Gothic came in the 11th century to the territory of Western, Central and parts of Northern and Eastern Europe to replace the Romanesque style and gradually replaced it, combining the brightness of stained glass and the lightness of glass with the severity of stone.

Mysterious and majestic Gothic has become a vivid symbol of the Middle Ages. The Gothic style became cult and religious. Its meaning was to appeal to eternity, the highest divine powers and the Christian worldview.

Gothic is interpreted both as a historical art form and as an artistic style.

The Gothic architectural style originated in France and subsequently spread throughout Western Europe.

  • lancet stone arches and flying buttresses (semi-arches), looking up;
  • narrow turrets with forged spiers on the roofs;
  • stained glass, with a pointed top, elongated windows;
  • archivolts, wimpergi, tympanums and other decorative elements.

All elements of the Gothic architectural style are graceful, directed upwards and emphasize the vertical. High vaults, massive columns and huge interior spaces in cathedrals and temples were designed to emphasize the insignificance of people before God.

There are three stages in the development of Gothic architecture: early Gothic (XII century), mature or high Gothic (XIII century) and late flaming Gothic XIV – XV century.

Early Gothic includes the cathedrals in Paris, Lani and Chartres. Notre Dame Cathedral, founded in 1163, is considered the greatest achievement of early Gothic. It was completed until the middle of the 14th century. This cathedral, built in Chartres, remains one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe to this day.

The grandiose cathedrals, belonging to the mature Gothic, were distinguished by the richness of the picturesque and sculptural decoration and the perfect architectural composition. One of the clearest examples of mature Gothic is the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, built in 1243-1248 as a royal palace chapel.

Majestic Gothic cathedrals began to be built from the middle of the XIII-XIV centuries. in Italy, Germany, England, Spain, Austria, Flanders, the Czech Republic, etc. As a result of the Crusades, the architects of Rhodes, Cyprus and Syria became acquainted with Gothic building principles.

Sculpture played an important role in creating the image of a Gothic cathedral. Expression, monumentality and concreteness of images mainly distinguish Gothic sculpture from others.

A few decades after the appearance of elements of the Gothic style in sculpture and architecture, the Gothic trend in painting developed. In Gothic painting, stained glass became one of the main trends, gradually replacing fresco painting.

The stained glass technique remained the same, but the color palette changed, becoming brighter and more colorful. Stained glass plots have become more complex, they began to use colorless glass.

The heyday of book miniatures also fell on the Gothic period. The prominent representatives of book Gothic miniatures are the brothers Limburg and Robin Testar.

In the same period, the portrait genre developed, in which an individual image of a particular person appeared, replacing the conventionally abstract image. An example of this style is “Portrait of Edward Windsor, 3rd Baron Windsor, his wife, Catherine de Vere, and their family.”

From the last quarter of the 14th century, a style called International Gothic prevailed in European fine art. It was this period that became the transition to the painting of the Proto-Renaissance.

Gothic style in our time is considered one of the most elegant, expressive styles, marked by a fine taste.


By Yara

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