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Gothic Architecture

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Gothic Architecture

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Gothic Architecture

  1. 1. Abhishek K. Venkitaraman Assistant Professor HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE LECTURE 7 Gothic Architecture
  2. 2. Gothic Architecture • Characteristics – Structural • Skeletal stone structure – Visual • Visual arts were important including the role of light in structures – Symbolic • Scholasticism – Translations of real events into stone and glass • Cathedrals served as an image of heaven
  3. 3. A R C H I T E C T U R E Elements taken from past: • the compound pier and archivolt, • the alternate system, and • the ribbed and domed vault. • the modified basilican plan with its triple aisles crossed by a projecting transept, and its three apses. This, the basis of the typical Norman and Gothic plan, was derived directly from the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem, the date of which is unknown. It may have been built by Constantine, or by Justinian, or at any date between. • the doubled western towers, • the lantern or central tower over the crossing, and • the threefold interior system of arcade, triforium, and clerestory.
  4. 4. Gothic Architecture: The Pointed Arch
  5. 5. The Rib Vault • Rib Vaults • Organic metaphor alluding to the role of ribs in anatomy as the body’s skeletal structure supporting tissues • Arches, usually three pairs per rectangular bay, running diagonally • Cross ribs act together with outer frame to create a complete armature of arches along the edges and main folds of the vault
  6. 6. Ribbed Vaulting • Earlier Romanesque churches relied on barrel vaulting. • Gothic builders introduced the dramatic technique of ribbed vaulting. • While barrel vaulting carried weight on continuous solid walls, ribbed vaulting used columns to support the weight. • The ribs also delineated the vaults and gave a sense of unity to the structure.
  7. 7. Gothic Architecture: The Rib Vault
  8. 8. • In order to prevent the outward collapse of the arches, Gothic architects began using a revolutionary "flying buttress" system. • Freestanding brick or stone supports were attached to the exterior walls by an arch or a half-arch. Gothic Architecture: The Flying Buttress
  9. 9. Gothic Architecture: The Flying Buttress • Flying Buttress • Effected by powerful external arches swung above the side aisles and the ambulatory • Arches rise from colossal freestanding piers • Absorb and channel disruptive forces, such as wind and weight, safely to the ground • Towering piers could be erected without much affecting the nave or choir interior
  10. 10. Gothic Architecture: The Flying Buttress
  11. 11. Stained Glass Window • Since the walls themselves were no longer the primary supports, Gothic buildings could include large areas of glass. • Huge stained glass windows and a profusion of smaller windows created the effect of lightness and space. The stained glass window shown here is from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
  12. 12. Gargoyles • Cathedrals in the High Gothic style became increasingly elaborate. • Over several centuries, builders added towers, pinnacles, and hundreds of sculptures. • In addition to religious figures, many Gothic cathedrals are heavily ornamented with strange, leering creatures. • These gargoyles are not merely decorative. • Originally, the sculptures were waterspouts to protect the foundation from rain. • Since most people in Medieval days could not read, the carvings took on the important role of illustrating lessons from the from the scriptures.
  13. 13. Gothic Floor Plans Gothic buildings were based on the traditional plan used by basilicas. However, single units were integrated into a unified spatial scheme.
  14. 14. • Most Gothic churches, unless they are entitled chapels, are of the Latin cross (or "cruciform") plan, with a long nave making the body of the church, a transverse arm called the transept and, beyond it, an extension which may be called the choir, chancel. There are several regional variations on this plan. • The nave is generally flanked on either side by aisles, usually singly, but sometimes double. • The nave is generally considerably taller than the aisles, having clerestory windows which light the central space. Ameins cathedral Wells cathedral
  15. 15. • In some churches with double aisles, like Notre Dame, Paris, the transept does not project beyond the aisles. • In English cathedrals transepts tend to project boldly and there may be two of them, as at Salisbury Cathedral, though this is not the case with lesser churches. • In France the eastern end is often polygonal and surrounded by a walkway called an ambulatory and sometimes a ring of chapels called a "chevet". • While German churches are often similar to those of France, in Italy, the eastern projection beyond the transept is usually just a shallow apsidal chapel containing the sanctuary, as at Florence Cathedral.
  16. 16. Gothic Engineering • Medieval man considered himself an imperfect reflection of the divine light of God, and Gothic architecture was the ideal expression of this view. • New techniques of construction permitted buildings to soar to amazing new heights, dwarfing anyone who stepped inside. • Moreover, the concept of divine light was suggested by the airy quality of Gothic buildings, which were much lighter than churches in the earlier Romanesque style.
  17. 17. Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in France • Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Paris • Bishop of Paris began construction in 1163 • A very tall church, reaching some 108 feet from the floor to the crown of the vaults • The clerestories were enlarged around 1225 to bring in additional light • Not as well preserved as at Laon
  18. 18. Notre Dame Cathedral • Names: Notre Dame Cathedral; Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris (Cathedral of Our Lady of Paris) • Location: Paris, Ile-de- France, France • Date: 1163-1345 • Features: Medieval Stained Glass; Romanesque Sculpture
  19. 19. History of the cathedral • The Notre Dame de Paris stands on the site of Paris' first Christian church, Saint Etienne basilica, which was itself built on the site of a Roman temple to Jupiter. • Construction on the current cathedral began in 1163 • Construction of the west front, with its distinctive two towers, began in around 1200 before the nave had been completed. • Over the construction period, numerous architects worked on the site, as is evidenced by the differing styles at different heights of the west front and towers. • Between 1210 and 1220, the fourth architect oversaw the construction of the level with the rose window and the great halls beneath the towers.
  20. 20. History of the Cathedral • The towers were finished around 1245 and the cathedral was finally completed around 1345. • During the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV at the end of the 17th century the cathedral underwent major alterations, during which many tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed. • In 1793, the cathedral fell victim to the French Revolution. • Many sculptures and treasures were destroyed or plundered • The cathedral also came to be used as a warehouse for the storage of food.
  21. 21. Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in France
  22. 22. Double aisles – ambulatories on a bent axial line Transepts not projected beyond the aisle wall High vault – sexpartite vaulting covering double aisles (a ribbed vault whose lateral triangles are bisected by an intermediate transverse rib, producing six triangles within a bay) Vault is 100ft (30m) high Double span flying buttresses (earliest form)
  23. 23. • Interior elevation – 4 levels arcade of columnar piers Decorative oculi Small clerestory
  24. 24. North ambulatory looking east
  25. 25. Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in France The west front of the cathedral is one of its most notable features, with its two 69-meter (228-feet) tall towers. The Galerie des Chimères or Grand Gallery connects the two west towers, and is where the cathedral's legendary gargoyles (chimères) can be found. The gargoyles are full of Gothic character but are not medieval - they were added during the 19th-century restoration. The King's Gallery is a line of statues of the 28 Kings of Judah and Israel, which was redesigned by Viollet- le-Duc to replace the statues destroyed during the French Revolution. The revolutionaries mistakenly believed the statues to be French kings instead of biblical kings, so they decapitated them. Some of the heads were found during a 1977 excavation nearby and are now on display at the Museum of the Middle Ages.
  26. 26. Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in France The beautiful West Rose Window dates from about 1220. The west rose window at Notre Dame is 10 meters in diameter and exceptionally beautiful. Dating from about 1220, it retains most of its original glass and tracery. The main theme of the west rose is human life, featuring symbolic scenes such as the Zodiacs and Labors of the Months. On the exterior, it is fronted by a statue of the Virgin and Child accompanied by angels. Unfortunately, the interior view of its colourful medieval glass is now more than half blocked by the great organ.
  27. 27. • The south rose window installed around 1260. • its general themes are the New Testament, the Triumph of Christ • The south rose is 12.9 meters in diameter and contains 84 panes of glass. • Radiating out from a central medallion of Christ, it consists of four concentric circles of 12 medallions, 24 medallions, quadrilobes, and 24 trilobes. SOUTH ROSE
  28. 28. Gothic Architecture in France • Notre-Dame, Paris • Gallery of Kings • Represents twenty-eight kings of the Old Testament
  29. 29. • The three west portals of Notre Dame Cathedral are magnificent examples of early Gothic art. • Sculpted between 1200 and 1240, they depict scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary, the Last Judgment, and scenes from the life of St. Anne (the Virgin Mary's mother).
  30. 30. Portal of St. Anne
  31. 31. Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in France
  32. 32. Examples • Notre Dame, Paris • Westminster Abbey • Hampton Court Palace, London • Doges Palace, Venice • Milan Cathedral.
  33. 33. Thank you

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