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John Sell Cotman, 1782-1842.

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Abbey Church of the Holy Trinity at Caen. East side of the South Transept. 1820. Etching. Image: 9 1/2x 12 3/4; plate: 118 x 14 (sheet 13 3/8 x 19). Series: Architectural Antiquities of Normandy by John Sell Cotman; Accompanied by Historical and Descriptive Notices by Dawson Turner, Esq. F.R. and A.S. Plate 29. Published in London by J. & A. Arch. A fine impression printed on cream wove paper. Signed and titled in the plate. $75.

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Turner writes: The twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth plates are devoted to the transepts: the first of them exhibits two of the arches which support the central tower. Finer specimens of the kind are scarcely to be seen in Normandy; and the decoration of them is very peculiar, consisting altogether of numerous bands of quatrefoils in bas-relief. The sculpture of the capitals is likewise remarkable: that of one of them represents entire rams; while the opposite one has only the heads of the same animal at its angles, accompanied with an ornament, which the writer of this article does not remember to have met with elsewhere. The arch that separates the tower from the nave,[64] rises higher than any of the rest, and is obtusely pointed; but its decorations correspond with those of the others, and it appears to be of the same date.[65] For the purpose of more effectually marking the connection of the twenty-eighth plate with the preceding, it may be well to observe, that the string-course, seen in the former through the first arch and adjoining the base of the truncated column, is the same which, in plate twenty-seven, forms the base-line of the windows. The same string-course in the choir runs immediately below the gallery; but in the transepts, this gallery is upon a different line, being elevated by the interposition of a very beautiful range of small blank arches, between the larger arches below and the windows of the clerestory; and these latter, in conjunction with the small arches, only occupy the same space as the windows of the choir. The southern transept has been here selected for publication, as being the most perfect. Had the opposite one been equally so, it would have been preferable, from the curious character of its capitals, many of which are taken from scripture-history. But these are, unfortunately, much mutilated.

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