Like a living plant, a Gothic building can enrich itself from its own roots, throwing out foliage, tendrils, and flowers without losing its central unity.
And that same leaping, nervous energy on which the whole of a Gothic structure is based, communicates itself to every part of the building but particularly to those portions of it which, however firmly they may be embedded in the design of the whole, can at least be thought of as belonging to the separate category of sculpture.
It was an affectionate curiosity, full of little whimsies and extravagances.
Instead of limiting itself to humanity it could range playfully and capriciously across the whole of creation, picking out details, a monstrous form here, a charming turn of the wrist there.
They may have thought of themselves as moderns (as compared with the builders of St Trophime or Durham), but they would have been surprised to know that four centuries later, men of culture looking for a word to describe their style of Christian art would choose one with the same connotations that the word Vandal has for us today.