The appearance of the cathedrals of the Gothic style
The spirit of the age, Bernard of Clairvaux and Thomas Aquinas most clearly expressed in the architecture of XII—XIII centuries Then formed a new architectural style, later called Gothic.
Gothic would not have been possible without the great success of the Europeans in construction. Cooperative of professional artists, organized by type of urban craft guilds, and a century of accumulated experience from generation to generation, passed secrets of skill.
They did a lot of technical inventions, the most important of which allowed the builders to abandon construction of thick walls. The architects learned how to build so that the entire weight of the Cathedral was laid down on its frame — like skeleton of the building. This allowed to make very thin walls, in which still the same “cut out” a huge window. And this same technique helped to raise the vaults of the Cathedral on previously unattainable height.
The most typical motif in Gothic architecture the pointed arch was that unlike semi-circular in the Romanesque style as it draws the building to the heavens. And it turned out to be particularly close to the sentiments of the contemporaries of Bernard of Clairvaux and St. Francis. Thanks to new techniques Gothic Cathedral seemed as if reaching to the heavens. The churches were huge, they could gather all the inhabitants of the city molitvyi for discussion of important secular Affairs. But outwardly, they seemed almost weightless, almost floating in the air. The sky stretched upward tapering spires; hundreds and sometimes thousands of statues, towers along with window arches decorated the facades and also as if attracted the eye of the beholder on the temple of man to heaven, to God.
Even more powerful and impressive Gothic cathedrals inside. Through the huge Windows pouring light made the Cathedral of the air. In window frames were often inserted the whole picture, assembled from colorful pieces of glass. On a Sunny day the sunlight shines through these stained glass Windows, splashed a bright glare of floors, walls, even the air in the temple.
Rapid rise of slender columns made anyone who walked into the temple, and eye, and soul involuntarily follow them, tune into the sublime. Gothic architecture helped mystical perception of God and the world, but it was based on a strict calculation, on techniques, i.e. on the achievements of the mind.
Gothic churches often compared with the “Amounts” of Thomas Aquinas: the same majestic harmony, the harmony of parts and the same “inclusiveness”. Cathedral with no less fulness than the treatises of Thomas, reflects the totality of human representations of the time. All Christian doctrine has unfolded before the eyes of the believer and in many sculptures; it was manifested even in how to built the internal space of the Cathedral.
The Central portal (i.e. the gate) of the Cathedral is usually devoted to Christ, right, the virgin, the left one especially venerated in those places that are Holy. On the sides of the portal were sculptures of old Testament prophets or the apostles and saints, and sometimes angels. Above the main portal is most often placed a large sculptural scene depicting the last judgment. The figure of Christ, the Madonna, the angels, the righteous entering into Paradise, and sinners, doomed to hell, depicted in accordance with strict rules. Just as clearly were distributed places on the walls of cathedrals and other images. Looking at the Cathedral, the believer might like to read the Holy Scriptures in the images depicted there. Not coincidentally Gothic churches often called “the Bible for illiterate” or “Bible in stone”.
Medieval architects built huge structures relatively quickly. In heavy work were employed salaried workers, and even criminals. However, often all the citizens tried their best to participate in Katarina indeed, but pious and salutary work. It happened that the city was out of funds, and then construction could stay for many decades. Some temples were even built in the XIX century. For such a long time of construction has varied tastes, and one tower of the temple could be built quite differently than the other. But the best of Gothic churches shake their symmetry and proportionality. It is first of all the cathedrals in Paris, Reims, Chartres, Amiens, Strasbourg.
The Gothic style has had an impact on secular architecture. The townspeople began to build the Gothic town hall. The wealthy burghers could afford to build in this style and your home.
Is it only architecture?
The Gothic style evident in all art forms. The famous Gothic plastic. The sculptors of the high middle ages it is a stunning expressiveness, reaching to the tragedy, we convey to us almost lifelike portraits of his contemporaries.
Gothic transformed the decorative arts, household items. This is particularly evident on the various ecclesiastical objects, often resembling a small image of Gothic churches.
At about this time issued, and the Gothic letter. The pen began to sharpen so that the letters were much elongated and broken up, like pleats dresses with some Gothic statues. Some manuscripts, developed the main Gothic letter, real works of art.
The pages of handwritten books were decorated with miniatures, bright colors which had not faded to the present day. But at the margins the artist often for his pleasure painted all sorts of monsters or very free for the time plots, such as figures of jugglers or acrobats. For these pictures the historian can learn a great deal about the lives of people in the age of cathedrals reaching to the heavens.