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Gothic Architecture Maria Kotsios Cultural Studies I.

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Presentation on theme: "Gothic Architecture Maria Kotsios Cultural Studies I."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gothic Architecture Maria Kotsios Cultural Studies I

2 Romanesque Architecture  Architectural style in medieval Europe beginning in the 6 th to 10 th century  Combined features of Western Roman and Byzantine buildings  Characterized by: semi-circular aches massive quality thick walls sturdy piers groin vaults large towers decorative arcading  Later evolved into the Gothic Style in the 12th century Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Mary Major, Portugal Angouleme Cathedral, France

3 History of the term “Gothic”  At the end of the 12 th century and beginning of the 13 th Gothic cathedrals were built across Northern France and most of Europe  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.  In 17th-century "Goth" was an equivalent of “vandal”  It was believed that Germanic invaders or the Goths destroyed classical traditions

4 Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis

5 History of Cathedral Basilica of St. Denis (1140-44)  Originally founded in the 7 th century on the burial place of Saint Denis who is the patron saint of France  Became a place of pilgrimage and the burial place of most French Kings during the 10 th to the 18 th centuries  King Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine wanted to dedicate a new choir for the royal church, Abbey of Saint Denis  In the 12 th century, Abbot Suger who was friends of the King, rebuilt and designed new parts of the church. Painted the Walls with gold and precious colors Added a new façade with twin towers and a triple portal Around the back of ambulatory he added a circular string of chapels All with stained-glass windows “miraculous and uninterrupted light” Light is the physical and material manifestation of the Divine Spirit Churches beauty was to elevate the soul to the realm of God  Showed the change from Romanesque Architecture to Gothic Architecture.  This inspired a new style of architecture and decoration that we call “Gothic”  During the French Revolution in the 18 th century some of the cathedral was destroyed

6 Cathedral of Notre-Dame Chartres

7 Cathedral of Notre-Dame Chartres (1134-1220)  Considered one of the finest examples in France of the Gothic style of architecture  Located in Chartes, southwest of Paris  Chartres was the spiritual center of the cult of the Virgin. Virgin could intervene to save sinners from eternal damnation  Constructed between 1193 and 1250  Lot of cathedrals were dedicated to Notre Dame which means “Our Lady”  Stained glass windows were donated by the royal family, noblemen and merchants Escaped harm from the Huguenot iconoclasm and the religious wars of the 16 th century  Spires can be seen for miles in very direction  On an average day the light outside the cathedral is approximately 1,000 times greater than the light inside  With the windows backlit and shining in the darkness of the nave radiate with an immaterial glow suggesting a spiritual beauty beyond the present

8 West façade of Chartres cathedral  South Spire (right) was built in 1160. Romanesque design that shows balance and symmetry  North Spire (left) was built during 1507-13. Gothic design that is elaborately decorated and technically advanced

9 The stained glass covers over 32,000 square feet

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11 Gothic Style – 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

12 Gothic Style – Flying Buttresses  Buttresses – pillars traditionally built against exterior walls to brace them and strengthen the vault  Flying Buttresses - stone structures 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 away from the building and down a column to the ground  Flying buttresses allow increased window space and give the illusion that the pillars are defying gravity

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

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

15 Gothic Style – Exterior decorations  During the 13 th century architects began to add to the exteriors of cathedrals 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 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 Chimeras – grotesque monsters  The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Etruscans and Romans all used animal-shaped waterspouts

16 Church of St. Peter and St. Paul Belgium (1905) Notre-Dame de Paris (1211-90) Other than being used as water spouts, why do you think gargoyles were used on churches?Other than being used as water spouts, why do you think gargoyles were used on churches? Gargoyles were guardians of churches that represented and scared off evil spirits. Images were powerful during this time. They protected church goers and reminded them that the end of days were near. Let the church goers know that evil is kept outside of the church and inside there church there was sanctity and safety.

17 Gothic Style – 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  What images did stain glass windows depict and what audience was looking at them? Used to tell biblical stories to a largely illiterate Christian audience Allowed them to read the scriptural stories for themselves Cathedral of Notre-Dame (1170)

18 The Tree of Jesse window, Chartres Cathedrals (1150-70)  Jesse was the father of King David was an ancestor of Mary  At the base there is Jesse with a tree growing out of him  Tree branches into the four kings of Judea, one on each row  Mary is below Christ  Seven doves (seven gifts of the Holy Spirit)  On each side in the half moon there are the fourteen prophets

19 Wells Cathedral (1230-50)  Located in Wells, England  Example of the preference for pattern and decoration in English gothic architecture  The Portal is less important and the rhythmic structure of the wide façade is more important  Life size sculptures are found in each niche, originally 384, each representing the Last Judgment

20 Gothic Revival  Began in the 1740’s in England  Wanted to revive medieval forms instead of using the current neoclassical style  During the Revival the gothic style was used for its picturesque and romantic qualities without regard for its structural possibilities or original function Strawberry Hill, home of the English writer Horace Walpole (1764)

21 Woolworth Building - Cathedral of Commerce  Located in Lower Manhattan  Was the tallest building in the world from 1913 until 1930  Commissioned by Frank Woolworth in 1910 and constructed by architect Cass Gilbert in the Neo- Gothic Style  57 stories, 792 feet tall and $13,500,000 to build Lobby is covered in marble, has a vaulted ceilings, and mosaics glazed architectural terra- cotta panels, strongly articulated piers, gargoyles, spires, pinnacles, arches and flying buttresses

22 Gotham City  Gotham City is the fictional city which is home to Batman  "Gotham" had long been a well-known nickname for New York  Gotham City was said to be founded by a Swedish mercenary in 1635. Later taken over by the British. Was the site of a major battle during the Revolutionary War  Rumor has it Gotham is home to many occult beings and sects  Batman writer and editor Dennis O’Neil has said that "Batman's Gotham City is Manhattan below 14 th street at eleven minutes past midnight on the coldest night in November”

23  Mix of buildings with Neo-Gothic style and Art-deco influences and modern buildings such as glass skyscrapers

24 What about this image looks gothic to you? Spires and Arches Thin vertical lines on outside Stained glass windows Gargoyles, pinnacles, crockets and chimeras


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