Gothic Architecture

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Gothic Cathedrals

History:

History The new Gothic architecture in France had its roots in older Romanesque forms of England, Italy, and Normandy. The pointed arch has its origin in the Islamic architecture of the near East of the 8th. At the end of the 12 th century and beginning of the 13 th Gothic cathedrals were built across Northern France (Architectural movement began with Abbot Suger [ soo-zay ].) and most of Europe.

History:

History Gothic was known as “opus modernum (modern work) or opus francigenum (French work) at this time. Gothic was originally a derogatory term used in the 16 th century Italy to describe the art of northern Europe. It was believed that Germanic invaders or the Goths destroyed classical traditions.

Gothic Architecture:

Gothic Architecture Characteristics Structural Skeletal stone structure Visual Visual arts were important including the role of light in structures Symbolic Scholasticism Translations of real events into stone and glass Cathedrals served as an image of heaven

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Chartres Cathedral : 1190s

The Pointed Arch:

The Pointed Arch Builders turned from the semicircular, unbroken arch to the pointed arch Looked lighter and pointed upward Exert less thrust than semicircular arch of the same span Solves geometric difficulty inherent in ribbed vaults Impossible to arrange all arches and ribs to a common level using exclusively semicircular ribs With a pointed arch, ribs could easily be made level

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Romanesque = Barrel Vaults very sturdy, but heavy Gothic = Ribbed Vaults from Pointed Arches Disperses weight leading to higher, thinner walls VS.

Gothic Arch:

Gothic Arch Pointed instead of rounded arch This arch is made by bending two 'pillars’ inwards until they meet and lock

The Rib Vault:

The Rib Vault Rib Vaults Organic metaphor alluding to the role of ribs in anatomy as the body’s skeletal structure supporting tissues Arches, usually three pairs per rectangular bay, running diagonally Cross ribs act together with outer frame to create a complete armature of arches along the edges and main folds of the vault

Rib Vaulting:

Rib Vaulting Rib vaults can reach a greater height than a rounded arch Structural moldings called ribs force the vault outward and downward Ribs are constructed first and support the scaffolding then masonry webbing on top Allowed for massive stonework to be placed inside and out of the cathedral

Flying Buttresses:

Flying Buttresses Stone structures, powerful external arches, that extend from a wall and employ an arch to focus the strength of the buttress’s support at the top of the wall This carries the weight of the roof and the forces of wind away from the building and down a column to the ground Arches rise from colossal freestanding piers Flying buttresses allow increased window space and give the illusion that the pillars are defying gravity

Flying Buttresses:

Flying Buttresses Cathedral of Notre-Dame (1170 ) Takes weight off of the outer walls and support it from outside of the church

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Cathedrals become the center of town & trade

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Church design intended to give pilgrims a place to visit without disturbing services Cruciform Shape

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Not only was the cathedral meant to focus on the central act of worship, the mass, but also to house relics of the saints. These relics attracted pilgrims from all over Christendom who traveled to the great cathedrals to view them. The cathedral provided housing for the pilgrims. In addition to its various religious functions, the gothic cathedral was also used for non-religious purposes –an ideal location for the celebration of feast days as well as for hosting markets and fairs. And it was not unusual to find legal proceedings conducted there as well. The sacred and the secular were combined in a way.

Gothic Architecture in France:

Gothic Architecture in France Abbot Suger (Shoo – zay ) One of Gothic architectures most significant architects Elected the abbot of St. Denis in A.D.1122 In 1137, he began to enlarge St. Denis Built a new west front and narthex He was very conscious of colored light and introduced two large stained glass windows to the expansion “The higher world casts its light on the lower world, and, in sensible things, is like a trace of purely spiritual things” ~ St. Denys the Areopagite

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First Gothic Cathedral: 1140s St. Denis (Paris)

Flamboyant:

Flamboyant In France the Rayonnant style evolved about 1280 into an even more decorative phase called the Flamboyant style. The most conspicuous feature of the Flamboyant Gothic style is the dominance in stone window tracery of a flamelike S-shaped curve. In the Flamboyant style wall space was reduced to the minimum of supporting vertical shafts to allow an almost continuous expanse of glass and tracery. Structural logic was obscured by the virtual covering of the exteriors of buildings with tracery.

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Flame like S-curve St. Maclou (Rouen) 15-16 th Centuries

Stained Glass:

Stained Glass During the period of the Rayonnant style a significant change took place in Gothic architecture. After 1250, Gothic architects became more concerned with the creation of rich visual effects through decoration. This decoration took such forms as pinnacles (upright members, often spired , that capped piers, buttresses, or other exterior elements), moldings, and, especially, window tracery.

Stained Glass:

Stained Glass Different colored glass rolled out and cut into small pieces and then assembled by strips of lead Strengthened with iron bands in shape of a grid and also in the outlines of the design Used to tell biblical stories to a largely illiterate Christian audience Allowed them to “read” the scriptural stories for themselves

Exterior decorations :

Exterior decorations During the 13 th century architects began to add to the exteriors of cathedrals (The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Etruscans and Romans all used animal-shaped waterspouts.) Crockets – leaf like forms that curves outward with edges curling up often added to pinnacles, spires and gables Finials - knoblike forms that topped crockets Pinnacles - ornament forming the cap or crown of a buttress. Look like spires and were made with lead to enable the flying buttresses to contain the stress of the vaults and roof

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Gargoyles - (from the old French gargouille meaning “throat”) grotesque creatures like mutant humans and hybrid beasts found in the upper corners. Also function as water spouts Gargoyles were guardians of churches that represented and scared off evil spirits. (Images were powerful during this time.) Chimeras – grotesque monsters They protected churchgoers and reminded them that the end of days was near. Let the churchgoers know that evil is kept outside of the church and inside their church there was sanctity and safety.

MISCELLANEOUS:

MISCELLANEOUS IMAGES

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Photo: Sullivan

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St.-Sernin

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Photo: Sullivan

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Photo: Sullivan

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Notre Dame (Paris): 1160s

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Dijon Cathedral : 1180s

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St. Matthias Cathedral (Budapest): 1290s

Modern Cathedrals:

Modern Cathedrals http://www.sagradafamilia.cat/sf-eng/docs_instit/vvirtualAbsis.php?lang=0 http://ctlcathedral.org/visit/cathedral-history-and-art-1/a-theology-of-the-cathedral/slideshow/2.html/1.html

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