The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright The Columbia University Press Gothic architecture and art, structures largely cathedrals and churches and works of art first created in France in the 12th cent. The Nature of the Gothic The essential character of the Gothic period, particularly at the outset, was the predominance of architecture; all the other arts were determined by it.
Regional variations of architecture remained important, even when, by the late 14th century, a coherent universal style known as International Gothic had evolved, which continued until the late 15th century, and beyond in many areas.
Although there was far more secular Gothic art than is often thought today, as generally the survival rate of religious art has been better than for secular equivalents, a large proportion of the art produced in the period was religious, whether commissioned by the church or by the laity.
Gothic art was often typological in nature, reflecting a belief that the events of the Old Testament pre-figured those of the New, and that this was indeed their main significance. Old and New Testament scenes were shown side by side in works like the Speculum Humanae Salvationisand the decoration of churches.
The Gothic period coincided with a great resurgence in Marian devotionin which the visual arts played a major part.
Images of the Virgin Mary developed from the Byzantine hieratic types, through the Coronation of the Virginto more human and initimate types, and cycles of the Life of the Virgin were very popular.
Artists like GiottoFra Angelico and Pietro Lorenzetti in Italy, and Early Netherlandish paintingbrought realism and a more natural humanity to art. Western artists, and their patrons, became much more confident in innovative iconographyand much more originality is seen, although copied formulae were still used by most artists.
Even in Last Judgements Christ was now usually shown exposing his chest to show the wounds of his Passion. Saints were shown more frequently, and altarpieces showed saints relevant to the particular church or donor in attendance on a Crucifixion or enthroned Virgin and Childor occupying the central space themselves this usually for works designed for side-chapels.
Over the period many ancient iconographical features that originated in New Testament apocrypha were gradually eliminated under clerical pressure, like the midwives at the Nativitythough others were too well-established, and considered harmless.
The besotted taste of Gothic monuments, These odious monsters of ignorant centuries, Which the torrents of barbary spewed forth. French late Gothic frescos. Painting in a style that can be called Gothic did not appear until aboutnearly 50 years after the origins of Gothic architecture and sculpture.
The transition from Romanesque to Gothic is very imprecise and not at all a clear break, and Gothic ornamental detailing is often introduced before much change is seen in the style of figures or compositions themselves.
Then figures become more animated in pose and facial expression, tend to be smaller in relation to the background of scenes, and are arranged more freely in the pictorial space, where there is room. This transition occurs first in England and France aroundin Germany around and Italy around Painting during the Gothic period was practiced in four primary media: Frescoes[ edit ] Frescoes continued to be used as the main pictorial narrative craft on church walls in southern Europe as a continuation of early Christian and Romanesque traditions.
An accident of survival has given Denmark and Sweden the largest groups of surviving church wall paintings in the Biblia pauperum style, usually extending up to recently constructed cross vaults.
In both Denmark and Sweden, they were almost all covered with limewash after the Reformation which has preserved them, but some have also remained untouched since their creation. Stained glass[ edit ] In northern Europe, stained glass was an important and prestigious form of painting until the 15th century, when it became supplanted by panel painting.
Gothic architecture greatly increased the amount of glass in large buildings, partly to allow for wide expanses of glass, as in rose windows. In the early part of the period mainly black paint and clear or brightly coloured glass was used, but in the early 14th century the use of compounds of silver, painted on glass which was then fired, allowed a number of variations of colour, centred on yellows, to be used with clear glass in a single piece.
By the end of the period designs increasingly used large pieces of glass which were painted, with yellows as the dominant colours, and relatively few smaller pieces of glass in other colours.
The earliest full manuscripts with French Gothic illustrations date to the middle of the 13th century. During the late 13th century, scribes began to create prayer books for the laity, often known as books of hours due to their use at prescribed times of the day.
By the end of the century, printed books with illustrations, still mostly on religious subjects, were rapidly becoming accessible to the prosperous middle class, as were engravings of fairly high-quality by printmakers like Israhel van Meckenem and Master E.
In the 15th century, the introduction of cheap printsmostly in woodcutmade it possible even for peasants to have devotional images at home.
These images, tiny at the bottom of the market, often crudely coloured, were sold in thousands but are now extremely rare, most having been pasted to walls. Altarpiece and panel painting[ edit ] Painting with oil on canvas did not become popular until the 15th and 16th centuries and was a hallmark of Renaissance art.
In Northern Europe the important and innovative school of Early Netherlandish painting is in an essentially Gothic style, but can also be regarded as part of the Northern Renaissanceas there was a long delay before the Italian revival of interest in classicism had a great impact in the north.
Painters like Robert Campin and Jan van Eyckmade use of the technique of oil painting to create minutely detailed works, correct in perspective, where apparent realism was combined with richly complex symbolism arising precisely from the realistic detail they could now include, even in small works.An Introduction to the Gothic Sculpture in the Gothic Period in Europe PAGES 1.
WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: europe, claus sluter, gothic period, gothic sculpture. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. Exactly what I needed. - Jenna Kraig, student @ UCLA.
A period of great economic and social change, the Gothic era also saw the development of a new iconography celebrating the Holy Mary - in drastic contrast to the fearful themes of dark Roman times.
Full of rich changes in all of the various art forms (architecture, sculpture, painting, etc.), Gothic art paved the way for the Italian Renaissance.
A Companion to Medieval Art: Romanesque and Gothic in Northern Europe (Malden, MA, ) * Sears, Thomas and Forsyth, eds, Reading medieval images: the art historian and the object s (Ann Arbor, MI, ). Gothic style was the dominant structural and aesthetic mode in Europe for a period of up to years.
Characteristics of Gothic Architecture It is generally agreed that Gothic architecture made its initial appearance (c) in the Île-de-France, the royal domain of the Capetian kings. Gothic architecture and Gothic art had spread all over the western and northern parts of Europe.
Gothic art even influenced the quite different forms of art of the Byzantine world to the east and the world of Islam to the south.
Europe Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History Introduction to regional events during the Romanesque and Gothic Eras Gothic Europe Romanesque cities coalesced around powerful families into city states during the Gothic era.