word roue, meaning wheel. Therefore specific connections between the Virgin or the flowering plants and the rose window are generally unlikely before the Mediaeval period."

Hows that? The the term wasn't used before the 17th Century ie 1600, which indicates that associations between the Virgin, the plant and the window was unlikely before the Medieval period!! Is this really what the writer means, or does the writer mean the Baroque period?

Just one of the conflicting and confusing bits of writing in the intro to this article!

--Amandajm 12:38, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

I worked it out! It's a simple typo. What is meant is in the Mediaeval period, not before! That makes perfect sense. --Amandajm 06:56, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

No it wasn't a typo- What it originally said was "until after" the Mediaeval period, which was then editted to "before".


"While it is commonly believed that during the Romanesque period the oculus became the rose window through elaboration, in fact Romanesque oculi do not demonstrate sufficient 'transitional' characteristics to the Gothic rose window, to detract from the conclusion that a considerable innovation was made when the very first complete example of a Gothic rose window appeared on the west façade of St Denis, near Paris."

  • I think what the author means here is "which detracts from". Otherwise it doesn't make sense at all.
  • Secondly - in fact Romanesque oculi do not demonstrate sufficient 'transitional' characteristics to the Gothic rose window

In fact, they do. A single example is enough to demonstrate this. At the Church of the Apostles, Cologne, 1035-1220, there are untraceried oculi, untraceried four-lobed windows, a similar wheel window with seven lobes, very unusual windows of a Latin Cross shape with lobed tops, all used in close conjunction, the four-lobed windows forming a sort of visual progression between the oculi and the other larger windows.

The use of oculi and wheel windows together is common on facades of Italian churches. It would seem foolish not to consider that one developed from the other. In France the wheel and plate tracery exist together in the same window at Chartres. Moreover, if Violet le Duc's drawn reconstruction is any indication, the rose window of the facade of St Denis can hardly be described as "the very first complete example of a Gothic rose window". The window that is there now is a Gothic style window, but it's Violet le Duc's tracery that gives it its Gothic appearance.

--Amandajm 09:13, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Roses and rose windows[edit]

A "Romantic" connection between roses and rose windows has been written into this article very persistently and supported by evidence that is not evidence at all, and by evidence that is inaccurate, to say the least.

  • Roses do not have ten petals. The majority of roses in their simple form have five bi-partite petals, but not ten.
  • Such roses also have five sepals. Sepals do not look like petals. Roses do not have ten identical parts. They have five rounded two-lobed parts and five little pointy bits that may or may not be visible.
  • A design with a round centre and ten equal parts with pointed ends doesn't resemble a rose in any way. It might be interpreted as a daisy, but not a rose. It is only by a real stretch of the imagination or a gross ignorance of horticulture that the wheel window at Beverley with its equal ten lights with tripartite ends could be interpreted as a rose.
  • The comment on the web-site of the Washington National Cathedral says of the West window, "It's a ten petalled rose". That doesn't mean that the writer knew how many petals a rose has, or whether the design was based on the "ten parts" of a rose, as was stated in this present article.
  • The "ten parts of a rose", (counting the petals and sepals as equal parts, an edit to the article on Rose bringing it in line with the article on rose windows) might also be the hundred and ten parts if one also choses to count the stamens or the additional little curly bits that are characteristic of some roses.
  • The only rose window pictured here that shows evidence of having been based on a Rose is the 19th century Yorkshire example by Pearson, who was, of course, well aware of the "white rose of York" and, contrary to the description of the "ten parts" a sum of petals and sepals, has created five double parts, cleverly using local symbolism while creating a window that has all appearance of being archaeologically correct.

We are trying to create an encyclopedia here. We need to deal with the sources and the examples that we choose as accurately as possible. Stretching info to fit a cherished concept simply isn't responsible editting.

--Amandajm 12:07, 3 January 2007 (UTC)


My French/English dictionary gives "roue" as a translation of "wheel". The reason why this is the probable source of the name is that these round windows were spoked like wheels for a good many years before they ever took on any semblance of a "rose". Amandajm (talk) 13:48, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Your ideas about the "probable source of the name" are not an appropriate reference for Wikipedia. Unless you can come up with a better source than the OED, which is the gold standard for English etymology, please do not revert my edit again. Languagehat (talk) 19:49, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Just so we're clear: the characteristics of the physical rose and of the physical rose window are irrelevant to the etymology. It may be that someone looked at one of the windows, thought "It's as pretty as a rose," started calling it a "rose window," and the name caught on. Such speculation is useless. Etymology requires dated and substantiated citations, not ideas about how things should be. You are clearly knowledgeable about the windows; please accept that you are not knowledgeable about etymology. Languagehat (talk) 20:30, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
So what were circular spoked windows originally called, in England, when the Normans introduced them? And what were they called before they became known as "rose windows" in the 17th century? The French, like the English, now generally call all circular medieval windows by the name of "rose", even when they are more like a wheel. But what term did they use for the earlier windows that were shaped like wheels and were not like roses? There is a gap in our knowledge here, and I'm sure that with your interest in language, you can discover the answers.
Incidentally, I was not the author of the statement that the name rose window was based on the word "roue" (wheel) rather than "rose". Amandajm (talk) 07:00, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Directional Orientation[edit]

Many churches and cathedrals have the rose window installed on the east wall, allowing the early sun to bathe worship participants in morning services. However, western walls are used, as well, with fewer south facing walls--and north facing walls being very infrequent in the Northern Hemisphere. This is, however, only my observation of larger cathedrals in the US, Canada, and Europe. I've not delved deeply into church architectural texts, so I am requesting supplemental opinion and documentation on this matter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Homebuilding (talkcontribs) 18:57, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

The awesome effect of a rose window[edit]

I took the following photos in San Giovanni Church in Gubbio. It shows the awesome effect of the rose window with sunlight shining like a beam through the window onto the cross.

I am not sure where the photos can best fit into the article. It would be cool if someone can help to do that.

Ctny (talk) 03:34, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it's awesome! I'll fiddle around with some of the galleries, in a bit, and see how it fits. Amandajm (talk) 03:45, 17 July 2012 (UTC)