Gothic Architecture 3 main elements of Gothic Architecture: Structure, “ The Visual”, and Symbolic. Gothic Architecture had a strong skeletal stone structure, pure structural logic and was not bulky and heavy like Romanesque. Gothic Architecture is the emphasize of line which takes over transforming it into a light weight form. Gothic Architecture emphasizes light through the use of stain glass windows and the reduction of materials. Amiens Cathedral 1220
Gothic rib vaulting diagram. The key elements of Gothic architecture are generally considered to be the pointed arch , the ribbed vault , and the flying buttress . It must be remembered that the ribbed vault and pointed arch were present before Gothic, and the flying buttress was really a response to the demands created by those two elements that did not come into play until Gothic was well under way.
Flying Buttresses diagram of Forces The Flying Buttress: Not all of the weight of the vaults, however, can be channeled down ward. There is always lateral thrust as weight tries to spread outward. With the barrel vault the lateral thrust is considerable and has to be met with thick walls or with side aisles that serve as buttresses to the main vaults. In effect, the vaults of the side aisles served as raised buttresses. It was probably to be expected that the first vaults to be ribbed at Durham Cathedral in England and Saint-Étienne at Beauvais would be in the aisles. The ribs of the aisle vaults could reach over the aisles from the massive exterior walls, which allowed the builder to open the aisle arcade to the nave. Hidden under the aisle roofs, the aisle vault arches were really the first flying buttresses. In reality, the flying buttress is the arch of an aisle vault raised above the aisle roof to the position where it absorbs the most thrust from the main vaults . The invention of the flying buttress was a later development, although there is now some academic debate as to the actual dates.
Pointed Arch diagram the pointed arch is widely regarded as the main identifiable feature of Gothic architecture (distinct from the round arch of the Romanesque period). The most common Gothic arches are the Lancet, Equilateral and Ogee.
Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Laon Cathedral 1160 Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Laon, 130km northwest from Paris, has one of the great early Gothic style as well as Notre-Dame at Paris. The cathedral of Notre-Dame was established in the end of fifth century but burned in 1112. he reconstruction of the choir and transepts began about 1160 and completed in 1174. The reconstruction started again about 1180 and after 1205, the completion of the nave, the original choir was replaced by the greatly lengthened present-day choir in 1215. he west facade was completed about 1220. The seven towers were planed originally but only five towers were constructed.
Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Laon
Notre-Dame 1163-1250 Notre Dame has an interesting combination of Early and Late Gothic characteristics. During construction chapels were added between the buttresses
Notre-Dame Cathedral Section Chartres Cathedral Section The Chartres Cathedral is a massive Roman Catholic Church building located in Chartres, France, a town to the southwest of Paris. It is an impressive structure, built between 1194 and 1260, a short time for such a structure. The church is named Cathedral of Notre Dame d’Chartres (meaning Our Lady of Chartres, referring to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, whom Catholics venerate.) The cathedral of Paris is one of the most recognizable of French monuments. The result of several campaigns of construction, it was, at the time of its initial Gothic reconstruction, the largest and tallest French building by far. The sophisticated arrangement of buttresses in this reconstruction is probably anachronistic. It is more likely that the flyers would have spanned from the pier buttresses to the clerestory wall in a single span, as they do today in both the nave and choir.
Reims Cathedral 1211 Reims Cathedral, built (1211-1311) in Reims on the traditional coronation site of the kings of France, is one of the greatest monuments of Gothic art and architecture. Construction commenced under the architect Jean d'Orbais and was completed under Robert de Coucy. Reims Cathedral is a work of remarkable unity and harmony. The cathedral at Reims represents the culmination of three important trends. First, the exterior is treated as a palette for decoration. Second, the windows now contain bar tracery as opposed to plate tracery. Finally, the portals are treated as a single, coherent composition. Also characteristic of the area is the Reimois passage, a walkway found at the base of the aisle windows.
Reims Cathedral The influence of Chartres Cathedral is evident in its quadripartite rib vaults, three-story elevation, and pier structure.Reims' west front consists of three portals surrounded by sculptured arches, a rose window with superb 13th-century stained glass, and two matching towers. Gracing this facade is perhaps the richest body of sculpture of any Gothic church, one that shows an increasing realism and movement in contrast to the more rigid and formalized style of the 12th century. Part of the sculptural decoration, including the Visitation group, is executed in a classical vein, and part in a highly original style attributed to the so-called Joseph Master, whose elegant works presaged the 14th-century Gothic International Style in art. The cathedral, badly damaged during World War I, has been restored and stabilized (1918-37).Associated with the cathedral are the 9th-century Abbey of Saint Remi and the Tau Palace, former archepiscopal residence. Together they constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Salisbury 1220-1260 Early English style of architecture which flourished from about the year 1175 to 1275, and is characterized by a gradual abandonment of the heavy and massive features of the Norman style, and the adoption of lighter and more elegant forms of construction and decoration. Salisbury Cathedral, erected 1220-1260 A.D., is the most perfect example of this period. The arches are pointed, and the piers supporting them are often composed of an insulated cylindrical column surrounded by slender detached shafts, all uniting together under one capital, and divided into parts by horizontal bands. In small churches plain octagonal or circular piers are frequently used, as in the succeeding style, from which they can only be distinguished by the moldings. Moldings are often the surest guides in helping us to ascertain the date of a building. We have already studied the Norman moldings. In this style they are composed of bold rounds and deep hollows, usually plain, or ornamented
Gothic The word gothic was first used by Italian critics of the Renaissance to refer to a style they viewed as barbarous. They believed this style was brought to Italy by the Goths when they destroyed Rome. The time between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance (revival of Italy’s greatness) is called Gothic times, because Italy believed the Goths were responsible for the fall of Rome, they equated Gothic with barbaric even though the time of the Goths and Gothic style were 700 years apart. The term Gothic is now used to characterize an art form based on the pointed arch, which came from around Paris in the middle of the twelfth century and was practiced throughout Europe, into the sixteenth century. “Gothic architecture is the result of an engineering challenge: how to span in stone ever-wider surfaces from ever-greater heights?”
1296 Cathedral begun on design by Arnolfo di Cambio. 1357 Project continued on a modified plan by Francesco Talenti 1366-7 Talenti's definitive design emerged calling for an enormous octagonal dome 1418 competition for construction of dome 1420 technical solution for vaulting proposed by Brunelleschi approved and construction begun 1436 church consecrated Florence Cathedral Gothic Architecture Filippo Brunelleschi [1377-1446] Brunelleschi was hired to complete the Gothic style Cathedral of Florence. Brunelleschi had mastered the technical aspects of Gothic style and tradition, his fame is partly attributed to the fact that he was extremely knowledgeable of Gothic methods of vaulting and at the time the people of Florence wanted the cathedral topped with a great dome, no one but Brunelleschi was able to figure out a way to span the large spaces between pillars. It is said Brunelleschi went all over Rome measuring and sketching forms and ornaments from ruins of temples and palaces. He did not do this to copy but to create a new way of building that allowed for free use of classical forms.
Piazza Della Signoria with Palazzo Vecchio (1299-c. 1320)
The Palace, which included the law courts of Venice, is connected to the city's jail cells via the famous “Bridge of Sighs.” Designed by Giovanni and Bartolomeo Buon. The palace was started in the ninth century and rebuilt several times, it was finally finished during the Renaissance period. Doge’s Palace Venice, Italy
“ The arcade columns, which originally stood on a stylobate of three steps, now rise from the ground without bases, and the sturdy continuous tracery of the second tier of arcades lends an appearance of strength to the open arches. The capitals of the columns, particularly the angle capital which was eulogised by Ruskin in The Stones of Venice, are celebrated for the delicate carving in low-grained marble. The whole scheme of columned and pointed arcades, with its combination of carved capitals and long horizontal lines of open tracery, is of that unique design which can only be termed Venetian Gothic .” — Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p506. Doge’s Palace Venice, Italy
Gothic Text This font has a very highly ornate upper case that took an age to create. The lower case letters (a-z) are identical in Rheims. Classic Gothic This TrueType Gothic font was created by Boudewijn Rempt after the alphabet devised by the Visigothic Bishop Wulfila (Lat. Ulfilas), 311-383 AD, for his translation of the Bible into Gothic, the so-called Codex Argenteus, written in this alphabet with silver and gold letters on purple parchment. This is the earliest translation of the Bible into a Germanic language and invaluable for the history of the Germanic languages.
Leaf from a Missal , ca. 1290 Northeast French; Beauvais (?) Tempera and gold leaf, on parchment; 11 3/8 x 7 1/4 in. (28.9 x 18.4 cm)
Bifolium , from a Manuscript of the Decretals of Gratian , ca. 1290 French; Paris Tempera and gold leaf with brown ink on parchment; Page: 18 9/16 x 11 7/16 in. (47.2 x 29.2 cm)
Manuscript illumination became used more often in the Gothic period, because universities as well as religious groups and rulers were patrons of this art form. This image is a page from the Psalter of St. Louis (King Louis IX) illustrating the scene of Abraham and the Three Angels. The background includes Gothic architecture, with rose windows and pointed arches.
Diptych (inside) with Scenes of the Annunciation and Nativity 1300–1325 German; Made in Cologne (possibly), Rhine valley Silver gilt with translucent and opaque enamels; 2 3/8 x 3 7/16 in. (6.1 x 8.7 cm) An excellent example of Gothic goldsmith work and enameling, the process used in this dyptich create a gem like finish. Notice the gothic architecture worked into the piece. The inside (this slide) shows scenes of the Annunciation and Nativity in the form of cast reliefs. The outside (next slide) show scenes of the Crucifixion and Resurrection in translucent enamel with details in opaque enamel. The hinges allow for the piece to be opened and closed. This devotional object could be kept in a pouch.
Diptych (outside) with Scenes of the Crucifixion, and Resurrection , 1300–1325 German; Made in Cologne (possibly), Rhine valley Silver gilt with translucent and opaque enamels; 2 3/8 x 3 7/16 in. (6.1 x 8.7 cm)
Writing Tablet: Booklet with Scenes of the Passion , ca. 1300–1320 French or German Elephant ivory, polychromy, and gold; 2 7/8 x 1 9/16 x 7/8 in. (7.3 x 4 x 2.3 cm) Many objects were carved in ivory during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries such as diptychs, triptychs, caskets, combs, and mirror backs. This ivory booklet with wax writing tablets is very rare. The exterior covers show scenes of the passion and death of Christ, and the interior covers show scenes of the Virgin. Two pages in the interioir have painted images that were added at a later date. All the other interior panels have raised edges to hold wax so that the owner of the book can write in it using a stylus.
Censer , before 1477 Basel Silver, raised and cast; 31 1/2 x 5 5/8 in. (80.0 x 14.3 cm) This censer is includes many characteristics of gothic architecture. The upper section, imitates a Gothic structure such as a centrally planned oratory or baptistery. The lowest of the three elevations is made up of eight pairs of tall, doubled windows. The architectural motif of this censer fits its function as an incense burner in a cathedral. The “windows” allow air in to fire the incense coals and allows the perfumed smoke to come out. Four chains are connected to every other tower to support the vessel the fifth central chain is attached to a piece that can be removed to add more incense coals.
Crib of the Infant Jesus 15th century South Netherlandish; Made in BrabantWood, polychromy, lead, silver-gilt, painted parchment, silk embroidery with seed pearls, gold thread, translucent enamels; 12 1/2 x 7 3/16 in. (31.8 x 18.3 cm) Miniature cradles for doll-size images of the Christ Child were very popular objects in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and were used in private homes and in convents. This example has carved images of the Nativity and the Adoration of the Magi on each end. Christ’s family tree is embroidered and studded with pearls and enamels on the coverlet.
Saltcellar , mid-13th century French; Made in Paris Gold, rock crystal, emeralds, pearls, spinel or balas rubies; H. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm); Diam. of foot: 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm) This small, gold-mounted rock-crystal salt cellar, which rests on a high, knobbed stem above a tapered, conical base, is a rare example of Early Gothic goldsmiths' work. The crystal salt cellar is carved in the image of a boat with a pointed prow, a flat, sloping stern, a keel that is rectangular in profile, and simple notching for the double oarlocks. Three interconnected hollows in the interior are arranged symmetrically along the boat's axis. The upper surface of the rim of the vessel is decorated with seed pearls, and emeralds; below is a border of tiny ivy leaves. One-fourth of the hinged lid can be lifted by a tiny handle shaped like a serpent. It is believed that because of the size and the expensive materials, this piece may have been used as a vessel for precious table spices or salts. It may have also been used to hold the salts and holy water used in Baptisms.
This reliquary shows the Virgin and Child, and angels in an elaborate Gothic architectural shrine. The arches, vaults, and sculptural decorations are of gilded silver; translucent enamel panels that create stained window like scenes from the life of the Virgin and the Infancy of Christ. Reliquary Shrine , second quarter of the 14th centuryAttributed to Jean de Touyl (French, died 1349) French; Made in ParisGilt-silver, translucent enamel, paint; H. 10 in. (25.4 cm); W. when open 16 in. (40.6 cm)
Dresser Second half of the 15th century France Oak, copper, iron; carved, painted and gilt 266 x 137 x 53.5 cm (The dresser was altered and embellished in the 19th century) The carvings on the central panel under the cornice of St. Barbara, St Mary Magdalene and St. Catherine, the scenes of the Annunciation and Adoration of the Magi on the cupboard doors, as well as the ornamental carving all combine elements of Gothic and Renaissance styles. The Gothic style is visible in the pointed lancet arches, the ledges with figures, and the openwork grille.
Armchair in Gothic Style Gothic Study Second quarter of the 19th century Walnut; carved. 130x67x84 cm
Interior of a Gothic Church at Night Pieter Neeffs the Elder (Flemish, active 1605–1656/61); and Frans Francken III (Flemish, 1607–1667) Oil on copper; 5 1/8 x 6 1/2 in. (13 x 16.5 cm)
Interior of a Gothic Church by Day Pieter Neeffs the Elder (Flemish, active 1605–1656/61); and Frans Francken III (Flemish, 1607–1667)
Gothic Sterling Silver spoons Gothic Flatware
Many people use Gothic design and elements as inspiration for modern day movies and imagery. Some use Gothic elements in architecture and others rely on a stereotypical idea of what Gothic is to create a particular atmosphere.
Questions 1. What are the main characteristics of Gothic Architecture? 2. What is the history of the “Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Laon Cathedral 1160”? 3. What is an pointed arch? 4. Describe a barrel vault. 5. What is the differences between these elevations: 1) Noyon 2) Laon 3) Paris 4) Chartres 5) Reims 6) Amiens 6. What is an arcade in architecture? 7. What is a stylobate? 8. Research and write 5 or more sentences about the Piazza Della Signoria with Palazzo Vecchio. (counts for 2 questions) 9. Where did the word Gothic come from?