Gothic – the next stage in the development of medieval art, second pan-European style. The term “Gothic art” coined by Italian humanists to denote everything that is not related to classic, antique designs, i.e. in their opinion, ugly associated with complete barbarism.
The Gothic style that prevailed in Western Europe in the 13th-14th centuries became the Supreme artistic synthesis of the middle Ages.
A leading art form in the Gothic remained the architecture . but her highest achievement was the construction of city cathedrals, causing a feeling of lightness and spirituality . In contrast to the Romanesque Gothic Cathedral – city building – soaring he had dominion over all of the city’s buildings. The close connection of Gothic with the city has resulted in the fact that in the types of buildings along with cathedrals leading place took the building of exchanges, warehouses, customs offices, hospitals, etc. In the Gothic style built building, which housed the town councils – local authorities – the town hall . became a symbol of the independence of the cities.
The transition from Romanesque to Gothic in European architecture was marked by a number of technological innovations and new stylistic elements. It was believed that at the core of the changes was the introduction of pointed arches, the appearance of which was associated with Arab influence.
In Gothic, as in romancierilor, was applied to the basilican type of Church . But at the heart of the Gothic Church was new vault design with stable frame system. This system is based on the cross ribbed vault (a rib – forming an arch, projecting in the form of ribs), internal pillars (columns or posts) and external supports – buttresses. The Central nave of a Gothic Cathedral was usually higher side, and the load was taken on the flying buttresses – special arches that connected the base of the vault of the Central nave with side buttresses.
A characteristic feature of Gothic style were the use of pointed arches, which form underlined the aspiration of the whole building up.
An important detail of a Gothic Cathedral – huge Windows . which occupied almost all the gaps between the supports. The Windows were decorated with stained-glass Windows (pieces of glass set in lead).
Outside of the usual Gothic Cathedral two towers on the facade, and between them a large round window, the so-called “Gothic rose”. The Gothic Cathedral is usually richly decorated with sculpture – three-dimensional stone figures adorned the portals and the interior of the Church. In the last center to become a sculptural crucifixion.
The birthplace of Gothic architecture was France. The first steps of the French Gothic were doing in the lands of Ile-de-France, in Central France, where in the 12th century was built the Church of the Abbey of Saint-Denis. When its construction was first applied to the frame structure and stained glass Windows.
One of the masterpieces of French Gothic architecture is the Notre Dame Cathedral (11th-14th centuries). It stands out austere grandeur of his appearance is grandiose three-nave Basilica, simultaneously holding about 9,000 people. In the center of the facade flaunts a tremendous delicate “Gothic rose”. The Cathedral was significantly damaged by time, has removed many of his sculptures and reliefs, the statues of “gallery of kings” on the West facade, Instead of the missing sculptures in the 19th century were installed copies. (The Cathedral in Chartres – about 2,000 statues).
Sample “Mature Gothic” became famous French Cathedral in Reims – the traditional place of coronation of the kings of France. Wonderful statues that adorn the West facade of the Cathedral and his sculptural compositions are considered to be unsurpassed masterpiece of Gothic sculpture.
Almost simultaneously with Reims began construction of the Cathedral in Amiens (1220). The Amiens Cathedral is the largest high Gothic construction in France: its length – 145 m, the height of the vault of the nave is 42.4 m. the Cathedral is called the “Gothic Parthenon” . because he like his ancient predecessor, embodied the architectural principles and artistic ideals of his time. Its huge Windows, concise cut back “Gothic rose” covered thread lace facade.
The peak of development of the so-called “rayonnant Gothic” (V. 13) became the chapel of king Louis 9 Saint-Chapelle in Paris . It was built as a Royal Church; it was taken from Constantinople “the crown of thorns of Christ”.
The Gothic architecture of Germany almost a century behind in its development from French. It long preserved severity of Romanesque and even in its heyday was less ornate than the Gothic architecture of France . Gothic architecture in Germany often called “brick Gothic”, because the buildings there were often built of brick.
The most famous Gothic Cathedral Germany – Cologne (1248 – 16th century). A magnificent sculpture of the Cathedral with the outer walls passed into the interior of the Church. She rhythmically connected with the architecture, extremely emotional and dramatic.
Gothic architecture of England began to develop in the 12th century and has acquired a pronounced national identity. English cathedrals are concentrated mainly in the lands of the monasteries and not in the cities . The most famous of them is Canterbury Cathedral – the residence of the head of the Anglican Church; in the cathedrals of Lincoln, wells, Salisbury (13th century). Cathedrals typically have a considerable length: they were built in an open area and had the opportunity to run not only upwards, but also sideways. For English Gothic characterized by stretched facades, a rectangular apse, the huge (up to 135 m in height) of the tower above the crossing, but the relatively small height of the Central nave. A leading role the English played Gothic decorative elements, for example, the color contrast between the different stones.
The place of coronation and burial of English kings – the main Cathedral of Westminster Abbey in London – more than other Gothic cathedrals of England close to French models.
Italian Gothic has a special place in the Western artistic culture of the 13th-14th centuries Italian culture has always been secular rather than religious, and more urban, which could not fail to have an impact in architecture. In Italy spread only separate elements of the Gothic style: pointed arches, “rose-window”, while the architectural framework has remained purely Romanesque.
Few Italian Gothic cathedrals are striking in their peculiarities: such are the cathedrals of Florence – Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, Santa Maria del Fiore. The latter, for example, covered with a round dome and the bell tower.
The most famous Italian Gothic Cathedral is a huge Cathedral, more than other corresponding to the classical idea of the Gothic style, accommodating up to 40,000 people (con. 14 – beginning of 15 century). He has overly lush sculptural outfit.
Italian Gothic is particularly well represented in the structures of civil architecture. The sights of the cities of Italy are magnificent Palazzo, an open gallery loggia and picturesque fountains. Decoration of Venice is brilliant, built of marble Doge’s Palace (14-15 CC.) air arcades and Lancet Windows, very close in style to the monuments of the Arab-Muslim architecture.
In the 14th century, Gothic art conquered all of Europe. He began to prevail in the art of book illustration – miniature. Among the schools miniaturistic is particularly famous in Paris, created the famous “Psalter of St. Louis” with scenes of the old Testament.
In the 14th-15th centuries, the Gothic style has slightly changed: it was late (or flamboyant) Gothic. Gothic cathedrals were complex and intricate decor and were usually overloaded with patterns and carvings.