Crescendo, the monumental installation at Saint-Denis Basilica

Published by My de Sortiraparis · Photos by My de Sortiraparis · Published on September 25th, 2023 at 06:45 p.m.
Discover "Crescendo", a majestic installation by Stephen Dean, presented by the Centre des monuments nationaux, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis until September 29, 2024.

Since September 6, 2023, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis has been home to a monumental work by Stephen Dean, entitled "Crescendo". The 15-metre-high installation takes the form of a suspended ladder decorated with coloured dichroic stained glass. The work is located in the chevet of the basilica, whose stained glass windows were restored in 2022.

Key points to remember about this artistic experience:

  • Historic site: the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis, a jewel of French heritage.
  • Renownedartist: Stephen Dean, renowned for his fascination with color and his unique installations.
  • A universal symbol: The ladder, evoking the link between the terrestrial and celestial worlds, reflects a history rich in symbolism and spirituality.
  • An innovative technique: The use of dichroic lenses, which change color depending on the angle of vision and the light source, offers an unprecedented visual experience.



What's fascinating about "Crescendo" is its ability to establish a dialogue between past and present. Reminiscent of the stained-glass windows imagined by Abbé Suger in the 12th century, Stephen Dean's work is in keeping with historical continuity, while adding a contemporary touch.

It's not just a ladder, but one whose rungs are filled with dichroic glass. These glasses, developed by NASA, project and reflect changing colors, offering a chromatic spectacle that is both subtle and bewitching.

Crescendo, l’installation monumentale à la Basilique Saint-DenisCrescendo, l’installation monumentale à la Basilique Saint-DenisCrescendo, l’installation monumentale à la Basilique Saint-DenisCrescendo, l’installation monumentale à la Basilique Saint-Denis

An immersion in cultural heritage: The basilica, built for the burial of Saint Denis, is inextricably linked with the French monarchy. It houses the tombs of numerous kings and queens, and is considered the first masterpiece of Gothic art. Its exceptional luminosity, due to its many stained glass windows, earned it the nickname of Lucerna until the 18th century.

In short, the "Crescendo " experience at Saint-Denis Cathedral Basilica is a meditation on art, history and spirituality. It's an invitation to contemplate, to immerse oneself and to feel the power of the place and the work. It's an invitation to contemplate, to immerse oneself and to feel the power of the place and the work.

Visits are free for under-26s and on the first Sunday of the month from November to March. Reservations are strongly recommended via the official website. Visit details may be subject to change, so please consult the site in advance.

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Practical information

Dates and Opening Time
From September 20th, 2023 to September 29th, 2024

× Approximate opening times: to confirm opening times, please contact the establishment.

    Location

    1, Rue de la Légion d'Honneur
    93200 Saint Denis

    Prices
    - 26 ans : Free
    Plein tarif: €9.5

    Recommended age
    For all

    Official website
    www.saint-denis-basilique.fr

    Booking
    www.saint-denis-basilique.fr

    More information
    Opening hours: April to September: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6.15 p.m. (last admission at 5.45 p.m.) Sundays, 12 p.m. to 6.15 p.m. (last admission at 5.45 p.m.) October to March: Please check on site for opening hours. Please note that the facility may be closed during religious services and on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.

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