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Transcript of Gothic Art
What Makes a Cathedral Gothic?
It's height: before this time churches could never reach such heights without collapsing
Flying Buttresses: not only did these structures balance the weight of the buildings, they were also beautifully designed
Pointed Arch: "effectively distributed the force of heavier ceilings and bulkier designs"
Vaulted Ceiling: "spread force and weight from upper floors...and enabled vaults to be built in different shapes and sizes"
Light/Airy Interior: "emphasized light, bright windows and airy interiors"
Gargoyles: "decorative monsters" that were used to drain water from the roof
Ornate: "first time that beauty and aesthetic values had been incorporated into building design...it was no longer just functional - it began to having meaning in its own"
It's unique integration of the arts of sculpture stained glass and acrchitecture
(Gothic Art (c.1150-1375))
"The term 'Gothic' describes the style of European architecture, and sculpture which linked medieval Romanesque art with the Renaissance ."
It flourished throughout Cathedrals and Churches across France and its surrounding region in the period of 1150-1250. Which then spread throughout northern Europe.
(Gothic Art(c. 1150-1375))
The original Gothic style was developed to bring sunshine into peoples lives, and churches
The Gothic grew out of the Romanesque architectural style, and from roughly 1000-1400 several cathedrals and churches were built
Gothic art lasted from the mid-12th century to as late as the end of the 16th century
To support the vaults pressures, the vertical supporting walls had to be made thick and heavy to contain the the barrel vaults thrust
The characteristics of Gothic architecture rose out of medieval masons, in effort to solve the problems of supporting heavy masonry ceiling vaults over wide spans
The original heavy stonework of the arched barrel vault and groin vault had tremendous pressures causing them to collapse
Chartres Cathedral (France)
What Makes a Cathedral Gothic Continued...
Stated by Grace Gregory's
Middle Ages Technologies: Gothic Cathedrals
"Intricately designed architectural features dating back to 1144 or earlier"
"Began with tthe abby church of Saint Denis"
Limestone was the most common building material. However, areas such as northern and eastern Germany, and Southern France used bricks and mortar. Wood was also used for roofing, doors and flying buttresses.
"Stone structures, large expanses of glass, clustered columns, sharply pointed spires, intricate sculptures, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses."
"A sense of verticality to suggest a goal to the Heavens"
known for including all elements of new Gothic architecture and abundance of stained glass windows and sculptures. It is also the most completely surviving medieval church.
Was built after a fire destroyed the church before it in 1194
The glass used in the cathedral was made around 1200-1235
There is no direct light; all light flows through the stained windows
It contains a maze center with 320 yards of winding passages
The clerestory (upper area of the wall supported on the arcades) forms a glass casket where the architecture creates a frame for the stained glass windows
It has stained glass that fills two large rows of windows framed by the architecture of the clerestory
"immense flying buttresses used in an unprecedented way"
In 1836, an unexpected fire destroyed the roof timbers and melted the lead. It was then replaed by an iron structure and covered with copper
"Gothic Art is concerned with the painting, sculpture, and architecture charactoristics that flourished in western and central Europe during the Middle Ages"
Gargoyles - Grotesque sculptures depicting monsters and devils
History & Legend
The name 'Gargoyles' comes from a french word "gargouille" which refers to a throaty gurgling, almost an allusion to the gargoyles role as a waterspout.
Gargoyles on ancient buildings were intended to scare away evil forces or to install awe in visitors to temples
Temples and other buildings built with gargoyles had a main function, Rainwater which ran off the roofs were funneled through channels that emerged from the mouths of the gargoyle statues.
The gargoyles directed runoff away from the walls of the building, keeping water from damaging the walls and foundation of the buildings
Gargoyles made a reappearance during the middle ages in the Cathedrals throughout Europe
They were part of the buildings "overall lavish ornamentation" and they often served the same purpose as practical gargoyles.
Some though were simply perched on roofs to gaze at the world below
Though the gargoyles could have been references to old pagan religions which were intended to make new converts to Christianity comfortable with their new religion
At the end of the 19Th century, gargoyles arose again in America
University buildings carved gargoyles into their stone architecture
Along with the Washington National Cathedral which was built in 1907
Florentine historiographer Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) was the first to label the architecture "Gothic", In reference to Nordic Tribes that overran the Roman Empire in the sixth century
Vasari implied that "Gothic" architecture was debased which revived the forms of classical antiquity
Gothic is now used to characterize an art form based on the pointed arch
Gothic architecture is the result of an engineering challenge: How to span in stone ever-wider surfaces from ever-greater heights?
Many Romanesque buildings have either stone barrel vaults (semi circular) or groin vaults (bays of barrel vaults crossing at a right angle)
From 1100 onward architects experimented innovations that allowed dissolution of the wall and a fluid arrangement of space, which they then adopted the pointed arch.
The Pointed Arch that has a lesser lateral thrust than the round arch is easily adaptable to openings of various widths and heights
They also developed a system of stone ribs to distribute the weight of the vault onto columns and piers all the way to the ground; the vault could now be made of lighter, thinner stone and the walls opened to accommodate larger windows.
Equally important, the Flying Buttress was developed the 1170s whose vertical uprights are connected to the exterior wall of the building with bridge-like arches
The external structures of flying buttresses absorb the outward thrust of the vault at set intervals under the roof, making it possible to reduce the buildings exterior masonry shell to mere skeletal framework
Gothic sculpture was closely tied to Gothic architecture because it was used primarily to decorate exteriors of cathedrals and other religious buildings
The earliest sculptures were stone figures of saints and the Holy Family used to decorate the doorways and portals in cathedrals throughout France and other areas
Sculptures were once made stiff, simple, and straight though during the 12Th century and the early 13Th century sculptures became more relaxed and naturalistic
Sculptures now had individualized faces and figures, as well as full flowing draperies and natural poses and gestures
In the 14Th century Gothic sculpture became more refined and elegant and acquired a mannered daintiness in its elaborate drapery
The elegant and "prettiness" of this style was widely spread throughout Europe
The most important form of Gothic architectural art was the stained glass window
Most innovations of Gothic architecture were developed for the purpose of adding stained glass windows to cathedrals
Since very few people could read, stained glass windows allowed christians a glorious glimpse of the tales throughout the Bible.
Fitting pieces of glass together in lead frames, Gothic glaziers told stories from the Bible not in words, but in light
Gothic stained glass windows can be identified by their massive size as well as their shape
There are two standard Gothic shapes of stained glass windows, the tall window with the pointed arch, and the round rose window
Chapuis, Julien. "Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History."
Museum of Art, Oct. 2002. Web. 04 Nov. 2014
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Gothic Art: Characteristics, History. Encyclopedia of Art History, n.d.
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Gothic Art and Architecture.
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N.a. "The Cathedral of Chartres." Chartres Cathedral. ChartresCathedral.net, n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2014.
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St. Vitus Cathedral
The biggest and most important church in the Czech Republic
Coronations of the kings of Bohemia were held there until 1836
Saints, kings, princes and emperors of Bohemia are buried there
The official main entrance to the cathedral was built at the turn of the 19th and the 20th century
It consists of a central nave with narrow aisles with small chapels that are illuminated by light going through colored windows that show sacred motives
N.a. "St. Vitus Cathedral - Prague." Prague.net. Prague.net, 2008. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.
Lonely Planet. "St Vitus Cathedral - Lonely Planet." Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet
Global Inc., n.d. Web. 5 Nov. 2014.
Some Important Features:
The 14th-century mosaic of the Last Judgement
The baroque silver tomb of St John of Nepomuk
The ornate Chapel of St Wenceslas
Art nouveau stained glass by Alfons Mucha
The foundation stone was laid in 1344 by Emperor Charles IV, on the site of a 10th-century Romanesque rotunda built by Duke Wenceslas but wasn't consecrated until 1929
Over the years late gothic style, Renaissance and baroque details were added to the original French gothic cathedral
Mosaic of the Last Judgement