Discuss where the style began and the various ways it developed across Europe. When analyzing the building style use the terminology associated with the style for the architectural and sculptural elements. Make sure to discuss the overall symbolism in your answer and connect the symbolic meaning to architectural/sculptural design. Use 3 examples in your answer. Gothic architecture originated in France during the 12th century and was a continuing advancement of Romanesque pilgrimage style which, in itself, was an evolution of the Roman basilica floor plan.
This style permeated throughout the European countryside and was the prominent look of the Gothic period into the 1 5th century. Abbot Suger is credited with the design changes that occurred at the Abbey Church at St. Denis which gave birth to the Gothic architecture phase during this period. Gothic architecture was developed from a Christian perspective that gave rise to its most significant expression being predominant in churches. This aspiration was derived from Abbot Suger’s concept of adapting what St.
Denis called divine luminosity and then incorporating that as a design element into the church in the form of stained-glass windows and more open floor plans. The most outstanding characteristics of Gothic style were the use of light and its connection between structure and appearance. This equated to replacing the massive thickness of the walls from Romanesque architecture with thinner structures used for enclosure that could only support their own weight.
Weight was reduced and greater wall heights were achieved through the use of ribbed vaults which allowed lighter materials to be placed between stone ribs. These taller, thinner walls tended to exert forces outward as they were no longer supported internally by columns and this gave rise to the xternal structural supports called flying buttresses. Wall paintings of the Romanesque churches were replaced by enormously gorgeous stained glass windows that allowed more light into the building, creating a sense of warmth and color to religious pilgrims and local congregations alike.
The most exquisite example of stained glass windows can be found at the cathedral in Chartres, France. This structure represented an ideal of harmony within its confguration and contents. Its style is accentuated by strong vertical lines representative of a connection to the high heavens above. The rose windows used in his cathedral are primarily compositions of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The rose windows represented more realistic and human characteristics of the Virgin Mary and portrays the strong religious power associated with her image and legacy.
Tracery was yet another Gothic architectural element and was used at Reims Cathedral in France. Early Gothic windows were originally narrow and utilized a pointed, rather than rounded, top. The design advanced and the windows became much larger and structural supports were added into the framework to firmly hold the glass in place. These supports produced smaller pointed arches, circles and ther complicated shapes and this extra stone molding work inside each window was called tracery.
Tracery was most commonly used in cathedrals during the Gothic era tnat were 0T partlcular Importance to royalty tnrougnout France ana England The combination of elements and symbolic components infused into this architectural style are representative of some of the greatest artists and masons in the history of the world. Gothic cathedrals imbue the strong pious influence that God, clerics and leaders held in society during this time and how their religious visions were brought to fruition to venerate their beliefs.