2 Gothic Architecture and Sculpture Features of Gothic ChurchesPointed arches and Rib vaultsFlying buttressesStained glass windows (light as a symbol of Jesus)Verticality
3 The Benedictine Abbey of St. Denis Abbot SugerRemodeled the Church of St. DenisInvented the new styleThe Benedictine Abbey of St. DenisAbbot (“Father”) Suger at the Benedictine Abbey or Monastery of St. Denis (1140): A Prominent Man and an Important PlaceSuger ( ) resided at St. Denis in France from childhood and was Abbot from 1122 until his death.Suger served as King Louis VII’s regent when Louis VII lead the Second Crusade in 1147.
4 Characteristics of Gothic Architecture 1. Pointed arches (b) with ribbed vaulting (d) as opposed to the rounded arches and vaulting (a and c) of the Romanesque styleabcd
5 The weight of a rounded arch and vault is directed in more of a lateral direction; and, consequently, massive lateral supports, in the form of piers and walls, are required.The weight of a pointed arch and vault is directed in more of a downward direction; and, consequently, lateralsupports can be less massive. Further, with the help of flying buttresses, wall space can be opened up for beautiful stained-glass windows.
6 2. Flying Buttresses Results: Thinner walls Higher walls Windows The flying buttresses (semi-arches) of Gothic architecture laterally brace the pointed arches of the cross or groin vaults and further direct the weight of the vaulting in a downward direction. Consequently, the walls of a cathedral (which were previously needed for lateral support and, thus, very thick) can now become frames for beautiful rose and lancet windows.
7 Flying Buttresses and Windows Notre Dame of Paris
8 Luminosity in the form of beautiful stained-glass windows (Suger and his theology of light). “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12)
9 4. Verticality -- Pointing the way to God St. Piere de Beauvais (1247) at 157 feetThe proposed Gothic nave of the Beauvais Cathedral was never completed. The vaulting of the choir collapsed in 1284 and was rebuilt with additional piers from The transept was built in the sixteenth century
15 Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres (1194-1220) One of the best, if not the best, examples for the Gothic styleChartres was a small (less than 10,000 inhabitants) but important commercial town just southwest of Paris
16 Note one of the Cathedral’s unique features: a large labyrinth or maze fit into the floor of the nave. It’s a circular mosaic with a six-petaled rose design at its center. The labyrinth symbolizes the penitent’s journey toward salvation. The rose is often associated with the Virgin Mary. This is her church, and she is a mediator of God’s grace.
17 Famous for its stained glass windows The Cathedral of Chartres is renown for its stained glass windows, which have been very well preserved. All the windows, for example, were removed for safe keeping during both World Wars, and there has been an on-going program to restore and maintain the windows since the 1970s.
18 Rose windows fleur-de-lys Rose windows are circular in shape and spread out, in kaleido-scope fashion, like the blooming flower for which they are named. The larger ones are located over the major portals of a cathedral (west façade; north and south transepts).Because they were so large and expensive, rose windows were often the gift of a royal family. Note the fleur-de-lys insignia, the symbol of the royal family, in the north rose window at Chartres.fleur-de-lys
19 Lancet windowsLancet windows are shaped in the form of a pointed rectangle, and were typically donated by nobility, the higher clergy or various guilds. The guilds were fraternal societies of craftsmen or merchants that regulated business in their respective fields.The guilds accepted and instructed apprentices; certified master craftsmen; regulated prices, wages and working conditions; and maintained funds for the care of older members and burial expenses. Guilds were, of course, grateful to God for the business that trade fairs brought, and they showed their appreciation in the form of window donations to the Cathedral.
20 At Chartres the five large lancet windows (47' or 14 At Chartres the five large lancet windows (47' or 14.3 m high) in the east end of the cathedral were donated by the bakers, butchers and vintners. Note here the insignia of the vintners or wine merchants, a horse-drawn cart carrying a large barrel of wine. Can you imagine this in a Church of Christ?
21 "the Bible of the poor" Tree of Jesse Window Jesus Window The stained glass windows of Gothic cathedrals have been referred to as "the Bible of the poor." In a time when books were hand written and, thus, quite expensive; in a time when Latin was the only official written language; and in a time when illiteracy was the norm among the common people, stained glass windows functioned as a source for education as well as aesthetic enjoyment. People could “read” the windows to learn stories from the Bible and church tradition.Tree of Jesse WindowJesus Window
22 Sainte Chapelle (“Holy Chapel”), Paris (1243-1248) inside the Palace of Justice Complex
25 Gothic Polyphony: Notre Dame of Paris Florid OrganumThe scores on these slides are transcriptions into modern notation. The Gothic notation is very difficult to decipher.Organum is built on the foundation of existing chant. The appropriate chant tune is in the bottom voice, though much elongated, and the newly composed voice (or voices) are above. Because of this elongation, the chant part was called the “tenor” (from the Latin tenere, to hold). By the fifteenth century the voice below the tenor was called the contratenor bassus (the voice against and below the tenor) and the one above the contratenor altus. The top voice was the superius (highest). The etymology of our terms today—soprano, alto, tenor, bass—should be evident. Florid organum employs free rhythm (unmeasured; no beat). As a result, the text moves along very slowly. When composers came to a melisma in the chant they needed to make it through the text more efficiently and to coordinate the voices. For these sections, or clausulae, they used a newly-invented rhythmic notation. These sections are called discant clausulae.
26 Discant Clausula Florid Discant Make a point about rhythm! The first time ever!They used repeating rhythmic patterns, or rhythmic modes (of which there were six). Note how one pattern is used in the duplum (upper voice) and another in the tenor (the original chant tune, which, in Notre Dame Organum, is always the lowest voice).
27 Two Gothic Composers Leonin Perotin Sederunt principes, 42LeoninPerotinSederunt principes,Et adversum me loquebantur;Et iniqui persecuti sunt me.The rulers were seated in council,And they spoke against me;And my enemies persecuted me.We know the names of only two Gothic composers.This example of organum quadruplum (four-part organum) is by Perotin. Only the intonation (the first word) of this Gradual text (for St. Stephen’s day) is set polyphonically; the remainder of the text is chanted. Imagine how overwhelming this elaborate music must have been: four different voice parts coordinated, creating beautiful a harmony that resonated through the awe-inspiring cathedral.Nave, Notre Dame