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Gothic Art For over 400 years the Gothic style dominated European art. Like big cities today, trying to out-do each other with sky scrapers, the Gothic.

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Presentation on theme: "Gothic Art For over 400 years the Gothic style dominated European art. Like big cities today, trying to out-do each other with sky scrapers, the Gothic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gothic Art For over 400 years the Gothic style dominated European art. Like big cities today, trying to out-do each other with sky scrapers, the Gothic architects and artists continually tried to out-do each other in the size and decoration of great Christian cathedrals.

2 In the middle of the 12 th century the appearance, in the Île-de-France, of the new Gothic style coincided with the emergence of the monarchy as a powerful centralizing force in France. From there the Gothic style spread, and it prevailed in Western Europe for 200 years.

3 Unprecedented resources were devoted to Christian art. The term Gothic was introduced in the 16 th century by Georgio Vasari, a Renaissance historian. He attributed the style to the tribes who had invaded Rome. In it’s own day it was simply called the “modern style” or the “French Style.” Gradually it displaced Romanesque forms. Eventually, the International Gothic style evolved, and was used for all types of buildings throughout Europe.

4 During the flowering of the Gothic style in the 12 th and 13 th century, Europe enjoyed a period of vigorous growth. Towns became important centers of artistic patronage and intellectual life. Universities were established in Bologna, Italy, Paris, France, and Oxford and Cambridge in England.

5 Two new religious orders arose to serve the new urban populations, the Franciscans and the Dominicans. The friars, as these monks were called, went out into the world to preach and minister rather than confining themselves to monasteries.

6 Crusade and pilgrimages continued throughout the 13 th century. The benefit to Europe came with the contact between the Europeans and the Byzantine and Islamic world, and the exposure of the Europeans to the ancient writings of Aristotle. Aristotle promoted rational inquiry rather than faith as the path to truth. Although this seems incompatible with the Christian emphasis on faith and spirituality, Thomas Aquinas brought traditional faith together with the new logic, and created the basis of Catholic thought that survives to today.

7 Artists and master builders saw divine order in geometric relationships. 13 th century sculptors created more naturalistic forms than the Romanesque artists before them. Gothic imagery, like Romanesque imagery, aimed to instruct and persuade the viewer; however, its effects are more varied and subtle. Scholastic logic and the new naturalism mingle with the mysticism of light and color to create a direct, emotional and ecstatic experience of the church as the embodiment of God’s house, filled with divine light.

8 The first gothic structure is the Abby Church of Saint-Denis in Paris. Saint-Denis is the patron saint of Paris.

9 The Church of Saint Denis was important to the king of France because many of the past kings had been buried there. Abbot Suger, familiar with the latest architectural styles throughout Europe, together with his master builder, created the integrated whole of Saint-Denis with an open flowing space ambulatory transept chapels

10 Sanctuary, ambulatory, and chapels open into one another, and the walls seem to be made of stained glass. The Abbey Church of Saint- Denis initiated a a period of competitive experimentation in the Île-de-France and surrounding regions that resulted in ever-taller churches enclosing increasingly larger interior spaces walled with ever- greater expanses of glass. Note: ribbed groin vaulting in ceiling (page 278)

11 Chartres Cathedral (Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Chartres) was build with Saint-Denis as it’s model. Built in several stages, it illustrates both the early and the mature style of Gothic architecture.

12 The west portal survived a fire in 1194. Its three doors-known as the Royal Portal-is filled with high relief figures

13 Mary, the Christ Child and the story of the nativity. Christ enthroned in majesty The Ascension Column statues


15 The master mason and the builders of Notre-Dame in Chartres brought together the things that were to become typical Gothic devices. 1.Pointed arches 2.Ribbed groin vaults 3.exterior flying buttresses

16 In Romanesque Cathedrals, the eye is drawn toward the apse; in Chartres, the eye is drawn upward as well to the luminous clerestory windows and soaring vaults overhead. Chartres is unique among French Gothic buildings because it has much of its original stained glass. Most of it dates from between 1210 and 12 50, and was made in the cathedrals glass workshop. Some of the stained glass windows tell stories from the Bible. Others tell stories of the saints and heroes.

17  Tree of Jessie, west façade, Chartres Cathedral c. 1150-1170. Stained glass. Rose and Lancets, north transept, Chartres Cathedral.  Any stained glass window is meant to be viewed and experienced from inside the building

18 The relic at Chartres Cathedral is a veil that is believed by many to have been the veil of Mary, the mother of Jesus. It drew many pilgrims to see it and the Cathedral grew, partly because of this attraction.

19 The Bishop of Paris couldn’t be outdone by Abbot Suger or the Cathedral of Chartres, so, on a small island in the Seine River, the cornerstone for a church, now known simply as Notre-Dame, was laid in 1163.

20 Notre-Dame barely survived the French Revolution…statues associated with royalty were beheaded, and the revolutionaries turned it into a “Temple of Reason”. But it was soon returned to religious use. In 1804 Napoleon was crowned as emperor in Notre-Dame, and in 1944, Parisians gathered here to celebrate the liberation of Paris from the Nazis.

21 Other important building was going on as well as Chartres and Notre- Dame in Paris.

22 The Cathedral of Reims was the coronation church of France, while Amiens was a commercial center and had relics of John the Baptist.

23 On the façade of Reims Cathedral, we can see the work of three different artists. The angel was done by an artist who became known as the Master of the Smiling Angels The Annunciation The Visitation

24 Sainte-Chapelle, built to house the relics collected by the King of France, became the epitomy of a new Gothic style called Rayonnant or Court Style because of its association with the royal courts of London and Paris.

25 Paris also became famous for painting and illustrating books. Books ranged from practical manuals for artisans to elaborate devotional works illustrated with exquisite miniatures. This page from a Moralized Bible, shows Louis IX and his mother, Queen Blanche of Castile with a scribe and an illustrator. The style and colors of this manuscript were inspired by Stained glass windows.

26 In the late 13 th century, a new kind of book became popular among those who could afford them. These books were called Books of Hours because they contained special prayers to be recited at the canonical “hours”, literally around the clock.

27 This tiny (3 ½” x 2 ½”) Book of Hours was a present from king Charles IV of France to his wife Queen Jeanne d’Evreux. The artist chose to use grisaille with delicate touches of color added. The form of this book is Joys and Sorrows of the Virgin. B etrayal and A rrest of C hrist T he A nnunciation T he Q ueen

28 Sculptors also began to fill a growing demand for small religious statues for homes, personal chapels, and as donations to favorite churches. This statue served as a reliquary for hairs said to have come from the head of Mary. Her young, sweet face anticipates a type of ideal beauty that emerged in the late 14 th and 15 th centuries in France, Flanders and the Germanic lands.

29 As the Gothic style spread outside of France, it became an international style taking on innovative regional forms. Salisbury Cathedral in England is an ideal representative of English Gothic architecture.

30 Note double transept and cloister.


32 Typically English is the park like setting and the attached cloister. In contrast to French façades which suggest the entrance to paradise, English façades like the one at Salisbury suggests a wall around paradise. The tall spire was added about 100 years after Salisbury Cathedral was completed.

33 Reminiscent of the Romanesque interiors is the use of color in the stonework. The columns are a darker stone than the rest of the nave. Originally, the stonework was painted and gilded.

34 Three paintings of Salisbury Cathedral by English landscape artist, John Constable.

35 Like the French, the English also made richly decorated books.

36 In the Windmill Psalter, the beginning letter B fills the first page as a densely interlaced Tree of Jesse. The message on the first two pages of this Psalter is Beatus ver qui non abit (“Happy are those who do not follow the council [of the wicked]”)

37 An E, the second letter, occupies the top of the right page and is formed from large tendrils that escape from the delicate background vegetation to support characters from the story of the Judgment of Solomon. The rest of the opening words appear on a banner carried by an angel At the top of the E is a windmill which gives the Psalter its name.

38 The English also became renowned throughout Europe for their pictorial needlework. Using gold and colored silk thread, they created images as detailed as the painters produced in the manuscripts. The art came to be known as opus anglicanum (English work).

39 One prominent embroiderer who is known to us is Mabel of Bury St. Edmunds who worked for Henry III. She created religious and secular pieces, and was paid in money and rich gifts. None of Mabel’s work has been identified, but it must have resembled the embroidery seen on the Chichester-Constable chasuble.

40 Three Marion scenes -The Annunciation, The Adoration of the Magi, and The Coronation of the Virgin - are arranged in three registers surrounded by arches and twisting branches sprouting oak leaves with seed pearl acorns. Vestments glittered in the candlelight amid the other treasures of the altar. Such gold and jewels on garments often made them so heavy that the wearer had to have help to move.

41 The 13 th century was a time of political division and economic expansion for the Italian peninsula. The pope had emerged as a major political force and so was in conflict with the kings of France and England.

42 Italy was divided by pro-papal and pro-imperial factions. Northern Italy was divided into several wealthy city-states controlled by a few powerful families. There was chronic internal strife as well as conflict with one another.

43 Great wealth and growing individualism promoted art patronage in northern Italy. Artisans began to emerge as artists in the modern sense. Although their methods and working conditions remained largely unchanged, they now belonged to powerful guilds with wealthy townspeople, nobles, and civic and religious bodies as patrons.

44 In 1338, the Sienna city council commossioned Lorenzetti to paint a room called the Sala della Pace (Chamber of Peace) in the city hall. The theme for the room was the contrast between the affects of good and bad government on peoples lives. Positive artistic achievements of this work include; 1.Over all visual coherence, keeping all parts of the mural intelligible. 2.He created a feeling of accurate scale in the relationship between the figures and their environment.

45 The elegant court style seen in manuscript illustration and embroideries also influenced gothic panel painting. Large scale painting on wood panels for altarpieces proliferated throughout Europe in the 13 th century.

46 Two very important schools of Italian Gothic painting emerged in Sienna and Florence, rivals in this as in everything else. Duccio di Buoninsegna transformed the tradition in which he worked by synthesizing Byzantine with northern Gothic influences

47 Duccio and his studio assistant painted a huge altarpiece for Siena Cathedral known as the Maestá (Majesty) Altarpiece. The central panel alone was 7 feet by 13 feet, and it had to be painted on both sides because it stood in the center of the sanctuary.

48 Duccio has combined a softened Italio- Byzantine figure style with the relaxed relationship between the figures and their setting that is characteristic of French Gothic art.

49 In Florence, the transformation began somewhat earlier than in Siena. Duccio’s counterpart in Florence was a painter known by his nickname, Cimabue. He is believed to have painted Virgin and Child Enthroned for the main alter of the Church of the Santa Trinitá (Holy Trinity) in Florence. More than 12 ½ feet high, it set a precedence for monumental altarpieces. The multiple vantage points and the well observed faces are elements that enliven the picture.

50 A student of Cimabue was an artist known as Giotto. Giotto shared his teachers concern for spacial volumes, solid forms and warmly naturalistic human figures. In Virgin and Child Enthroned, Giotto has: 1.Let light and shadow play across the figure of Mary 2.Shown figures peering through the canopy of the throne 3.Created the sense that the figures are three dimensional, occupying real space.

51 Giotto’s masterpiece is the frescoed interior of the Scrovegni family chapel in Padua. The chapel is also known as the Arena Chapel because of an old Roman arena close by.

52 Events in the life of the Virgin Mary

53 Frescoes on the north wall of the chapel Page 302

54 The first panel is the Marriage at Cana when Jesus changed the water to wine recalling that his blood will become the wine of the Eucharist or communion.

55 The second panel is the raising of Lazarus, a reference to the Resurrection.

56 In the third panel is the depiction of the lamentation over the body of Jesus. Giotto rendered his figures with dark shadows and highlights of paint mixed with white

57 The fourth panel is the Resurection. With this sculptural modeling, Giotto was able to convey a sense of dept in both architectural and landscape settings. Giotto also draws the viewer in with his direct emotional appeal and simplicity of the forms

58 Florentine painting, in the style originated by Giotto and kept alive by his pupils and their followers, was fundamental to the development of Italian Renaissance art over the next two centuries. With Italian Gothic art, artists moved toward the depiction of a humanized world anchored in three-dimensional forms.

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