The Origin Of Gothic Art

Write By: fait a main PARIS Published In: ARTS & CULTURE Created Date: 2018-05-09 Hits: 1999 Comment: 0

After more than two hundred years of development, the Romanesque art had developed into "Gothic art" in France in the twelfth century, and then it has extended to all Europe.  It then continued until the fifteenth century.  However, in some parts of Europe, Romanesque art’s extension do not only to the thirteenth century but also to the fifteenth century.

Geographically speaking, France is the most prevalent area of Romanesque art, and is also the origin of the Gothic art.  At the beginning of the twelfth century, Elder Abbot Suger, the director of the Abbey Church of Saint-Denis in the suburbs of Paris, received an inspiration from the sparkling jewels in the treasure house of the church and the stained glass that was widely used at the time.  He believes that by looking at gorgeous material, it may be possible to elevate the human spirit to a more complete gaze of God's kingdom. This view of him has completely changed the low, dark, heavy, ill-lit Romanesque church.

Abbey Church of Saint-Denis


1140 ~ 1144

Abbot Suger


Gothic architecture

Gothic architecture has three features in its structure: pointed arches, arches, and flying buttress.  None of these three were the invention of the Gothic period.  Even the stained glass windows mentioned above were not the invention during the period too.  But after a long period of experience, the Gothic architects just combined the three technologies into one.  And transformed the heavy and strong Romanesque art of building into a unique form that emphasizes vertical upwards, lightness and slenderness; in addition to stained-glass windows, the religious mystique of light is expressed, and therefore people who went into a Gothic architecture, will feel a kind of mysterious, splendid and heavenly atmosphere.

Notre Dame de Paris

1163 ~ 1250

Maurice de Sully


Amiens Cathedral of Notre-Dame

1220 ~ 1288


When people look up, you can feel that the church dome is like a hung canopy.  Especially when light is poured in from the high window, the lighting effect highlights the three-dimensional structure of the building.  Therefore, the interior of the church naturally produces a holy effect.

Chartres Cathedral

1194 ~ 1260


St. Maclou's Church

1500 ~ 1514


Gloucester Cathedral


1337 ~ 1350


The sculptures carved on the doorposts was real like true human, and it was particularly remarkable that the robes were not as simple as lines of Romanesque sculpture.  Each wrinkle on the clothes of sculptures has its own space, and it naturally hangs down.  It can be seen that the sculptor at that time no longer use painted portraits as objects, but instead used real human as models.  For this reason, the appearance of the Gothic statue is more like a real person.  Unlike a Roman-like statue, it seems to have a mask on its face.

relievo at Chartres Cathedral



Sources: Internet

Tags: Gothic Art

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