Gothic Church Architecture 1Running head: Gothic Church Architecture Gothic Church Architecture Assignment #3, Discussion Board Entry #2 TSgt Loren Karl-Robinson Schwappach Colorado Technical University Prepared for Tammy Starzyk HUM140-0804A-08 Art Appreciation 17 October, 2008
Gothic Church Architecture 2 Abstract With deep long orderly arches singing towards the heavens, external towers reachinghigh into the open skies, breathtaking stain glass windows pouring in wells of deep, colorfullight, and flying buttresses providing a skeletal like frame, gothic architecture providedinnovative elements that were unheard of in Greek and Roman architecture. This short paperwill provide a quick discussion of gothic cathedrals, their architecture and the features whichmake them gothic.
Gothic Church Architecture 3 The term gothic has had many colorful uses. In times it has been synonymous to crude,barbarous, grotesque, mysterious and even desolate. In architecture the term defines a style ofhigh arching, constructs that rooted within medieval times. Gothic Architecture an evolved form of Romanesque architecture is an architectural tastethat ignited in France at the beginning of the first millennium, 1200 AD. The style rooted itselfdeep in art history until the late 1600s, disappeared for a while and then saw a revival in townhall and universities in the late 1800s and continued well into the 20th century. (Gothic ChurchArchitecture) The term gothic architecture is normally partitioned into three sub-styles as designated bytheir time frame in history. The three sub-styles are Early-English (1200-1300 AD), Decorated(1300-1400 AD) and Perpendicular (1400-1500 AD). (Gothic Church Architecture) The styles of gothic cathedrals include many elements of gothic architecture to includeribbed vaults, pointed arches, flying buttresses, and stained glass windows. (Gothic ChurchArchitecture) Gothic vaults were a tribute and yet a huge change from the half-circle Romanesque stylepointed ribbed vaults and allowed the use of rectangular and irregular shapes. Gothic vaultswere created through the use of gothic arches of four unique styles (lancet, equatorial,flamboyant, and depressed) which focused the structural weight onto columns at steep angles.This gave the architects flexibility in their art form and freed them to raise vaults to impossiblyhigh depths unseen of in Romanesque style architecture. (Gothic Church Architecture) The flying buttress of gothic cathedrals arched away from the rising of the vault acrossthe aisle to a large buttress pier launching well beyond the line of the external wall. This
Gothic Church Architecture 4counteracts the thrust of the vault and protects the cathedral against high winds. (Gothic ChurchArchitecture) The flying buttresses, ribbed vaults, and pointed arches also provide a sharp, imposingskeletal frame to the architecture, which is why it was given the name gothic. Yet, the gothicdesign also created what seemed a mathematical, serene and orderly realm, where it seemed theangels of heaven could walk upon the face of mortals. Perhaps the most breathtaking aspect of gothic cathedrals are their countless, enormousstained glass windows designed with such detail and elegance that they seem to invoke the veryessence of all things good and beautiful. Stained glass windows highlight numerous holy events and miracles within Christianhistory and faith and poor in rainbows of color into their holy sanctuaries, making the cathedralsseem much more majestic than gothic. Although gothic architecture is most well known by the cathedrals and abbeys thatvenerate the design it was also a popular savor of art among palaces, town halls, and universities. One of the more famous gothic cathedrals is the Notre Dame Cathedral of Chartres (seeimage 1). This cathedral is a perfect example of gothic architecture (see image 2) in that itexemplifies every element of gothic design. Further, it incorporates the typical gothic cathedralfloor plan in the form of a cross, called the transept (see image 3 and 4). One of the cathedrals more famous windows is the Belle Verriere stained glass window(see image 5), at the entrance to the choir on the south side of the cathedral contains twenty-foursegments telling various stories within the bible.
Gothic Church Architecture 5 Gothic Cathedrals are a rich testament to mankind’s willingness, genius and desire tocapture the beautiful and mysterious of heaven and nature on earth, and is more colorful than theword gothic provides.
Gothic Church Architecture 6 Appendix Image 1: Notre Dame Cathedral, Chartres: Image obtained on 17 October 2008 from Duke University department of religion websiteat: http://www.duke.edu/religion/graphic/chartres.html Image 2: Notre Dame Cathedral, Chartres: Image obtained on 17 October 2008 from flikr.com website at:http://www.flickr.com/photos/midnight-digital/2505368899/
Gothic Church Architecture 7 Appendix Image 3: Notre Dame Cathedral, Chartres: Image obtained on 17 October 2008 from cua.edu website at:http://faculty.cua.edu/Pennington/Religion402/Architecture/PlanGothicChurch.htm Image 4: Dame Cathedral, Chartres: Image obtained on 17 October 2008 from cua.edu website at:http://faculty.cua.edu/Pennington/Religion402/Architecture/technical_terms.htm
Gothic Church Architecture 8 Appendix Image 5: Notre Dame Cathedral, Chartres: Image obtained on 17 October 2008 from udayton.edu website at:http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/resources/cathchartres.html
Gothic Church Architecture 9 ReferencesStokstad, M. (2007). Art: a brief history (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.Gothic Church Architecture. 2008. Retrieved October 17, 2008, from http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/gothic_church_architecture.htm