Gothic Art

Gothic Art:

Gothic art, the sculpture, painting and architecture characteristic of the second of two huge international eras that flourished in central Europe and western throughout the middle ages. It evolved from Romanesque art & lasted from the mid-12th century to as late as the ending of the 16th century in some of the areas. The term Gothic was coined through classicizing Italian writers of the Renaissance, who attributed the invention (and what to them was the non classical ugliness) of medieval architecture to the barbarian Gothic tribes that had damaged the Roman Empire and its classical culture in the 5th century. The term achieved its derogatory overtones till the 19th century, at which time a positive critical revaluation of Gothic architecture occur. Although modern scholars have long realized that Gothic art contains nothing in truth to do with the Goths, the term Gothic remains a standard one in the learning of art history.

The term Gothic, which was used primary in the Renaissance, initially expressed disapproval of the medieval style, and referred to barbarian Goths who invaded the Roman Empire among the 3rd & 5th centuries.

Various types of sculpture are supposed to be typical of the Gothic period, most particularly the spectacular groups of figures around the portals of great cathedrals, specifically in France, where the Gothic style originated. These figures echo the graceful and long forms of the architecture. It was also a great age of woodcarving, along with elaborate sets of choir stalls, their spiky pierced produced intended to reflect the tracery & pinnacles of the larger Gothic structures. On dynamic line the Gothic emphasis reveals the spirit of religious mysticism that dominated, along with spires intended to reflect the human reach heavenwards.

In smaller-scale sculpture, the spirit of the Gothic period is seen specifically in statuettes of the Child and Virgin. These were frequently in ivory and typically contain a graceful swaying pose following the natural shape of the elephant tusks through which they were carved.

Characteristics of Gothic art:

A) Gothic art developed from an earlier movement called as Romanesque  a form of architecture  and art that held on to the influences of the Byzantine & Roman empires through features such as aspes, high reliefs, barrel vaults  and Byzantine iconography.

B) Originally the ideas of Gothic art were based in architecture, and appeared first in French abbeys such like the Church of St Denis built by Abbott Suger.

C) The style rapidly caught on, and was soon the major affect on the media of fresco, stained glass, panel painting and illuminate manuscripts.

This swaying elegance is supposed characteristic of Gothic art and it is also found in the manuscript illumination of the time. Illumination & stained glass were the two principal forms of painting in the Gothic period, whereas individual easel paintings were still something of a rarity. Easel paintings first became common in Italy, where the Gothic style took root much less firmly than in other parts of Europe. Due to its Roman heritage, Italy was more influenced by classical art than was the rest of Europe and this restrained the more flamboyant features of Gothic art. Climatic factors came into play too since Italy is a sunny country, the windows of medieval churches there tended to be smaller than those in northern Europe. Decoration took the form of frescoes, painted on the huge areas of flat wall space, instead of stained glass in the windows.

Gothic architecture:

In Europe Architectural style that lasted from the mid 12th century to the 16th century, specifically a style of masonry building characterized by cavernous spaces along with the expanse of walls broken up by overlaid tracery. In the 12th–13th centuries, feats of engineering allowed increasingly gigantic buildings. The flying buttress, rib vault, and pointed (Gothic) arch were utilized as solutions to the problem of building a very tall structure whereas preserving as much natural light as possible. Stained-glass window panels rendered startling sun-dappled interior influence. One of the earliest buildings to combine these elements into a coherent style was the abbey of Saint-Denis, Paris (c. 1135–44). The High Gothic years (c. 1250–1300), heralded through Chartres Cathedral, were dominated through France, especially with the development of the Rayonnant style. Britain, Spain , and Germany produced variations of this style, whereas Italian Gothic stood apart in its use of brick and marble instead of stone. Late Gothic (15th-century) architecture reached its height in Germany's vaulted hall churches. Other late Gothic styles include the British Perpendicular style and the French and Spanish Flamboyant style.

Three successive phases of Gothic architecture can be distinguished, respectively called early, High, and late Gothic.

Early Gothic Architecture - aka Lancet Architecture:

The style of Gothic Architecture defined as Early English, or Lancet, used throughout the period of 1200 - 1300 is characterized through the following elements:

1. Early English Gothic Style (it is also called Lancet) - 1200 to 1300

2. The stone of Medieval Gothic architecture was slash with precision

3. The big blocks of stone employed by the Normans in Romanesque architecture, were replaced through shaped stone.

4. Early English Gothic architecture emphasized height & used the pointed arch

5. The pointed arch could support greater weight, permitting walls to be thinner with wider window openings

6. The Romanesque hollow walls were replaced along with pillars and solid walls  letting them to hold far greater weights Gothic Architecture provided much bigger buildings

7. Gothic architecture and design permitted architects to spread out the weight to distinct points of the building

8. The introduction of flying buttresses that distributed the weight of walls  and roofs right down to the ground

9. Towers were frequently surmounted with very slender towers, or spires

10. Use of the chisel, as opposed to axes, led to more decorative designs

11. Sculptures of Stone Gargoyles were introduced as waterspouts in Gothic architecture defending the foundations from rain.

High or Decorated Gothic Architecture:

The style of Gothic Architecture, define as Decorated Gothic Architecture, employed during the period of 1300 - 1400 is characterized by the following elements:

A) The Decorated Gothic style was characterized through wider windows.

B) The wider windows were decorated along with tracery (a system of window decoration) and ornamentation.

C) Gothic Rose Windows are related along with great Cathedrals and Gothic Churches though some small Rose Windows were featured in the Chapels of Gothic Castles.

D) Rose Windows were decorative by product of the development of stained glass.

E) The innovative use of buttresses and vaults in weight support permitted for the elaborate Rose Windows to be featured in the building as a major entry of light.

Late or Perpendicular Gothic Architecture:

The style of Gothic Architecture defined as Perpendicular, used during the period of 1400 - 1500, is characterized by the following elements:

A. Perpendicular Gothic Style - 1400 to 1500.

B. Hammerbeam roofs.

C. Fan vaulting.

D. Towers were frequently surmounted with very slender towers or spires.

E. Use of the chisel, as opposed to axes, led to more decorative designs in perpendicular Gothic architecture.

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