In 1250, the European art was totally transformed in what today we call Gothic art. This architectural style has three periods: The transition from Romanesque to Gothic from the 12th and 13th centuries, the height of its period in the 13th and 14th centuries, and the fall or decadence in the 15th and 16th centuries. Of these, the period that maybe the most difficult to understand is the transition period. First, the Gothic style is like a continuation of the Romanesque. This causes confusion when you want to distinguish the end of Romanesque and the start of the Gothic period.
Second, many monuments have important characteristics of both styles. Therefore, many of these monuments do not have their own style, and certain conflicts exist about what style is really being used. The architecture used is what best defines Gothic, by this is what starts the movement. The two basic elements of the architecture are the pointed arches and the vaults made of many pointed arches. If Romanesque art is a classic art, the Gothic for me would be considered an extravagant, passionate, and romantic art.
For that reason I believe that it is one of the favorites in the 19th century. The Gothic architecture is much more complicated than the Romanesque, this is probably because the period was full of religious competition and very fine materials. The kings and many important people had fortunes, the people started to get out of their misery and develop strong groups, and this richness and power made the Gothic art happen. Gothic art as resulting of the medieval period starts to use the art of architecture, paintings, and sculptures trying to accomplish the religious values.
The cathedrals become the new stone evangelists, who tell stories with paintings, statues and scenes in stained glass windows from the life of Christ, the Virgin, the Saints and the Old Testament. The people, most of the times have a tendency to enjoy the familiar things that they have and see in their life. In the 13th century the most familiar was the Romanesque, and for that the Gothic style was identified as savage and barbaric. The beauty of this style wasn’t really discovered until the end of the 18th century.
The Gothic style uses the ideas of the Romans, for example the arch, they are now made to be structurally perfect so they last longer and have more strength. This is done by having done a pointed arch that made it easier for the construction of tall cathedrals, with its towers that look more like skyscrapers. Although the pointed arch is seen by many people as very beautiful, its function was not so much for to please the eye, but more to be structurally necessary. In addition to the pointed arches, the columns also helped support these immense Gothic cathedrals.
The Gothic cathedrals were the tallest monuments that were ever constructed, and this fact began a type of competition in Europe. Many described these cathedrals like medieval miracles, and between 1050 and 1350, 80 cathedrals from this style were constructed. It seemed that every king wanted his kingdom with the highest cathedral, and they built immense cathedrals that ended up collapsing to the ground. This obsession resulted in the building of many useless cathedrals that had no use. The Gothic style is also very famous for its stained glass windows.
These large windows also had the shape of the pointed arch, and allowed a lot of light to enter the cathedral. The stained glass windows were a very different site to those who were used to the smaller windows from the Romanesque style. These were decorated with biblical stories and with other daily life stories. Another type of typical Gothic windows was the round ones. These round windows are located above of the main door in the fai?? ade of these cathedrals. Another difference to the simplicity of the Romanesque style is the large quantity of decoration that the Gothic style has.
The towers also have detailed sculpture that cannot be appreciated because it is not within the reach to see it with your eyes. The reason that they put the sculpture on the towers was as they believed that God can see them and enjoy them. I chose this style of art because I always thought of Gothic art as being dark, many dragons, crosses and mythical creatures.
I guess how TV sometimes portrays “Gothic” is probably something else but when we went through it in class and after watching all the pictures in books, reading the history and looking at some webpage’s it was really interesting and now I have a different view of Gothic art and its architectural monuments. I will be also majoring in architecture and by looking at all these monuments and very little or no technology back then, I really respect the architects and workers who build these immense cathedrals that are still standing for everyone to appreciate them.